Bloody Mary #0
Herbal | Intense | Classic

Bloody Mary recipe

What is a Bloody Mary?

History and background 

Bloody Mary

The inspiration for the world-famous Bloody Mary cocktail is often considered to be the blood-thirsty, British Queen Mary I (1516-1558). This may be the most famous Bloody Mary origin story but the cocktail is unlikely to have been directly inspired by her. There are as many stories about the origins of the Bloody Mary as there are variations on the cocktail recipe. The true inventor of the Bloody Mary seems to be Fernand Petiot, who was a bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris in the 1920s. As the popular Bloody Mary legend goes, many American artists who frequented the Parisian bar were also patrons of the famous Bucket of Blood bar in Chicago, where a beautiful waitress named Mary worked. The bartender Petiot supposedly named the cocktail after her. Then there is the less likely but humorous legend of the famous cocktail-lover Ernest Hemingway. In the 1920s, he was instructed by his doctors to quit drinking alcohol and, of course, cocktails. Bartender Fernand Petiot concocted a spicy vodka cocktail with tomatoes to help Ernest conceal the fact that he was consuming hard liquor from his wife (Bloody) Mary. Imaginative storytelling aside, it seems logical to conclude that the ‘Bloody’ part of the name may be simply derived from the colour of the tomato juice in the cocktail.  


The Bloody Mary is the mother of all savoury cocktails. Thanks its spicy, savoury and invigorating flavours, this vodka cocktail is considered a great hangover cure. This is down to the fact that the vodka gives you a new burst of energy, the tomato juice has a cleansing and hydrating effect on the body and the spiciness of the Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce wakes you up. The Bloody Mary is one of the most famous breakfast cocktails, or morning drinks, in the world.

Ingredients for Bloody Mary

How to make a Bloody Mary?

Put all the ingredients into the smaller side of your double tin shaker. Fill the larger side of the shaker with ice cubes. Place your Julep strainer on top. Pour the ingredients from the smaller side into the side with the ice cubes. Then, pour the liquid back into the smaller shaker while the ice cubes are held back by the Julep strainer. Pour the Bloody Mary back and forth a total of six times. This is called rolling or throwing. Pour and strain the Bloody Mary with the ice cubes into a highball or long drink glass. Garnish.


Bloody Mary recipe variations

Variation 1
Switch out the vodka for a different spirit. Use Bols Genever for a malty version of a Red Snapper (Blood Mary with gin). Here are some other options: tequila (Bloody Maria), rum (Cubanita) or an Asian Mary with sake and/or shochu. These spirits can also be accompanied by a dash of port, bitters or a bar spoon of smoky whisky.

Variation 2
You can give the Bloody Mary an extra dimension with infused spirits. For example, you can ‘fat wash’ vodka with fried bacon or infuse a spirit with chilli peppers or horseradish.

Variation 3
Use different types of tomato juice, i.e. different methods of preparation (fresh, clear, cloudy, roasted, fermented or boiled.) By using tomato jam instead of tomato juice, you can create a sweeter version. Try the juices of vegetables such as red bell peppers or beetroot.

Variation 4
By adding different types of bouillon or consommé, you can add more depth to the cocktail. Beef bouillon goes great with a Bloody Mary, but chicken bouillon and vegetable bouillon can also add an extra umami dimension to the cocktail. You could also add some oyster liquor to the cocktail to give it a briny flavour.

Variation 5
The classic seasoning in the Bloody Mary cocktail consists of salt, pepper, Worcester sauce and Tabasco. You could also try alternatives such as soy sauce, wasabi, chutney and different types of chilli pepper paste.

Variation 6
Herbs! Use fresh herbs that go well with tomato such as basil, oregano, rosemary or thyme. This is an easy way to create a more complex flavour in the cocktail. Take inspiration from the kitchen. Use the herbs you most enjoy in tomato-based dishes and you can't go wrong!

Variation 7
You can go as crazy as you want with garnishes. There are a wealth of interesting ideas on the internet such as mini hamburgers balanced on the rim of the glass, crab claws, a quail egg topped with caviar, fried chicken, shrimp and other wacky garnishes.

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