Oh, the Bloody Mary….the cocktail of folklore and the world’s excuse to drink alcohol for breakfast.
We wax lyrical about the Negroni here a lot, but we have got to say the Bloody Mary transcends the boundaries of the perfect cocktail.
Its power lies in its ability to morph into a drink for any palate. Every Bloody Mary the world over is different… it’s all about how you like it. And believe us, everyone has their own take on it.
If you’ve been somehow missed one of the world’s most popular cocktails and don’t know what a Bloody Mary is, it’s a blend of tomato juice, seasonings, spices and base spirit – usually vodka.
Over the course of this post we are going to share some recipes, options for seasonings and spices, what base spirit to use and importantly – how to make a killer Bloody Mary.
What Spirit Do You Put In A Bloody Mary?
First things first what’s your favourite spirit? Chances are you can make a Bloody Mary with it.
Traditionally, a Bloody Mary is mixed with vodka as its neutral flavour profile is the most versatile. Vodka has the ability to blend into the background of cocktails flavour wise, while still ensuring those secret elements such as mouthfeel and balance are supported.
As Bloody Mary’s are packed to the hilt with flavours we like to use vodka as it’s a neutral spirit. If you want to go off-piste though, there are other options:
The use of gin over vodka is favoured by many as it brings more flavour and character to the party. There are plenty of great gins for Bloody Marys – use something not too heavy on the juniper and that have some complimentary botanicals in it.
Tequila has some muscle compared to vodka and its vegetal earthiness stands out in the hullabaloo of flavour. It is a great choice actually and don’t be put off. One word of caution though, use a decent aged tequila.
What Juice Do I Use In A Bloody Mary?
Use a good quality tomato juice. This is super important.
Cheap, concentrate juices are rubbish and will make your Bloody Mary taste thin and bland.
So go premium.
We should mention that in Canada they use Clamato Juice (tomato juice with clam essence steeped into it) It’s mega. Hats off to whoever invented that. The umami richness of Clamato Juice has given it a cult following and Bloody Mary purists swear by it.
What Flavourings Shall I use in a Bloody Mary?
Ok. This could take a while.
The reason being is you need to imagine a Bloody Mary as a cold soup. It’s layer upon layer of flavour.
So you are only limited by your creativity.
We say that certain ingredients for a Bloody Mary are non-negotiable. They are as follows:
• Worcester Sauce
• Tabasco Sauce (or similar)
• Lemon/Lime Juice
• Salt & Pepper (seasoning your cocktail is essential to bring out the flavours)
Other ingredients that taste sensational in Bloody Mary’s are – horseradish sauce, paprika, celery salt, balsamic vinegar, beef bouillon, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, mustard, Oxford Sauce, garlic powder, onion powder…the list is infinite.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
The method for making an incredible Bloody Mary requires you to use a special technique that usually is the preserve of bartenders.
This is called rolling.
Rolling is where you pour iced ingredients from one container to another (usually from one cocktail shaker to another)
This allows you to dilute and chill the tomato liquid without getting too much air or excess dilution into the drink.
We call this agitating the liquid. It’s a super important technique as it helps to bind the ingredients without ruining the cocktail.
To roll a cocktail, add all ingredients to the container or shaker, add cubed ice and slowly pour from shaker to shaker 5 times.
If you need to see rolling in action check out this video from Waitrose Cookery School.
Ultimate Bloody Mary Recipe
Our teams ultimate Bloody Mary Recipe. This was created for a brunch launch event for Country Life Magazine in 2019.
Bloody Mary Ingredients
80ml Tomato Juice
5 Drops Tabasco Sauce (or to taste we usually ask how hot from 1-10 and add the required drops)
20ml Worcestershire sauce
10ml Lemon Juice
3 Pinches Celery Salt
2 Pinches Onion Salt
Pinch of Flaked Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
Celery stick and crispy bacon
How To Make A Bloody Mary
Combine all alcohol ingredients in an iced cocktail shaker. Roll the ingredients between two shakers. Strain into an iced Collins glass and garnish.
The Bloody Mary cocktail is a delight and everyone should have their own riff. If you want to find out more about cocktails, articles and recipes check out the latest on The Clubhouse.