Drink

How to Make a Bloody Mary

You can't have a proper brunch without one.
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. tomato juice
  • 1/4 inch horseradish, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • dash of celery seeds
  • 4 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco, Tapatio, etc.)
  • 1/2 lemon's juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 lime's juice, fresh squeezed
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. vodka
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 6-8 oz. Bloody Mary mix

Directions

  1. Blend tomato juice, horseradish, Worcestershire, and celery seeds until smooth.
  2. Add hot sauce, lemon juice, lime juice, salt, and pepper, then blend. Adjust the mix depending on how spicy, salty, or citrusy you like it.
  3. Add 1 tbsp. vodka to stabilize the mix and keep the juices fresh, then blend.
  4. Combine 6-8 oz. of the mix with 2 oz. of vodka into a glass with ice. Pour back and forth into another glass 3 or 4 times to mix.
  5. Garnish with a celery stalk and a lime, or whatever else you feel like adding. Sky's the limit.

A Bloody Mary is a love-it or hate-it kind of cocktail, which makes sense. You generally drink it at brunch, setting yourself up for a totally wired (or very sleepy) afternoon. It is a meal itself, whereas a Mimosa is just kinda...juice with bubbles. Its base is tomato juice, which grown adults have been known to run from in horror. It is pungent as hellfire and sulfuric brimstone, if you make it with plenty of horseradish, Worcestershire, hot sauce, citrus, and other flavorful odds and ends—which is to say, if you make it the right way. And making a Bloody Mary the right way is why we're here today.

Now, follow along: This recipe above makes one serving of Bloody Mary (two ounces of vodka, about six ounces of mix). Do you want to make only one Bloody Mary? Probably not, but maybe you're a solo bruncher. However, you can go for the batch by doing some simple arithmetic; in the videos below, for example, we doubled the recipe. Then, garnish wherever your salt- and citrus-craving soul takes you: lemon wedges, pepperoncinis, cherry peppers with feta, shrimp, pickled green beans, garlic dill pickle spears, caperberries, and of course, the classic celery stalk. Experiment with gusto.

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A Little Background

The Bloody Mary has been called a thing or two over the years. Supposedly, it originated in Paris in the 1920s, when Russians fleeing their civil war brought vodka to the rest of Europe and a bartender mixed it with tomato juice to tempt American expats. It made its way to the States in the next decade, where it was spiced up with new ingredients and dubbed the Red Snapper. Another early name for it was supposedly the Bucket of Blood (spookier, and grosser). Eventually, it became ubiquitous as the Bloody Mary—whether for Queen Mary Tudor who ordered the bloodshed of Protestants in England, or for a woman named Mary who spilled tomato cocktail on her dress, or for a waiter named Mary who worked at the Bucket of Blood saloon in Chicago, we don't know. What we do know is that back in the day, they weren't topping Bloody Marys with fried chicken carcasses and steak skewers. But hey, things evolve.

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If You Like This, Try These

The Bloody Mary is a classic brunch cocktail, and if you're looking to put on a whole brunch spread, you can add a Mimosa or a Bellini. They're lighter, but some folks prefer that. The Michelada is also sometimes considered a brunch drink; it's made with beer, Clamato tomato cocktail, and spices, and is a tangier (but less potent) tomato-based drink than the Bloody Mary. A Bloody Maria is a Bloody Mary made with tequila instead of vodka. And finally, there's the Bullshot: a downright weird mix of vodka and Campbell's beef broth. Savory is savory.

Food styling by Sean Dooley
Prop styling by Emily Hirsch

Photographed by Jeffrey Westbrook

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Sarah Rense
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