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The Bloody Mary is one of the most popular cocktails in America, and one of the most storied as well. Legend has it, bartenders fleeing Prohibition restrictions in the United States mingled in Europe with Russians fleeing the Russian Revolution. In 1921 in a small bar in Paris called Harry’s New York Bar, bartender Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot married the drinking traditions of the two groups (namely bottled/canned juices from American bartenders and vodka from the Russians) into one delicious drink. He combined Russian vodka with American tomato juice and thus invented the original Bloody Mary.
Fast forward nearly 100 years, and the Bloody Mary is enjoying a resurgence of sorts. Across the country, bars and restaurants now serve boozy brunches complete with Bloody Mary DIY buffets. Others advertise massive Bloody Marys with skewers of pizza, pickles and other insane ingredients thrown in. While the latter are certainly Instagram-worthy, what if you just want to enjoy a classic Bloody Mary in the comfort of your own home?
Let’s look at how to make a traditional Bloody Mary, and then we’ll share the secret behind simplifying the process into just two steps.
How to Make a Bloody Mary
The traditional Bloody Mary recipe has become slightly more complicated than it was when Pete Petiot invented the cocktail. After all, he simply added vodka to tomato juice and gave it a name.
To create a true Bloody Mary at home, you’ll need:
- Lemon Juice
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Celery Salt
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon (for garnish)
- Celery (for garnish)
In a cocktail shaker, mix a shot of vodka with 1.5 cups of tomato juice and two teaspoons of lemon juice. Season to taste with Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Shake well. Rim a glass with celery salt, and strain the liquid in the cocktail mixer into the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a stalk of celery.
If the above seems like too much hassle to you, you aren’t alone. In fact, most bars and restaurants rely on Bloody Mary mix to create this tomato-based cocktail. These mixes usually contain varying amounts of tomato and lemon juices as well as hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, although you may need to add more to make the cocktail to your tastes.
Below, we’ve rounded up the 11 best Bloody Mary mixes. Check them out and find the right one for your next boozy brunch at home.
1. Mr & Mrs T Original Bloody Mary Mix
Bars across the country stock Mr & Mrs T mixers, and now you can enjoy the same convenience at home. The company’s Bloody Mary mix is especially popular, and the drink’s great reviews help make it number one on our list. In the bottle, you’ll find 95% juice consisting of ripe tomatoes, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt. Mix it with vodka and add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce to your taste for a delicious Bloody Mary.
2. Master of Mixes Extra Spicy Bloody Mary Mixer
At just under five dollars for a one-liter bottle, the Master of Mixes Five Pepper Extra Spicy Bloody Mary Mixer is a great way to enjoy a morning cocktail cheaply. The mix includes tomato juice, garlic, onion, celery and spices. It’s then finished with Cholula hot sauce for a habanero pepper kick that’s sure to wake up your tastebuds. Just add vodka and Worcestershire sauce if desired. And, if a spicy Bloody Mary isn’t your cup of tea, Master of Mixes also makes milder versions of their tomato-based mixer.
3. Tabasco Extra Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
If you’re a traditionalist, you likely mix Tabasco hot sauce into your Bloody Marys. So, it only makes sense to turn to the Tabasco company for your Bloody Mary mix. This mix follows the original Bloody Mary recipe that was created way back when in Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. The ingredient list includes lime juice, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, extra thick tomato juice and Tabasco Original Red Sauce. Just add vodka, and you’re good to go.
4. Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix
Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix is one of the most popular Bloody Mary mixes among general consumers. In fact, the company calls itself “America’s #1 Bloody Mary Mix.” Inside the bottle, you’ll find a complex blend of juices and seasonings, including tomato puree, carrot juice concentrate, celery juice, parsley juice, celery seed, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, black pepper and pepper sauce. Thanks to the blend of flavors, this is a great Bloody Mary mix to enjoy as a virgin cocktail. Alternatively, mix it with vodka for a quick classic.
5. Bloody Revolution Original Bloody Mary Mix
Based in Austin, TX, Bloody Revolution has set out to create nothing-else-needed Bloody Mary mixes with premium, fresh ingredients. Their original flavor offers a complex cocktail mixer full of vegetables and a variety of spicy nuances. In addition to their original Bloody Mary mix, Bloody Revolution also makes six other mixers with unique and innovative flavors, from “Everything Bagel” to “Wasabi Ginger” and “Pickle Zest.”
6. Demitri’s Bloody Mary Cocktail Mix Liquid
Demitri’s Bloody Mary Cocktail Mix Liquid looks like something you’d find on the shelf of a Prohibition-era speakeasy. This award-winning concentrate has a robust, zesty flavor that will tickle your tastebuds. Simply mix two ounces of the concentrate with a quart of tomato juice, then add vodka. Alternatively, mix the concentrate, which contains Worcestershire sauce, chili pepper puree, horseradish, lemon juice and celery seed, with lime juice or olive oil to make a scrumptious barbecue marinade.
7. Agalima Bloody Mary Mix
Made with certified-organic ingredients that have been processed through natural techniques, the Agalima Bloody Mary Mix is one of the purest options on the market. It includes rich, Roma tomatoes, chipotle peppers, horseradish and a house-made Worcestershire sauce that’s like the cherry on top of a delicious drink. This blend has spicy, sweet and salty notes that mask the harshness of vodka and give you something to look forward to every time you decide to have a boozy brunch at home.
8. The Real Dill Bloody Mary Mix
BEST NON-TRADITIONAL FLAVOR
The Real Dill is a pickling company, but their Bloody Mary mix has taken the cocktail world by storm. This mixer contains only ten high-quality ingredients that are all full of bold flavor. The company starts with cucumber-infused water and then adds horseradish, dill, garlic and habaneros along with other traditional Bloody Mary ingredients. The result is a slightly spicy but utterly refreshing drink that can be mixed with a variety of liquors. As an added bonus, The Real Dill is a zero-food-waste company that donates its limited food scraps to urban farming programs.
9. Hella Cocktail Co. Bloody Mary Cocktail Mixer
BEST INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS
Whether your friends don’t like Bloody Marys and you love them or you just fancy a solo drink, the Hella Cocktail Co. Bloody Mary Cocktail Mixer makes it easy to prepare individual servings. Hella Cocktail Co. has canned their mixers, so you just need to pour the liquid into a glass and add vodka or your liquor of choice. Inside each can is a concoction of 100% tomato juice, horseradish, red pepper extract and cayenne pepper. This Bloody Mary mix definitely has a kick. Plus, it’s handcrafted and bottled in the USA.
10. Thoughtfully Bloody Mary Cocktail Gift Set
BEST GIFT SET
If you have a friend or family member that adores a boozy brunch complete with Bloody Marys, the Thoughtfully Bloody Mary Cocktail Gift Set might be the ideal gift for their next birthday or any other celebration. The set includes two rustic mason jar glasses with handles, Louisiana-style hot sauce, celery salt and 14.2 ounces of Bloody Mary mix. Pair this set with a nice bottle of vodka, and the recipient will be able to create a cocktail bar-style Bloody Mary right out of the box.
11. V8 Bloody Mary Mix
You likely know V8 as the company makes juice with eight vegetables and fruits. While their normal tomato-based juice is delicious, V8 has really outdone itself when creating the V8 Bloody Mary Mix. Boasting over 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, the mix has attracted attention thanks to its smooth, blended taste. Each bottle contains a healthy dose of tomato juice, lemon juice, onion extract, black pepper, dehydrated garlic, celery extract and more. If you like your Bloody Marys spicy, you may need to mix in some hot sauce, horseradish or Worcestershire sauce, but overall the results are more than drinkable with just vodka and this V8 Bloody Mary Mix.