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How to Make a Bloody Mary


How to Make a Bloody Mary. I’m dreading writing this article even as you read this! The Bloody Mary is often boasted as one of the most complicated vodka cockails to make. It has become a staple morning vodka mixed drink due to it’s hardy and rich flavors. I’ve even heard of the Bloody Mary Recipe being used as a good hangover remedy. I don’t mean to scare you away on How to Make a Bloody Mary, but be prepared because practice is definitely needed to perfect this drink.

The origins of How to Make a Bloody Mary, like many others, is a bit hazy and unclear. Actor George Jessel declared he created the Bloody Mary Recipe in 1939 in a gossip magazine called “The New York”. However, he defined it as one part vodka, one part tomato juice. It wasn’t until 1964 that a Mr. Fernand Petiot clarified that he is the true creator of the Bloody Mary Recipe that we all know and love today:

“I initiated the Bloody Mary of today… Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet rooms.”

When thinking about How to Make a Bloody Mary, you might be curious about the Bloody Mary name. Some attribute it to Queen Mary I of England. Others link it to the Bloody Mary of folklore. There are numerous other people linked to the naming of this vodka cocktail but at this point it is of little difference. You are reading this due to the popularity and notoriety that the Bloody Mary Recipe has attained.  So without further ado, I will tell you How to Make a Bloody Mary.


How to Make a Bloody Mary – Ingredients:

  • The look of a standard Bloody Mary


  • tomato juice
  • 1-3 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 2-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon of horseradish (optional)
  • 1 dash of ground black pepper
  • salt
  • lemon/lime/both
  • celery stalk
  • ice
  • highball glass

Bloody Mary Recipe:

1. Fill your highball glass with ice.
Simple Enough?

2. Pour 1.5 – 2 ounces of vodka into the glass.
1.5 is the standard amount (a shot of vodka) but no harm in being a little heavy handed in your pour 😉

3. Fill your highball glass with tomato juice.
Tomato juice is the base of the Bloody Mary Recipe. Unlike standard highball drinks like a Greyhound, the non-alcoholic liquid is going to greatly out weigh the amount of alcohol you added. This drink is meant to be enjoyed, not get you drunk super fast!

4. Add 1-3 dashes of Tabasco sauce.
In this learning process of How to Make a Bloody Mary, remember that this is what gives it that kick. 1 dash is added for flavor but for a spicier cocktail, feel free to add 2 or even 3 dashes of this hot stuff.

5. Add 2-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
This is what gives your mixed drink that savory flavor. 2 or 3 dashes is the norm, but adding in an extra 1 or 2 would be suitable for those who are looking for a little more smokey and zesty flavor in their Bloody Mary Recipe.

6. Add 1/8 teaspoon of horseradish.
This gives the cocktail a vinegary, spicy kick. I left this optional as there are already a lot of strong flavors going on this mixed drink. Horseradish has a hot piquant flavor, similar to hot mustard. If you are unfamiliar with it, think of wasabi (they are very close in flavor profiles). Experiment with adding this to your Bloody Mary Recipe and see if you like it. Various recipes call for using horseradish so I included it in this article so that you can choose for yourself.

7. Add 1 dash of salt and 1 dash of black pepper.
You should be familiar with these 2 ingredients and how they are used to merely enhance the flavors already added to your Bloody Mary.

8. Toss back and forth between 2 highball glasses 4-6 times.
The normal convention is to use a cocktail shaker and shake your mixture 6-8 times. However, I realize that not everyone has a full set of bar tending equipment and so tossing between two glasses works just as well. A spoon can work too, but tomato juice is thick, and tossing your drink will more evenly distribute all your ingredients.

9. Add your celery stalk and lemon/lime on the glass rim for garnish.
The celery stalk should be tall enough to stand on it’s own and stick a little out of the glass. Add a lemon or lime wedge to the cocktail for a little citrus relief from all the strong spices.

Variations of the Bloody Mary Recipe:

Usually this section is titled going the extra mile, but because this drink is already doing that, I will simply list some of the variations of How to Make a Bloody Mary:

  • Bloody Bishop: Add sherry equal to the amount of vodka
  • Bloody Beer: Replace the vodka with 2-3 ounces of beer
  • Bloody Cab: Replace the vodka with equal parts of a Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Bloody Hogger: Use bacon flavored vodka
  • Bloody Margaret: Replace the vodka in favor of gin
  • Bloody Ninja: Replace the vodka in favor of sake
  • Bloody Maria: Replace the vodka in favor of tequila
  • Brown Mary: Replace the vodka in favor of whiskey


So now you know How to Make a Bloody Mary. I only listed a few of the variations because they stretch out as far as people’s imaginations in changing this popular vodka drink. At some restaurants, you will see their signature Bloody Mary Recipe include seafood like shrimp or crab legs. It has become somewhat of a Vodka Cocktail and appetizer all in one! So next time you’re in the mood for something different to have with your friends at a morning brunch or afternoon get together, consider whipping up some Bloody Mary’s to share with everyone. After all, now you know How to Make a Bloody Mary.

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One comment

  1. Here is another veriation to the bloody mary.
    The Bloody Ceasar. This is made using “CLAMATO” juice in place of the tomato juice. It was a popular drink when I visited my relatives in Alberta, Canada. Yummy.

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