Have you tried making a Bloody Mary mix at home? This is a wonderfully hands-off recipe—your blender will do most of the work. Just blend diced tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a few spice rack staples, and let it sit tight for a bit in the fridge.
This base is fantastic with vodka as a straightforward Bloody Mary. It’s not too assertive, so you could customize it to your liking. In fact, I made this recipe with that approach in mind. Make it a conventional (but not boring) mix or go wherever your imagination takes you! I have lots of ideas for how to spice it up below.
What's a Bloody Mary?
The Bloody Mary cocktail has vodka, tomato juice, and spices that, like many early 20th century cocktails, does not have a verified origin.
It is believed that the drink, as we all know it, was created in Paris in the 1920s by a bartender called Fernand Petiot at The New York Bar. Others have claimed to have created the cocktail. There are also many stories behind why it’s called a Bloody Mary.
While we may never know the exact origins, we can agree on one thing: It’s a brunch essential that may help improve a hangover (though mileages vary!).
What’s in a Bloody Mary?
While some swear by canned tomato juice and others by fresh tomatoes, I find that canned diced tomatoes are the best of both worlds. It’s convenient and it creates a mix that’s sturdy without being too watery or too thick.
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix combines canned diced tomatoes with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, hot sauce, celery salt, kosher salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika.
To make one drink: Combine 4 ounces of this Bloody Mary mix with 2 ounces of vodka over ice.
Bloody Mary Mix: Tips!
The key to a flavorful Bloody Mary is time and a few key ingredients. Here’s a few tips to help you along!
- The mix tastes best if left to meld for at least 24 hours.
- Ice will help keep it chilled. While I would tell you that most cocktails should be shaken, you don’t want to water down your Bloody Mary. Stir, do not shake, this drink.
- An immersion blender or a food processor will do the job if you don’t have a blender.
- Canned diced tomatoes have fewer seeds (some seeds are okay, but not a lot).
- Canned whole or crushed tomatoes can be used, but you may need to strain some of those seeds out. Crush the whole tomatoes to release its juices and seeds. A slotted spoon will hold the larger pieces of tomatoes while allowing the seeds to remain in the liquid. Then you simply fine strain the liquid through a sieve to catch all the seeds, which can be discarded.
How a Bloody Mary is garnished—what goes on, in, or sometimes even next to it—often depends on where you live. Classic garnishes are a celery stalk, a lemon or lime wedge, and sometimes olives. I’ve seen an oyster on top, pickled green beans, and once, a tiny glass of beer next to my Bloody Mary (a midwestern tradition).
Instagram inspires us to load our Bloody Mary with all the bar foods worthy of stacking on top. Pretty much, if it tastes good with a Bloody Mary then go ahead and use it. Brunch should be a casual affair, so have fun!
Ways to Spice Up Your Bloody Mary Mix
Think of your Bloody Mary as a delicious blank canvas. Here are a few variations to adjust your cocktail to your taste.
- Spicy: Add 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (instead of the 1 teaspoon the recipe calls for) or a whole jalapeño (seeded if you’d like it less spicy).
- Seafood: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup clam juice and a cooked shrimp garnish.
- Smoky: Garnish it with a crispy strip of bacon and liquid smoke. Start with a drop or two and taste before adding more!
- Vodka is traditional, but you can use tequila for a Bloody Maria or aquavit for a Nordic spin. The caraway and fennel in the aquavit compliment the tomato and Worcestershire sauce.
Two Ways to Serve a Bloody Mary
Single serving: A heavy-bottomed pint glass can hold plenty of Bloody Mary plus garnishes without tipping over. You’ll need a tall glass to accommodate a celery stalk or a crispy strip of bacon. A hurricane glass will also work. For a smaller portion, use a double rocks glass.
A big batch: Pour the Bloody Mary into a large pitcher with a stirrer. The spices tend to settle, so giving it a quick stir between pours ensures that everyone gets all the best bits. Keep the vodka, ice, and garnishes separate but close by or guests to serve themselves.
Plan One to Five Days Ahead
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix needs to sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours to let all the flavors come together. It could be made up to five days in advance and refrigerated. Store it in a nonreactive container (like glass or stainless steel) so that it doesn’t react to the acidity in the mix.
Homemade Cocktail Mixes
- Homemade Margarita Mix
- Homemade Campari
- Homemade Coffee Liqueur
- Easy Homemade Grenadine
- Homemade Nocino Walnut Liqueur
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
The mix will need to mingle in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, so plan on making this at least a day ahead of serving.
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon horseradish (optional)
Vodka, to serve
Ice, to serve
Celery stalks, for garnish
Blend the ingredients:
In a blender, add the tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, garlic powder, hot sauce, celery salt, black pepper, kosher salt, smoked paprika, and horseradish, if you'd like.
Blend on high speed for 30 to 40 seconds, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a nonreactive container, like glass or stainless steel, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
To serve fill a pint glass with ice. Add 4 ounces of Homemade Bloody Mary Mix and 2 ounces of vodka. Stir well to combine. Garnish with a celery stalk.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 5g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 3g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||77%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|