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Bloody Mary

Two Bloody Marys garnished with celery and a lemon wedge.
Photo by Elizabeth Coetzee, Food Styling by Mira Evnine
  • Active Time

    3 minutes

  • Total Time

    3 minutes

In the pantheon of iterative cocktail recipes, the Bloody Mary is king, queen, and, sometimes, court jester. Variations abound, spanning the tequila-spiked Bloody Maria, gin-forward Red Snapper, and Canada’s Caesar cocktail, which swaps tomato juice for clamato. You can make a Virgin Mary (can we just call it a Zero-Proof Mary?) by omitting the booze, or embrace maximalism by topping your brunch cocktail with a salad bar’s worth of dill pickle spears, jalapeños, okra, and skewers of blue-cheese-stuffed green olives. Given the wide-ranging possibilities, it’s no surprise that the Bloody Mary is beloved by fans and critiqued by detractors.

But a classic Bloody Mary is a thing of beauty and balance, whether served alongside mimosas as part of a brunch spread or sipped alone on the couch or at the airport. This recipe comes from influential New York City bar consultant Eben Freeman. He grates fresh horseradish into his Bloody Mary mix, but jarred horseradish works in a pinch. Garnished with a celery stick and optional lemon wedge, it’s an understated, crowd-pleasing Bloody Mary recipe.

Instead of shaking the drink, which would unpleasantly froth the tomato juice, Freeman uses a mixing method called “rolling.” To do it, you’ll pour the drink back and forth between two glasses (or a cocktail shaker and mixing glass) until well chilled. To customize your Bloody Mary, partially rim the glass with celery salt, or, for a bit more kick, Tajin or Old Bay seasoning.


Makes 1 drink

2 oz. tomato juice
1½ oz. vodka
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¾ tsp. freshly grated horseradish
3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1 pinch kosher salt
1 dash freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 celery stalk
Lemon wedge (optional)
  1. In 11-ounce highball glass, stir together 2 oz. tomato juice, 1½ oz. vodka, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, ¾ tsp. freshly grated horseradish, 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco, 1 pinch kosher salt, and 1 dash freshly ground black pepper. Fill glass with ice (about 1 cup ice cubes), then pour mixture into second glass. Pour back and forth 3 to 4 times to mix well, drizzle ¼ tsp. fresh lemon juice over the drink. Garnish with 1 celery stalk and a lemon wedge (if using) and serve.

    Editor’s note: This recipe was first printed in January 2009. Head this way for more of our best brunch cocktails

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  • Double this, if you want to fill that 11 oz. highball glass. Otherwise, it looks pretty foolish in the glass. Otherwise, good recipe. I mean, it's a Bloody Mary... go to town on the spices, garnish, etc. Have fun, most of all. Then, have another.

    • snyderdick

    • Canada (best country in the world)

    • 9/27/2020

  • Perfection. This is exactly what I wanted. I didn't want some fancy, great new version. I wanted a perfect bloody mary. I made no changes and was planning to figure out how to fix it once i tried it. No fix was needed.

    • stevenfricke

    • Arlington, Texas

    • 8/14/2016

  • Satisfying, solid, good old-fashioned bloody mary. Exactly what i was looking for! Perfect as is, make it a meal with a little added beef stock and olive juice. I made a whole pitcher, and the recipe was really easy to follow even x12.

    • exparker

    • Los Osos, CA

    • 6/5/2016

  • Good recipe. I rimmed the glasses with lemon and Season-All.

    • Gastrophysicist

    • Texas

    • 3/1/2015

  • My husband says it's the best Bloody Mary he has ever had. High praise coming from him.

    • CatCupCake

    • Minneapolis, MN

    • 1/11/2015

  • Great recipe of a classic drink. I think less is more in many recipes but just a pinch of extra ingredients can make mixed drinks very interesting. Here is one of my favorite takes on this awesome drink:

    • Jerry_32

    • Indianapolis, IN

    • 11/21/2013

  • Easy recipe with good results. I used 1 tsp of Ingelhoffer "thick-n-creamy" horseradish, substituted celery salt for the salt, and added a hefty dose of celery seeds. For a non-alcoholic version, substitute water for the vodka. Very refreshing. I'll try drwall76's recommendation to use Old Bay Seasoning and A1 sauce in my next batch.

    • applesfordinner

    • Providence, RI

    • 5/18/2012

  • I used Clamato and Hawaiian sea salt. Very tasty.

    • Anonymous

    • hawaii

    • 9/18/2010

  • I like adding about a teaspoon of Picka-Peppa sauce along with the ingredients listed given here. Picka-Peppa is a bit spicy and adds a bit of bite with a subtle smoky flavor. I also don't use Tabasco sauce but rather use a different hot sauce that has less vinegar in it, and I use a lot more than they do!

    • CoachGiovanna

    • Arizona

    • 4/25/2010

  • Very basic, but good recipe... Consider usine a dash of celery salt rather than plain salt, and adding a dash of A1, or any steak sauce to thicken it up a bit... Also a classic to add "Old Bay" to the mix and rim the glass...

    • drwall76

    • Philadelphia

    • 12/31/2009

  • An easier way is to simply mix in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and pour over ice into a tall glass. Great recipe- I like to add a dash of olive juice for extra oomph.

    • kathlove00

    • NYC

    • 6/9/2009

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