The modern Bloody Mary was reportedly created in 1920 at Harry's bar in Paris, a frequent hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates.
Bartender Fernand Petiot expanded on the popular Red Snapper (vodka and tomato juice) cocktail by adding, condiments, spices and garnishes. Since then, there have been many variations of the Blood Mary by substituting the vodka or the tomato juice and tweaking of the name accordingly.
Here, we show you a few ideas. The more popular variations are Bloody Maria (tequila replacing vodka), Ruddy Mary (gin replacing vodka), Brown Mary (whiskey replacing the vodka), Red Eye (beer replacing vodka, usually in a 50/50 mixture with Clamato in place of tomato juice).
More exotic variations include Bloody Geisha (sake replacing vodka) and Bloody Fairy (absinthe replacing the vodka). Some variations eliminate one or the other key ingredients like Bloodless Mary (without tomato juice) or of course a Virgin Mary (without alcohol) also called a Bloody Shame.
The Classic Bloody Mary Recipe
For Bloody Mary Mix
3 ounces vodka, I prefer Kettle One - its bold flavor holds up to the spices
3 ounces tomato juice
1 tablespoon Horseradish paste
3-5 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes of hot sauce
fresh cracked pepper
a dash of sea salt
1 fresh lime wedge
For Garnish Skewers
Olives (I like using jalapeo stuffed olives as they give more heat)
1 lime wheel
1 thin celery stick (or substitute picked carrot sticks, asparagus or green beans as edible stirrers)
For the Rim
The Rim is the most important element to the Bloody Mary. It is the mouth's first impression of the drink and it better be a good one. I typically use a pre-made seasoning mix (actually a meat rub) from Norman's Market in Miami, Fl. If I run out of my stock piles of Norman's Mix, I make a homemade rim.
In a shallow dish mix equal parts
fresh cracked pepper
finely chopped dried citrus rind
Coat the rim of the highball glass with the juice from the lime wedge and dredge the rim in the mix, fill with ice and set aside.
In one of the mixing glasses combine all of the ingredients and roll from one mixing glass to the other to combine. Tomato juice (and pineapple juice) should never be shaken as it makes the juice too foamy.
Once combined, pour the mixture into the prepared glass and garnish with the skewered olive/onion/lime wheel and celery stick.
This cocktail was born to be added to, substituted with, and over embellished. Have fun with it and add your favorite sauces, spices and the endless array of salad bar items that you can squeeze in an on the glass. Host your DIY Bloody Mary Bar at your next brunch party where guests can customize their own! Can you say 'Battle of the Bloody Marys?'
How to Serve