The Bloody Mary is the Pizza Hut salad bar of the cocktail world: It’s easy to go overboard with toppings and mix-ins. What starts as a perfectly balanced brunch drink can quickly transform into a Frankenstein’s monster of a cocktail. “If you get too crazy with your garnishes, it interferes with sipping [and enjoying] the cocktail,” says Brian Bartels, the author of The Bloody Mary. While we respect your right to top your Bloody Mary with anything from a speared olive to an entire roast chicken, we advocate at least starting with the classic: a blend of vodka, tomato juice, citrus, celery salt, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish, garnished with a crunchy celery stick. After you have mastered this classic formula, go ahead and experiment with the myriad of alternative ingredients in your Bloody—like Sherry, fish sauce and watermelon—or a bevy of insane garnishes.
- Add all ingredients except for the tomato juice and celery into a pint glass.
- Fill the glass with ice and top with tomato juice.
- Stir until the drink is mixed well and garnish with a celery stalk.
Mix it Up
Instead of using vodka, try gin (for a Red Snapper) or aquavit. Or, swap in tequila and add a few extra spices to make an eye-opening Bloody Maria. Our favorite new way to drink our Bloody is with smoky mezcal, or with a sweet and sassy bourbon as the base. Both liquors give the cocktail the taste of pit-fired barbeque—especially with Chipotle Tabasco in place of the original hot sauce. Whatever liquor you choose to use for your cocktail, we recommend experimenting with different hot sauce pairings to heighten the heat and the flavors already inherent in the booze you’re using.
Similar to a Bloody Mary, the Bullshot swaps out tomato juice for beef stock. During the 1950s and 60s, the strong, savory cocktail had something of a cult following—journalists in New York and Los Angeles reported on its coast-to-coast popularity, and celebrities like Richard Chamberlain, Joan Crawford and Malcolm McDowell made it their drink of...