Making Your Best Bloody Mary

The myriad ingredients one can use to make a Bloody Mary truly define it as “the world’s most complex cocktail”.

Written by:Amanda Lecky
Photographed by:Steve Henke

And this classic breakfast pick-me-up is now being elevated to new levels. Mixologists worldwide are concocting recipes with garden fresh ingredients, including hand-picked stewed tomatoes, and pickled veggies, as well as a whole host of condiments. Add in over-the-top tastes like bacon or sausage sticks and you have a drink that is so much more than just the half vodka, half tomato juice cocktail it used to be. Making your best Bloody Mary, however, might mean using your favorite ingredients grown in your backyard. Put them all together and—voilà!—personal Bloody Mary perfection.


Cambria design shown: Bellingham™

Classic Bloody Mary Mix

Makes approximately 16 (4oz) servings, medium consistency, and medium spiciness. Mix ingredients together and let sit for at least 2 hours for flavors to meld.


  • 40 ounces of Original V8 Juice 
  • 8 ounces of Clamato Juice 
  • 2 ounces Pickle Juice from Zingers Pickles 
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or use a press 
  • 2 Tbsp. of prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire 
  • 1 Tbsp. Stone Ground Dijon Mustard (Our favorite: Ingelhoffer brand)
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • A few turns of freshly ground pepper


  • Rim a tumbler or pint glass with a lemon slice.
  • Dip (rim side down) in celery salt to coat.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes.
  • Add 1.5 oz. of your favorite 80-proof vodka.
  • Fill the glass with mix, leaving room for garnishes to displace liquid without dribbling.
  • Add your favorite hot sauce to taste. (We love a dash of sriracha Hot Sauce).
  • Skewer garnishes onto a pick to prevent it from sinking. Classic garnishes: celery stick, green olive, pickle, lemon.
  • Serve with a 4 oz. chaser of light beer.

Pickle your Own Garnishes

Pickles, from the spicy kick of a jalapeño to the sweet surprise of watermelon rind, are the perfect accompaniment to the garden-fresh flavor of a Bloody Mary—and it’s so easy to make your own. Find more recipes, how-to videos, and home pickling inspiration.

Make it Yours

Thick: Prefer a thick, rich drink? Add one or two tablespoons of organic tomato paste (we love Muir Glen, or, you can preserve your own) to the mix.

Spicy: Use a few extra dashes of hot sauce. Tabasco is the traditional choice, but Frank’s Red Hot, Sriracha, or even a pinch of hot taco seasoning will turn up the heat.

Gourmet Garnishes: The possibilities are nearly endless—just choose a combination with a contrasting mix of flavors (sweet, salty, and tangy) and textures (crunchy, crisp, and creamy). Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • Cheeses: Smoked Gouda, Pepper Jack, Sharp Cheddar, Dubliner
  • Meats: Bacon (peppered or maple), Beef Stick, Venison Sausage, Cocktail Shrimp, Pickled Herring, Pepperoni
  • Vegetables: Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, Pickled Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, Pepperoncinis, Sweet Peppers, Pickled Okra
  • Citris: fresh lemon, lime, or orange slices

Twists on the Classic: Vodka, flavored or straight, is the traditional choice for a Bloody Mary, but experimenting with spirits can have delicious results. Try tequila to make a Bloody Maria, or your favorite whisky for a Whisky Mary.

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