Bloody Mary Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Bloody Mary Recipe

Is there a better Sunday brunch cocktail than the Bloody Mary? Back when Patty and I were first dating and she was living in South Boston, we tried every spot that offered a Bloody Mary with brunch. I’ve always LOVED breakfast, but I never got into the whole brunch scene before I met her (I don’t know what I’ve been doing my entire life).

Bloody Mary Ingredients

What’s in a Bloody Mary? I think it tends to vary, but at the cocktail’s most basic level, it’s made with vodka, tomato juice, horseradish, salt and pepper, and citrus (fresh lemon and lime juice). I like to add additional spices and seasonings to make the drink a little more complex and flavorful. The drink has to have the right balance between smooth and spicy. It has to be refreshing but peppery enough to provide a kick and it can’t be too watery either.

How to Garnish a Bloody Mary

Remember you can get creative when building your own Bloody Mary. Your base liquor doesn’t have to be vodka, in fact, you can use tequila, gin, or light rum as well.

  • Celery
  • Green olives (both stuffed and regular)
  • Asparagus
  • Baby pickles (sweet or dill)
  • Hot peppers (jalapenos, pepperoncini)
  • Hot sauces
  • BACON (both candied and regular)
  • Shrimp
  • Sliced lemons and limes


Bacon is a phenomenal addition to a bloody mary. I’ve found baking bacon is best when cooking several strips for a crowd. Sometimes I like to sprinkle a little brown sugar and paprika on the bacon slices before baking. It will add a sweet and smokey sticky glaze.

You want to ensure bacon is a little more well done so it stays firmer and crunchier as a garnish.

Tips for the Best Bloody Mary

  1. Don’t skip ingredients. Other than the tomato juice and vodka, horseradish may be the most important aspect of the cocktail. Otherwise, it will taste like tomato juice with vodka. Also, the lime and lemon juice add a subtle but refreshing zing.
  2. Don’t be afraid to spice it up. It should be a little spicy but not burn your house down in the process. Start with two dashes of hot sauce and add more if needed. Better yet, let your guests add their own hot sauce to their liking if you’re making a Bloody Mary bar at home.
  3. Don’t waste top-shelf vodka. If you are going to be adding 4 ounces of tomato juice to anything, something mid-range is more than fine.
  4. Go crazy with garnishes. Pepperoncini, crispy bacon, olives, and pickles are a great start. If you can actually see where your cocktail starts you’re doing it all wrong.

Hosting Brunch?

A bloody mary bar is where it’s at. You can premix the base ingredients below in a large pitcher (without booze) and serve with various garnishes. Guests can choose the base liquor, easily add the homemade mary mix, and garnish to their heart’s content. If you MUST buy a premade bloody mix, you can always doctor it up with extra citrus and spices.

It’s never too early for a Bloody Mary, remember that.

Bloody Mary Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Bloody Mary Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
How to make and garnish the perfect Bloody Mary cocktail. The classic Bloody Mary is the ultimate brunch cocktail.


  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 lemon wedge, juice squeezed
  • 1 lime wedge, juice squeezed
  • 4-5 ounces tomato juice
  • 2-4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Celery salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


  • Celery
  • Green olives, both stuffed and regular
  • Asparagus
  • Baby pickles, sweet or dill
  • Hot peppers, jalapenos, pepperoncini
  • Hot sauces
  • BACON, both candied and regular
  • Sliced lemons and limes
  • Cooked shrimp


  • Squeeze the juice of the lemon and lime wedges into a cocktail shaker and toss them in. Combine all remaining ingredients, except garnishes in the shaker (without ice). Shake vigorously for 10 seconds until fully mixed.
  • Pour (not strain) into a pint glass with a cup of fresh ice. Garnish to preference and serve.


Hosting brunch? A bloody mary bar is where it's at. You can premix the base ingredients below in a large pitcher (without booze) and serve with various garnishes. Guests can choose the base liquor, easily add the homemade mary mix, and garnish to their heart's content.


Serving: 1(without garnishes)Calories: 132kcalCarbohydrates: 8.9gProtein: 1.3gFat: 0.1gSodium: 447mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 5.9g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: French
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating


  1. OK, so for anyone wanting to make a pitcher of this wonderful concoction, I used a 48-ounce can of tomato juice so I multiplied all the other ingredients (minus the vodka) by 12 and it was perfect! We just added the vodka to each individual glass, garnished, and DELISH!! Definitely 5 stars!

  2. Hi Shawn! I’m wanting to make these bloody Mary’s for Fathers Day tomorrow and have about 10 people. Can this recipe be multiplied in a pitcher rather than making each one individually? What do you suggest? Thanks so much! Always love your stuff!
    – Nancy Hunter

    1. Thanks Nancy and absolutely! What I like to do is combine everything in a pitcher except for the vodka and then store in the fridge. Your guests can just add vodka to the glass then mix in desired bloody mix with garnishes.