Debbie’s Perfect Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary.

A classic drink that has been around for ages.  This is one of the first cocktails I was ever introduced to and a longtime favorite especially during football and basketball season.  There are many legends that surround how this drink came to be, the most disturbing dates back to the mid-1550s when England was under the rule of Queen Mary I. The tomato juice was said to be symbolic of the blood spilled from the queen’s brutal means of executing the martyrs.

Another story that most historians regard as being most accurate (and a little less violent) is that a bartender named Fernand “Pete” Petiot came up with the basic version of the drink in the early 1920s in Paris.  After Prohibition, he moved to Manhattan to preside over the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel.  While there, he made the drink so many loved back in Paris but put a little spin on the basic version, using various seasonings to spice the cocktail up for the patrons.  Legend has it that a man visiting the bar came up with the name after saying the drink reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago and a girl there named Mary.

Since then this cocktail has taken on a life of its own with various concoctions being created.  Use silver tequila instead of vodka and you have a Bloody Maria.  Add clam juice and you have a Bloody Ceasar.  I love that the mixer of the drink gets to be a true “mixologist,” starting with a blank canvas of tomato juice and vodka, and coming up with their own creation.  There are some good pre-made mixes out there, but nothing quite beats a homemade Bloody Mary with a weekend brunch or sporting event.

Here is a version I have enjoyed making at our house.  Give it a try this weekend!

2 oz Vodka

6 oz Tomato Juice

1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce

1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 tsp Horseradish

1/8 tsp Celery Salt

1/8 tsp Black Pepper

**Optional Garnishes:  Stuffed Olives (I used feta and jalapeno stuffed Olives), Pepperoncini, Lemon Wedge, Celery Stick, Pickle


1. Salt the rim of your glass with margarita salt.  They also have different Bloody Mary Salts out there you could experiment with.  I salt mine by wetting the rim of the glass by dipping it in a bowl of water and then dipping it in the salt.

2. Pour vodka and tomato juice into a glass.  Then add the remaining ingredients.  You can adjust how much of everything you put in according to your taste.

3. Stir to combine and add ice until drink reaches top of glass.

4. Garnish to your preference.  I often garnish ours with two olives placed on a toothpick and a pickled pepperoncini.


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I can’t believe I’m featuring an Iowa State glass but this is one that I had made for Mike recently. Also, the day this post is being written is the day the Cyclones open up play in the NCAA Tournament so I thought it might bring them luck 🙂 And since my Hawkeyes are already out of the tournament I guess I know who I”ll be cheering for…


2 responses to “Debbie’s Perfect Bloody Mary

  1. I have only had one Bloody Mary in my entire life and that was on a plane. Suffice it to say it was less than wonderful. I think you have a winner in this recipe. 🙂 Cheers.

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