Tips & Techniques

The Best Way to Make Your Bloody Mary Better is Also the Most Obvious

May  2, 2016

The kitchen is nowhere if not a place to overthink. How good would this be if we just added a sauce? Or two sauces? What if, instead of pizza, we turn the thing into babka? We forget that making things a little better—and often, a little truer to themselves—can be right in front of us, so obvious that we missed it before.

Take getting the brightness of lemon into sorbet (or a tart, for that matter). Why not use the whole lemon? Or the bite of garlic into hummus: Infuse the lemon juice with it (and its skins!). And when we want to get the brininess of pickles into our Bloody Marys, we use a little brine—or just throw a garnish pickle, standing at attention, into the finished drink.

But what if we actually puréed dill pickles and stirred them into the mix? I overheard this madness at the SuckerPunch booth at the recent Good Food Mercantile in Chicago—and I asked for clarification. “Adding only pickle brine can make the whole drink taste a little sharp,” they explained, and this way nothing gets any more watered down than it needs to. Your Bloody Mary gets to keep its texture, and in turn, also its status as a meal in a glass.

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To do it at home, purée a few spears (or many—the mixture has enough vinegar to keep in the fridge for at least a few days), and stir that into your bloody to taste, in place of the pickle brine. That’s it. It was so simple, wasn’t it?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kitty mccauley
    Kitty mccauley
  • Kenzi Wilbur
    Kenzi Wilbur
Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Kitty M. May 2, 2016
I love this idea. I use homemade pickles and brine for bloodies, even this is even better.
What about going even further, and using fresh tomatoes puréed instead of canned juice??
Kenzi W. May 3, 2016
I like the way you think.