Quick and Easy

A Very Good Bloody Mary

November 30, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

The classic, really good. —Ali Slagle

Test Kitchen Notes

Who wouldn't want a really good Bloody Mary to get your day started? You'll love this next-level version that we like to definitively call the best Bloody Mary ever. This recipe features tomato juice, fresh lemon juice, dill pickle juice, as well as a bite from horseradish and hot sauce, and, of course, a bit of vodka. The optional garnishes are a lot of fun but entirely up to you. From dill pickles to pickled okra, cornichon, celery, lemon, parsley, radish, bacon, and/or a hard-boiled egg, the choice is yours, but whatever you end up deciding on, you'll have a fun drink to enjoy at the end of the adventure.

Kenzi Wilbur, who wrote about the secret ingredient for this recipe, asks a good question: "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.

"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?" —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) tomato juice
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) vodka
  • 3 tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Ice, to serve
  • Garnishes, including dill pickles, pickled okra, cornichon, celery, lemon, parsley, radish, bacon, or hard-boiled egg—or none of the above, or others.
  1. In a pitcher, mix the tomato juice, vodka, dill pickle juice, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust as you wish.
  2. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish as you wish (more is more, in this case).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa Y
    Melissa Y
  • Alyce Morgan
    Alyce Morgan
  • miamineymo
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Ali Slagle
    Ali Slagle

8 Reviews

Melissa Y. June 4, 2023
Bloody Marys are hard. Everyone has their ideal, which is not necessarily great for others. Made exactly as written, it was bland and salty (unfashionable given the ingredient mixture). That being said, exactly as written is difficult since pickle brine, hot sauce and tomato juice have different levels of salinity. My suggestion: If you like it spicy, add cayenne, more horseradish and more hot sauce. DO NOT add more salt until you’ve tasted it without the salt. Remember this is a recipe for *8* drinks. 1T of Worcestershire will not be discernible in the larger recipe if you’re used to that taste in your Bloody Mary. Garnishes are irrelevant if the actual cocktail is not to your taste and Bloody Marys are extremely personal. Think about what you like, scale it up and know you will have to adjust from the suggestion.
Alyce M. January 1, 2022
Yes! But you missed the last sweet sprinkle of Za'atar seasoning!
miamineymo January 1, 2022
Really good with the PJ!!!
Chefchenko April 6, 2017
What's the big deal about the Caesar? Swap out tomato for Clamato and you're done! Also some celery salt around the rim. It's a Canadian thing.
Jo-Anne February 1, 2017
Please someone please, write on article on the Caesar. Heck, I'll do it if you want me to but just do it. It is too good a drink not to be shared. I will post pics of some of the ones featured here in Toronto.
Ali S. February 1, 2017
I have to admit I did not know about the Caesar until this comment right here! Wanna tell me more about it? Let's write this story. [email protected]
Jo-Anne February 2, 2017
E-mail coming shortly!!!
Marian B. January 29, 2016
gonna make this next week :)