Get rave reviews from your party guests with this homemade Bloody Mary mix that is easy to prepare and can be made in advance.
It isn't a party without a tall Bloody Mary in your hand, or maybe, it isn't the morning after the party without a tall Bloody Mary in your hand! This is the original hair of the dog that bit ya', and a must have in your recipe repertoire!
Who is Bloody Mary?
As with many classic cocktail's folklore, the origin of the Bloody Mary namesake is a bit obscure. Many claim the drink is named after the bloody reign of Queen Mary I of England, while others claim the name originates from the actress Mary Pickford, or even a waitress at a Chicago bar that was among the first to serve the drink. Pick your favorite answer, and impress your party guests with your knowledge of the drink's history. No one can prove you wrong!
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
Similar to its Mexican cousin the Michelada, a classic Bloody Mary mix is traditionally tomato-based, mixed with prepared horseradish, hot sauce, seasonings, and acidity such as lemon juice. My recipe features Worcestershire and steak sauce for added depth and balance, along with a secret ingredient: Brown sugar.
You don't find brown sugar in a lot of homemade Bloody Mary recipes, but a little bit really adds a lot to the drink. I tested this recipe with and without brown sugar and not only does it add a touch of sweetness, it also makes the overall flavor less sharp and more balanced.
Spicy Bloody Mary Mix
When making your own Bloody Marys, you can adjust the spiciness to your desired level. I found 1 teaspoon of a vinegar-based hot sauce to be a good balance, but if you want a spicier drink for your guests bump it up to 1 ½ teaspoons.
Alternatively, if you really crave heat, substitute my Ghost Pepper Hot Sauce instead. The fruity flavor of the ghost peppers pairs beautifully with tomato-based recipes. Start with a little and add more to taste.
Can Bloody Mary Mix be Made in Advance
The great thing about Bloody Mary cocktails is you do not have to prepare them during the party. Not only can your homemade Bloody Mary Mix be prepared in advance, it actually tastes best if you make it the day prior. Making your mix in advance allows the flavors time to meld together.
How Much Vodka in a Bloody Mary
Crafting your own homemade Bloody Marys allows you to add your desired amount of vodka. If you enjoy stronger drinks go with a ratio of 2:1 mix/vodka. However, if I am preparing a large batch for a party I will typically mix the drink a bit weaker than that to accommodate guests who prefer the liquor be a background flavor. In such cases, I use a ratio of 4:1.
Any home mixologists should have their own cocktail shaker set (affiliate link). Not only can your drinks easy be mixed and stirred, but a cocktail jigger eliminates the need to ever eyeball your pours again.
Loaded Bloody Mary
You have no doubt seen those ridiculously extravagant loaded Bloody Marys served at some restaurants and bars. If you really want to go all out, you can craft these at home as well. The possibilities for garnishes are completely endless, but if you want some suggestions you can mix and match items such as my homemade mozzarella sticks, fried pickles, hard-boiled eggs, pickled green beans, and pickled okra.
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
- 3 cups tomato juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons A-1 steak sauce
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco or Franks)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- vodka for serving
- Combine all ingredients into a pitcher and mix to combine.
- Flavor is best is allowed to meld in the refrigerator overnight.
- Mix with vodka at a ratio of 4:1 to 2:1, according to your preferred taste.