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Best Bloody Marys
Best Bloody Marys Erin McDowell

You’re at Sunday brunch with friends. A round of Bloody Marys arrives. You toast the day, take a sip and are...utterly disappointed. (Sigh.) We’ve all experienced Bloody Mary letdown at one time or another. So what’s the key to making a brunch cocktail with kick? Our formula is twofold. First, use high-quality bottled or fresh tomato juice (finally a reason to use that juicer). Second, season the juice properly so that it’s both savory and spicy. The result: a refreshingly bold drink that tops any restaurant version. Now that’s what we call hair of the dog.

Related: Candied Bacon is the Perfect Garnish

Makes 6 servings
Start to Finish: 30 minutes


2 celery stalks, chopped

4 cups tomato juice

1 tablespoon horseradish

¼ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Tabasco (or more, to taste)

1¾ cups vodka

Celery stalks, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for garnish


1. In a blender or food processor, puree the celery, tomato juice, horseradish and lemon juice until well combined.

2. Pour the liquid into a large pitcher, and mix in the pepper, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Taste, then add more seasonings as desired.

3. Stir in the vodka. To serve, pour the Bloody Marys into tall glasses, over ice. Garnish each glass with a celery stalk and a lemon wedge.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • We love the idea of making a Bloody Mary bar. Set it up so that guests can pour their own drinks and top with anything from olives and pickled onions to caper berries and cornichons.

  • Make a meal of it: Serve a pitcher of Bloody Marys with our hash-brown-crust mini quiches.

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