How To Make A Bloody Mary To Be Proud Of

A staple of bottomless brunches, the Bloody Mary is a cocktail everyone should have in their arsenal. Here’s how to make a Bloody Mary to impress.
Using a high-quality tomato juice is essential to mastering this serve.
Using a high-quality tomato juice is essential to mastering this serve.

The Bloody Mary is a divisive drink, to say the least. As a gluggable gazpacho capable of getting you buzzed before 1pm, the cocktail is regularly maimed by bartenders with bland and tepid renditions of the drink having become a staple of shitty bottomless brunches the world over. That being said, I’m still a firm believer that a well-made Bloody Mary can and should, under the right circumstances, be fantastic.

All you need to master this savoury serve for yourself is a jug or pitcher large enough to hold over a litre of liquid and the following: tomato juice, V8 vegetable juice, vodka, horseradish sauce, wholegrain mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, fresh basil, salt, two limes, and a handful of celery hearts. If you’ve got all of the above, you’re pretty much set to go. Avoid pre-made mixes like Big Tom and look to use a straightforward tomato juice as your base instead. Any with an ingredients list that reads “tomatoes” – and little else – should do the trick.

Celery and a salt-rimmed glass are a welcome addition to any Bloody Mary.
Celery and a salt-rimmed glass are a welcome addition to any Bloody Mary.

To kick things off, pour a litre of that tomato juice into a jug along with 350ml of V8 and the juice of one and a half freshly squeezed limes. After that, it’s time to crank up the heat by adding a heaped teaspoon of hot horseradish sauce and wholegrain mustard into the mix followed by two shakes of Worcestershire sauce, three dashes of Tabasco, and a grind of black pepper. Stir the mixture briskly before tearing up some fresh basil and throwing that in, too. The above will net you about 6 serves.

Cover and chill the jug for at least half an hour; this should give all the ingredients ample time to exchange pleasantries and properly get to know each other. While you wait, cut a notch into your remaining wedge of lime, rub it around the rim of any glass you’re planning to use and dunk those glasses lime-side down into a mound of salt. This neat aesthetic touch should occupy you just about long enough for your mix to get settled.

To assemble your Bloody Mary, mix one-part vodka to five-parts Bloody mix into a tall glass filled with three large ice cubes. Garnish and stir with a stick of celery. To make a Virgin Mary – or a “Bloody Shame” as I like to call it – simply forego the vodka.

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