The Best Bloody Mary Recipe You Can Make at Home

The Bloody Mary is not just a cocktail, it's a delicacy. But everyone thinks they have the “best” way of making it. So, here's our Bloody Mary cocktail recipe.

The Bloody Mary is not just a cocktail but a delicacy. But, just like grandma’s recipe, everyone thinks they have the “best” way of making it.

One of the best things about the Bloody Mary is that everyone can customize the basic ingredients to accommodate what their palate prefers. Today we’re going to show you how we like to make our Bloody Mary cocktail.

What is a Bloody Mary?

The Bloody Mary is a tomato juice-based cocktail primarily mixed with vodka, and a variety of other sauces and spices used to achieve a sweet and savory drink.

Bloody mary
Bloody mary
The best bloody mary recipe you can make at home | giphy | cocktail hammer
Tabasco hot sauce added to a bloody mary

You can often hear the Bloody Mary referred to as the “hair of the dog,” short for the expression “hair of the dog that bit you.” The term and the cocktail describe an alcoholic drink consumed with the intent of lessening the effects of a hangover. 

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What’s the difference between a Bloody Mary and a Red Snapper?

The only difference between the red snapper cocktail and the Bloody Mary is the base spirit. The red snapper uses gin and the Bloody Mary typically uses vodka.

How was the Bloody Mary invented?      

The origins of the Bloody Mary could be traced back to Harry MacElhone’s New York Bary in Paris where one of his barmen Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot, who despite his name was actually an American applying his trade after moving to Paris during prohibition in America, and purportedly made vodka Bloody Marys. Petiot moved back to America in 1934 and became the barman at the St. Regis Hotel in NYC bringing his bloody mary recipe with him. 

Two bloody marys
Two bloody mary’s

He switched out the vodka for gin because he felt that Americans were more familiar with gin and would therefore receive it better. He changed the name to the Red Snapper cocktail. The popularity of the red snapper or the Bloody Mary took time to catch on but would eventually become one of the popular cocktails in the industry.

Why is it called Bloody Mary?

Here we go again with what I like to call Snapple facts: it could be true, it could be false. The enjoyment comes from speculation. The Bloody Mary cocktail supposedly got its name after a recurring guest named Mary, who would sit at the bar being frequently left waiting for her lover. 

While she sat waiting, she would drink Pete’s tomato and vodka cocktails and received the name Bloody Mary after Queen Mary the firstborn in 1516-1558 (often confused with Mary Queen of Scots 1542-1587, who was beheaded). The correlation between the two Marys, I suppose, would be their shared suffering due to a broken heart. Just wanted to clarify for any history sticklers out there.

Who is Queen Mary? Queen Mary AKA Mary the 1st of England AKA Mary Tutor, Daughter of King Henry VIII, was not exactly known to be a joyous individual. She was fueled by misery and bitterness, and her determination to reverse the English reformation created during her fathers’ reign had people often executed.

Queen mary 1
Queen mary i of england

Both accused and spectators (pretty much anyone she wanted) would be burned at the stake, without mercy. Very Game of Thrones, but still a dubious story. For more information on Queen Mary’s ruthlessness reign, check out this video by The Infographics Show to find out why she was so angry/bloody in the first place.

“Bloody Mary” Mary I of England by The Infographics Show.

Other sources tell us that the name was suggested by one of the regulars who said it reminded him of one of the girls who worked at a bar named “The Bucket of Blood Club” in Chicago and was nicknamed Bloody Mary. Much more underwhelming. Shall we move on to the cocktail?   

The best bloody mary recipe you can make at home | giphy | cocktail hammer
Three variations on the bloody mary

Tips for the Bloody Mary

Remember, the Bloody Mary and the red snapper are meant to be customizable. Everyone has a different palette, so use our recipe as a template and add, subtract and substitute as you see fit. I think that everyone can agree that the true secret to the Bloody Mary lies with the tomato juice. You want the sweetness of the tomato juice not to be overpowered by the Worcestershire sauce or the hot sauce. Too much of either, and you’ll end up with an overly spicy and muddy mess. 

The Bloody Mary

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Julian Solorzano Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult ????


Prep time






  • 2 barspoon Lemon juice

  • 1 barspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 3-5 dashes Tabasco hot sauce

  • 2 oz Vodka

  • 4 oz Tomato juice

  • Pinch Salt and ground pepper

  • 1/2 barspoon Horseradish (not horseradish sauce)

  • Ice

  • Celery stick, gherkins, and olives for garnish (optional)


  • Add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, horseradish, vodka, tomato juice, and Ice in your shaker 
  • Roll for 15 seconds
  • Strain into glass using a Hawthorne strainer
  • Garnish with celery, gherkins, and/or olives


  • The Bloody Mary is one of those cocktails that encourages experimentation, so definitely try new ingredients out using our recipe shown here as a template. 
  • In the directions, you’ll see that we use the word roll. Again the preference is up to the barman whether to shake, stir or roll but we prefer to roll. Remember If you’re going to shake, shake lightly. Vigorously shaking tomato juice creates an unpleasant foamy consistency.
  • Rolling is used with a Boston shaker and involves mixing ingredients by pouring from one tin to the other tin, a few times until all ingredients are mixed.
  • You can either choose to strain in a chilled glass with one large ice cube, in a chilled glass with no ice cube, or just a regular unchilled glass with no ice cube. The type of glass you want to strain it in is up to you.


So what do you think? Is the Bloody Mary one of those cocktails that have always intrigued you? I was skeptical at first but was pleasantly surprised when I tried it. If you want to check out some more variations on the Bloody Mary, check out our list of Bloody Mary cocktails variations post. Expand your cocktail palate by getting out of your comfort zone, and challenge yourself by making this savory cocktail.

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Written by Chris Harris, Staff Writer

Howdy. I’m Chris Harris. One of the writers here at Cocktail Hammer. I have a passion for all things food, wine, and mixology. When I’m not I’m behind the bar or writing for this awesome blog, you can find me riding my bike all across New York City.

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