It’s an eye-opener, it’s a hangover cure, it’s a nutritious breakfast—what can’t the Bloody Mary do?
The cocktail, which you can now find on practically every brunch menu, was supposedly invented at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris during the 1920s. But to be honest, its history is far from settled.
But no matter when, where or by whom it was invented, the drink is one of our favorites and keeps evolving. While most recipes start with vodka and tomato juice, there are endless variations on the traditional formula.
So whether you like your Mary spicy, herbal or with bourbon, check out these recipes and then get creative this weekend. You just may find your new brunch beverage.
Elixir Bloody Mary
The secret to this cocktail from San Francisco mixologist and Liquor.com advisory board member H. Joseph Ehrmann (he says it’s the world’s best Bloody Mary) is a truly old-timey ingredient, Old Bay Seasoning. But that’s not the only trick up Ehrmann’s sleeve; the recipe also boasts a delicious combination of olive and pickle brines. And to top it off, there’s a garnish of a bacon strip and a dill pickle spear! You can even watch Ehrmann make his Bloody Mary in our How to Cocktail video.
Basil Hayden’s Bloody Mary
While we usually sip bourbon neat or enjoy it in a Manhattan, we also sometimes like to sneak it onto our brunch menu. And on special occasions, we like to fix this spicy concoction that combines Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, wasabi and hot sauce.
There aren’t many people in this world who could convince us to add a raw oyster to a cocktail! But we trust celebrity chef Chris Cosentino. And his Bloody Roman, which features Anchor Steam Beer, olives and briny bivalves, is a concoction you need to try at least once.
Grey Goose Mediterranean Mary
Pretend you’re brunching on a patio overlooking the Mediterranean—perhaps in Nice or Monte Carlo. What should you pair with your frittata? This aptly named herbaceous beverage, of course, which was dreamed up by talented barman Nick Mautone. The recipe has a base of Grey Goose Vodka, whose flavor is enhanced by a bit of rich, dry sherry. But the key ingredient is a homemade mix of olive tapenade, tomato juice, hot sauce, citrus and herbs. One sip and we promise you’ll be transported.
Looks delicious, eh? This unique concoction is actually Canada’s national cocktail. While it calls for the standard vodka, hot sauce and celery stalk, what sets it apart is its four ounces of Clamato, a mix of clam juice and tomato. The unusual ingredient makes for a savory drink that is surprisingly quaffable.
Bayou Bloody Mary
This Bloody Mary, which hails from New Orleans, is truly a meal in a glass. In addition to vodka, tomato juice and Tabasco Sauce, it also calls for horseradish, black pepper and a garnish of pickled string beans, olives and crawfish tails. Yes, crawfish tails. This just may be the first drink we recommend serving with a fork.
Don’t worry, no dogs were harmed in the creation of this drink. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to fix this elixir, which proves that vodka isn’t the only clear spirit that works in a Bloody Mary: This one’s made with gin. The recipe includes a double shot of British brand Bulldog, plus a clove of garlic, balsamic vinegar and all the other quintessential Mary mixers.
Karlsson’s Bloody Mary
Usually, vodka plays a supporting role in a Bloody Mary, providing a spirited backbone and an alcoholic kick if not much flavor. But this recipe is all about showcasing the earthy and complex Karlsson’s Gold Vodka from Sweden. The spirit is distilled only once, giving it a pronounced potato flavor, which works beautifully with Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and celery salt.