The best Bloody Mary starts with a homemade mix that has the perfect blend of salty, savory, sour, spicy, and slightly fruity flavors. This one also has the tiniest hint of smokiness from a secret ingredient. You’re not going to believe how much better your Bloody Mary can get when you use this mix!
I am pretty much obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. They’re my go-to cocktail for brunch, and I also like them as a pre-dinner drink, especially if I’m hungry. The garnishes that come on Bloody Mary’s can sometimes be full snacks and work well as appetizers in these situations.
Why Is This Recipe The Best?
There are three things that make this Bloody Mary the best. The type of salt that I use, the type of horseradish, and a sneaky little bit of smokiness from a secret ingredient. See Ingredients below for details on these.
I’ll also go ahead and say that my mix is more tomato-juice-forward than a lot of recipes out there. That is, they have a lot more citrus juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce than my recipe does. I think some people really like that. I find it makes the drink have less body (a thinner consistency) and too overwhelming of a flavor. I like the heat, depth, and citrus to all come through, but I still want a lot of tomato flavor as well.
Finally, it’s really important to make sure your mix is chilled well before serving.
As mentioned, this Bloody Mary mix is exceptional because of three key ingredients: the type of salt, the type of horseradish, and the smoky flavor. Here is info on that:
The salt: A lot of recipes for Bloody Mary Mix call for kosher salt or just say salt, which I interpret to mean table salt. However, the best salt to use in a Bloody Mary is definitely celery salt. Why? Well, celery salt is often used as a rimming ingredient on the glass for a Bloody Mary. The flavor you get when you sip from that salted edge is really the best. There’s never enough of it though, and if you’re using a straw to sip, then you don’t get any at all. By using celery salt right in the drink, you get all that delicious flavor in every sip.
The horseradish: First of all, don’t try to improve this recipe by using freshly grated horseradish. It doesn’t really dissolve in the liquid and instead ends up a bit like sawdust at the bottom of your glass. You want to use a horseradish that is wet so that it can more easily mix in.
But don’t just use any horseradish. You don’t want something like horseradish sauce for sure. That has mayonnaise in it. What you’re looking for is prepared horseradish. And, the place you NEED to look for it is in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the refrigerated pickles. The horseradish from the refrigerated section has much more flavor, more heat, and less acidity than the horseradish sold on the shelf.
Note: If your horseradish has been opened and sitting in your fridge for more than 2 months, stir it and then taste a tiny bit. If it’s not spicy anymore, it won’t be as good in your mix.
Smokiness: This is the secret ingredient that has people raving about my Bloody Mary mix every single time. It adds this background warmth that balances everything else out. The secret ingredient is the liquid from a can of Chipotle Chilies in Adobo. It’s spicy for sure, but it also has so much beautiful deep smoke mixed in. I promise, you’re going to try this in your Bloody Mary and wonder how the whole world hasn’t already been doing this for years!
So that’s the salt, horseradish, and the chipotle sauce. The other ingredients are the tomato juice, lemon juice (or you can use lime or half and half), Worcestershire, hot sauce, and black pepper. A note on the black pepper: I prefer not to use coarse cracked here. It doesn’t spread through as evenly and you sometimes get little bits that are too big in your mouth, ruining the smoothness of the drinking experience.
Bloody Mary Ideas
Once you have your mix made, you can play around with it. Try this Pickle Juice Bloody Mary over here. And, if you want some amazing garnish ideas, this is the place to go. For a fun twist on a Bloody Mary Bar, my favorite brunch idea is to do a Bloody Mary Charcuterie Board. So so so good! I can’t wait for you to try this mix and all of my other Bloody Mary ideas. Enjoy! -Christine xoPrint
The key to making the best bloody mary mix is to use celery salt, prepared horseradish from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, and a tiny bit of the liquid from a can of chipotles in adobo for a little bit of smokiness.
- 1 (46 oz.) bottle tomato juice
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. celery salt
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 and 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
- 1 tsp. liquid from a can of chipotles in adobo
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher. Stir well. Chill before serving.