The Perfect Bloody Mary

The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe

Good ‘ole Jeeves always gave Bertie Wooster Prairie Oyster in the morning for a hangover cure, but me? I prefer a good old fashioned Bloody Mary. A little bit of spice, some calming tomato juice, and just enough hair of the dog to smooth out the crinkles of a long night out. I have had all sorts of Bloody Marys in all sorts of places: plastic cup bloodys after a 5k, canned bloodys on airplanes, beef bouillon bloodys at upscale brunch joints, and solid down and dirty sports bar bloodys on a Sunday morning. Each has it’s own charm, but when I want to make a Bloody Mary at home, here is the recipe that I prefer, adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe:

The Perfect Bloody Mary

Photograph by St. Louis Beverage Photographer Jonathan Gayman

The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe


3 large stalks celery including leaves, plus extra for serving
36 oz tomato juice
2 tbs prepared horseradish (usually found in the dairy section)
1/4 yellow onion
1 lemon, juiced
1 lemon quartered (for garnish)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp kosher salt
12 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
1 1/2 cups vodka (optional)
2 oz Bloody Mary Bitters (optional)*


Chop the celery into chunks and add to a food processor with the onion. Pulse until finely minced. Add 1/4 cup of tomato juice while the food processor is running. Combine the celery mixture, remaining tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, kosher salt, hot sauce, and vodka** in a large pitcher. Stir to combine.

To serve, fill tall glasses with ice, and pour over Bloody Mary Mix. Top each glass with about a 1/2 oz of Bloody Mary Bitters, and garnish with celery and lemon wedge.

*Note: Don’t have Bloody Mary Bitters on hand? No problem, most people don’t. But you can make your own! Check out Making Cocktail Bitters Part One and Part Two

**Note: Want to control your vodka intake or if you have non-drinkers or kids in your group? Portion out the vodka in individual glasses instead of mixing it directly into the mix.

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