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Most things that we eat or drink today have an origin, a history and an evolution. Just as with fashion, things come into and go out of style without so much as a warning. Then there are those things that enter quietly, take up residence and settle in. We might try to dress them up or make them fussy but inevitably, we go back to the original because it was already perfected the first time. A Bloody Mary is just such one of those things. Even though it was the second try that really cemented it into history, many bartenders would agree that this recipe is on par with what they would consider to be the “classic” style.


I make each glass to order so the ingredients are per drink. You can garnish this several ways and most people might favor pickled vegetables, but I find the crisp, pure quality of the raw vegetable to wonderfully balance the salty. I often use low sodium Knudsen vegetable juice in order to cut the sodium from 600-900 grams per serving down to 50 grams. Some would argue that this takes us away from the “classic” realm, but I say “live long and prosper” (thanks Spock), and the taste honestly doesn’t suffer.


1 drink glass (approximately 8 oz.)
Ice to fill the glass
3 oz good-quality vodka (it really does make a difference; I typically use Kettle One)
1 long-pour Worcestershire sauce (approximately 1 TB)
1 tsp prepared horseradish sauce (I swear by Bubbies)
2 dashes celery salt
3-6 dashes Tobasco (depending on your preference of spice)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Tomato (or veggie) juice, enough to fill the glass
1 lemon wedge

Garnish: 1 celery stalk, sliced carrot stick (or both), kosher salt


Fill each glass with ice.

Pour in the vodka. Rather than measure, I usually pour to a count of 1, 2, 3… (sometimes 4).

Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnish, ending with the tomato juice and then lemon (which should be squeezed and dropped into the glass).

Pour the contents of the glass (1 glass at a time) into a martini shaker, shake well; Ka thunk, ka thunk, ka thunk, thunk, ka thunk (hold it high, hold it proud).

Wipe the rim of each glass with a lemon wedge and press it into a small plate of kosher salt.

Pour the Bloody Mary into the glass, repeat with all the other servings.

Garnish as you desire. I desire my garnish to be crisp, fresh and shaped like a carrot (as do Buddy and Ginger; celery is not to their liking).

Now it must be said, that while this Bloody Mary is a classic, it has had many variations and additions that also work well but make it another drink altogether, kind of like a grilled cheese sandwich. I love grilled cheese sandwiches dressed with a little mustard and truffle but a purist would require only regular bread, spread with a soft butter and layered with good quality cheese (as Tom insists on informing me, now that I have mentioned the truffle, yet again).

I think a Bloody Mary would partner well with a classic (or even not-so classic) grilled cheese. I recommend checking out Indira’s wealth of advice and ways for deviations from the classic grilled cheese sandwich, here. Or, if you are up for a twisted take, check out what Prudy has to say about the grilled cheese here.

In fact, this combination (classic, modified or twisted), would serve the partygoers well after a few hours of carrying on over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, so I am taking this along. In fact, lucky us, Indira and Prudy wil be co/hosting along with our ever-present hostess, Angie. Indira brought her grilled cheese last week, but there will be plenty of wonderful food that you will want to add to your repertoire. When you wake up in the morning, you can pull out my ramblings about this classic Bloody Mary and whip yourself up a little “hair of the dog(s)”.