The key to an outstanding Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktail is the perfect blend of hot sauce, celery salt, and pepper.
You might think a Bloody Mary is all about the tomato juice, and while using a quality tomato juice is very important, it’s not the star of the show. In fact, even if you’re not a fan of drinking tomato juice, you’ll probably still love a good bloody mary, with the right spices.
You can mix up your own spices for this cocktail, but if you want to get creative, we recommend giving these Bloody Mary spices from Food52 a try. They contain the perfect blend of spices for a Bloody Mary, so all you have to do is add it to your drink and stir.
They have four different spice varieties, which gives plenty of options for your next brunch.
- Mary: This blend combines pimenton, celery seeds, pepper, salt, and spices. Best mixed with vodka.
- Maria: This blend combines green chilies, cilantro, chipotle, salt, and spices. Best mixed with grapefruit juice and tequila.
- Marion: A gin-based Bloody Mary is called a Red Snapper; but this seasoning blend takes it up a notch with gin botanicals like juniper, and horseradish instead of wasabi, so a new name for the drink was created – the Bloody Marion. The blend includes juniper berries, cardamom, coriander, salt, and spices.
- Marlene: Many of the flavors of traditional aquavit, gin’s Scandinavian sister, find their way into this blend. The blend includes caraway seeds, anise, orange, salt, and spices.
Salt Rim for a Bloody Mary
After the spices, the second most important part of a good spicy Bloody Mary is the salt rim. You don’t want to use just any old salt for the rim, because it’ll be too overpowering.
You can purchase a rim salt, like this Bloody Mary Salt from Food52. It’s made with sea salt, celery seed, black pepper, garlic, chile, and other spices. Or you can mix up your own.
This Bloody Mary Salt can also be used to make a batch of roasted nuts or vegetables, or rub it onto a chicken before you slide it into the oven, or toss it with popcorn. It’s savory and a little spicy (and we think it’s pretty good on everything).
Bloody Mary Garnishes
If you’re serving these for brunch, you absolutely must have garnishes. I’m sure you’ve seen those outrageous Bloody Mary bars at restaurants. They even include things like mini-burgers to top their Bloody Marys.
We never get that crazy, but really you can top your drink with whatever you want. A must-have is celery stalks. It serves as a stirrer, but it also imparts celery flavor into the drink, which is oh so good.
Other garnishes we love are:
- Pickle spears
- Bacon (especially black-pepper coated)
- Green olives
- Lemon slices
You’ll need skewers for some of the garnishes. I think it’s easiest to use a 10” or 12” wooden skewer and thread the garnishes onto the skewers to put into the drink.
There are so many cute reusable cocktail picks though. These are a great way to add garnish to your Bloody Mary, and other cocktails too.
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Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktails
- Savory salt for the rim of the glass
- 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp dill pickle juice
- 1/2 tbsp horseradish
- 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp celery salt
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup vodka
- Garnishes: celery lemon, bacon, pickle,
- Ice to serve
- To prepare the highball glass, rub a lemon wedge around the rim. Pour some rim salt onto a flat plate or dish. Roll the rim of the glass in the rim salt to coat. Put ice cubes in the glass (if desired).
- Mix together the remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until cold. Strain into the highball glass.
- Garnish as desired.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.