A Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail that is perfect for any occasion. Made with vodka, tomato juice, and a variety of spices, a Bloody Mary is both refreshing and flavorful.


Head bartender holding a Bloody Mary cocktail with celery stalk

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In my opinion, a Bloody Mary is a perfect drink for any time of day. Fun fact: This savory cocktail is also a popular choice for a hangover cure (I’m not testifying as to whether or not it actually works)– making it a favorite brunch cocktail.

We’ve done a couple other delicious recipes on the blog with a black pepper infusion and using mezcal instead of vodka, but today, we’re making our traditional cocktail recipe from scratch and not using a Bloody Mary mix. Not saying that’s wrong exactly, but… We at A Bar Above tend to believe that fresh is always better. 


Spicy Bloody Mary drink

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The origin of the Bloody Mary is a little unclear, but it is thought to have originated in the 1920s at Harry’s Bar in Paris. The story goes that it was invented by bartender bartender Fernand Petiot in 1921 (meaning that the Bloody Mary just celebrated its 100th birthday). 

And despite what you may think about the drink being named after Mary Tudor’s bloody reign as Queen of England, this cocktail is supposedly named after a dancer that Petiot knew. Or perhaps it was named after a girlfriend of Ernest Hemingway’s… See, I told you the origin was unclear.




Here are some of the most popular garnishes, although we’ve seen some really creative (and crazy) options, so sky’s the limit:

  • Celery stalks
  • Crisp bacon strip (Vegetarians, look away!)
  • Cocktail shrimp skewers
  • Cocktail onion
  • Green olives
  • Cheese cubes (blue cheese being popular)
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Lemon and lime wedges


Seasoned pepper and bloody Mary ingredients

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This is a pretty easy drink recipe to make because you build it right in the glass instead of using a cocktail shaker and strainer. You’ll want a bar spoon for mixing and a jigger for measuring, but you’ll need little other equipment.

So, do you have a special recipe for this classic drink? What are your favorite garnishes for a little extra flavor? Leave us a comment below and let us know! 

Bloody Mary cocktail with garnishes and a salt rim by Toni Osmundson via unsplash.com

Classic Bloody Mary Without Mix

A traditional take on the Bloody Mary cocktail-- without any Bloody Mary mix! Slightly spicy and a lot refreshing.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Drinks
Author: Chris Tunstall


  • 1 oz Vodka
  • 3 oz Tomato Juice
  • 1/2 Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Celery Salt
  • 1 Pinch Black Pepper


  • Fill a pint glass or Collins glass with ice cubes.
  • Add the vodka and tomato juice.
  • Squeeze the lime into the glass.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, and black pepper.
  • Stir well with a bar spoon.
  • Use a cocktail pick to garnish with your choice of ingredients. Enjoy!




About Melanie Tornroth

A former English teacher, Melanie optimistically embraces the struggle that is work-from-home parenthood as the in-house writer for A Bar Above. When not responding to “Mom” and writing articles for ABA, she also runs Goodnickels Photography, loves to cuddle her cats, and is perfecting the art of keeping her pandemic “fermentation babies” alive.