Bloody Mary: Recipe And Legend

Despite what people may think, this famous cocktail is not named after the scary mirror ghost legend nor queen Bloody Mary.

This famous cocktail is not suitable for all palates, although it  is one of the most original and characteristic alcoholic beverages that exist. Its history is far from the Bloody Mary queen legend, but it is still very interesting.

In this article, we will see what this cocktail is and how to make it at home in 4 easy steps.

What is Bloody Mary? 

Bloody Mary is an alcoholic beverage made with vodka and tomato juice, which provides its characteristic red color. In general, it is typical to also add Tabasco or some spicy sauce, for it gives the cocktail a strong touch.

It is important to bear in mind when preparing it that it is not the most likable cocktail in the world. There are other types of drinks such as mojitos, San Francisco or daiquiris that are sweeter and suitable for more palates.

There are plenty of ingredients that can be used for its elaboration. The spicy sauce does not necessarily have to be Tabasco. We can also use Worcestershire sauce or Sriracha sauce. Tomatoes, vodka, celery salt, and radish are indispensable ingredients.

Combining the ingredients is a good way to discover new recipes and ways of preparing Bloody Mary, as long as we respect the original ingredients.


Although it is believed that this cocktail's name comes from the popular legend of Bloody Mary or Mary Tudor, that is not true at all, and the fact that the cocktail is named the same is a mere coincidence.

This is the real story: Bloody Mary was created in Paris by Fernand Petiot. It is said that this waiter served the drink to two American clients.

After drinking it, they said that the beverage reminded them of a waitress who worked at a bar called Bucket of Blood, and who, therefore, was nicknamed Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary recipe

As we said before, there are very basic and essential ingredients to prepare this cocktail. However, there are also others that can be modified. Corn, spring onions, capers, bacon, boiled eggs and even cheese can also be added. Nonetheless, in this article we will explain the traditional recipe.

1. Ingredients

Below are the original recipe ingredients. When seasoning our Bloody Mary, you can also try adding paprika, pickles, olives or chili peppers for spicy lovers.

  • 1.3 litres of tomato juice
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish
  • 2¼ teaspoons celery salt
  • 3 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Tabasco
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt (to garnish)
  • Vodka
  • Olives (to garnish)
  • Lime (to garnish)
El ingrediente principal del Bloody Mary es el zumo de tomate.
The indispensable ingredient in the Bloody Mary recipe is tomato juice

2. Prepare homemade tomato juice

Tomato juice can be homemade or you can just buy it. To prepare it, we will need celery, 4 fresh tomatoes, 2 sprigs of parsley, basil, pepper, salt, and olive oil. Put water and salt in a saucepan and add the tomatoes as soon as it boils. After a while, put them in a bowl with cold water. Clean and remove the skin. Finally, add them in a vessel with the other ingredients and blend them.

3. Mix with the other ingredients

When we have our homemade tomato juice ready, mix it with horseradish, celery salt and black pepper in a large pitcher. If you want it smoothier, you can previously strain it. Then add about 15 drops to the mixture —or more, depending on the person's taste— of Tabasco sauce.

4. Prepare and serve the cocktail

To serve it properly, put the celery salt on a small plate. Next, dip the edge of the glass where we will serve the drink in a little water and spread it on the salt until the edge is impregnated. To finish our cocktail, add ice and about 60 ml of vodka to the same glass. The last step is to add the tomato mixture and garnish the glass with ingredients such as celery, olives, bacon, prawns, hot sauce, lime or lemon, etc.


MacElhone, A. & MacElhone, D. (1996) [1986]. Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails. Souvenir Press. p. 35.