Bloody Mary Q & A

Q: What’s the best bloody Mary mix?

How to Make Bloody Mary's FAQ
How to Make Bloody Mary’s FAQ

A: I’m not a big fan of pre-made, bottle bloody Mary mixes.  My general advice is to avoid them entirely. If you absolutely must, Zing Zang makes a popular mix that isn’t horrible.  Demitri’s makes a very good mix that is added to tomato juice and vodka when serving. (MUCH better!)

Q: What vodka should I use?

A: This is a great question. The answer depends on a couple factors. 1. Are you rich? 2. Do you mix your drinks strong?  If you answer yes to either question, spring for a better quality vodka like Kettle One, Belvedere, or Skyy.  If you answered no to both, stick with a cheaper brand like Fleishman’s or Gordon’s.  Unless you mix your bloody Mary strong, the flavor of the vodka gets trumped by all of the other ingredients.  I find UV to be a nice middle of the road solution.

Q: Can I make up a large batch in advance?

A: Sometimes it’s nice to make up your bloody’s in advance of an event.  This is fine.  We have a good recipe for a pitcher of bloody Mary mix here. Be careful if you do. from the moment you blend tomato juice with all of those spices, the flavors begin to break down.  If the mix sits in your refrigerator for more than twelve hours, you will notice a diminution in flavor.   You also lose the ability to customize the drink for individual tastes.

Q: What’s a beer chaser?

A: In the midwest, Wisconsin in particular, it is customary to serve a small glass of cold beer along side of a bloody Mary.  Its purpose is to clear the palate between drinks of the cocktail, and cut the bite of a spicy bloody Mary. Some bars and restaurants charge extra for this.  The good ones do not.

Q: What is the best garnish for my bloody Mary?

A: There is no one or two best bloody Mary garnishes. I’ve seen some pretty outrageous creations. (a nod to the infamous Sarah Jayne Pickart)  As long as you’ve crafted a good quality drink, (don’t garnauflage me!), feel free to get creative. My favorite garnishes are, in no particular order; cucumber spear, pickles, olives, mozzarella cheese, and beef jerky.

Q: Should I shake my bloody Mary?

A: I’ve been criticized by some for advising people to shake their bloody Mary in a Youtube video I published a few years back. See it here: How to make a bloody Mary.  “The tomato is a soft fruit. You never shake it,” was one bartenders response.  Well I understand that too much shaking can make the drink look a little white and foamy, and we don’t want that.  Properly chilling the drink and thoroughly mixing it however, is of utmost importance.  I use a cocktail shaker and shake gently. Pouring back and forth between two glasses works too, but be sure to repeat it a few times.

Q: What is xanthan gum?

A: I have no idea.  Why did you buy that bottled bloody Mary mix? More…

Greg Tooke