Bloody Mary is a spicy tomato based cocktail many people enjoy for brunch. Make this recipe today for yourself or a group of friends.
Typically, this classic cocktail has a base of tomato juice, but this spicy Bloody Mary recipe calls for V8 juice instead.
Not only does it add bolder flavor from the blend of vegetables, but it also makes the drink a little bit healthier! Plus, V8 is shelf-stable, so it’s easy to always have a bottle ready for mixing up brunch cocktails.
The bolder tomato flavor compliments the rest of the ingredients in the drink, and everything can be adjusted so you get just as much spicy heat as you like.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is only a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
V8 juice – Because the glass is rimmed in salt and there’s sodium from the other ingredients, you may want to use the low sodium variety.
Vodka – Mix up different blends by using gin, tequila, or even light beer instead.
Horseradish – This adds heat to the drink, but can easily be left out if you don’t like it or don’t have any on hand.
Olive juice – Any kind will work, but the juice from green or pimento-stuffed olives will blend best with the other flavors.
Hot sauce – Use your favorite blend of hot sauce, such as Tabasco, Cholula, or Tapatio. Even Sriracha sauce would be a fantastic choice.
Rim salt – Create your own flavored salt using other spices. Good choices would be cumin, onion powder, cayenne pepper, or celery salt.
How To Make A V8 Bloody Mary
Just combine everything using a cocktail shaker, then pour the drink over ice into a salt-rimmed glass. It’s that simple!
Make the rim salt blend: Stir the sea salt, paprika, and chili powder together in a small bowl, then spread into a thin layer on a plate or shallow dish.
Prep the glass: Run a wedge of lime around the edge of the glass to wet it. Next, flip the glass upside down and tap or twist the rim of the glass in the salt blend until coated.
Make the drink: Add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Pour directly into the glass or add fresh ice to the glass and strain the drink over the top.
Garnish and serve: Serve as is or add as many garnishes as you’d like!
Bloody Mary Garnish Ideas
Celery is the classic garnish for this cocktail, but there are plenty of other options to choose from.
As a matter of fact, some bars and restaurants are famous for how many food garnishes they add onto the top of their cocktails!
Hang your garnishes of choice from the side of the glass. Or, add multiple garnishes, using a skewer to hold them over the top of the glass.
Here are some Bloody Mary garnish ideas to spark some inspiration:
- Bacon – Take your garnish to the next level by making bacon wrapped Little Smokies!
- Cheese cubes
- Grilled or steamed shrimp
- Pepperoncinis or jalapenos
- Crunchy vegetables – carrot and celery sticks, and strips of green bell pepper are all fantastic in Bloody Mary cocktails
- Salami or pepperoni
- Hard boiled egg
Best when chilled – The colder the better, so refrigerate the V8 before mixing up this drink and make sure to use plenty of ice when preparing. You can even chill your glass in the freezer first if you’d like.
Combining flavors – While this spicy Bloody Mary recipe is delicious freshly made, some say it’s even better when the flavors have had a chance to blend with each other. To do this, combine everything but the vodka and refrigerate for at least an hour, then shake with the alcohol and serve.
Make ahead – If you’ll be serving this to guests or just want a larger batch ready to go, you can make a pitcher of the drink base and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Just give it a stir and shake individual portions with the vodka, or add the vodka straight to the pitcher and stir well before each pour.
Build a Bloody Mary Bar
Make your next gathering even more fun with a make your own drink bar! Mix up a pitcher or two of V8 Bloody Mary base without the alcohol and chill it until the guests arrive.
Then, set out everything they’ll need to customize their cocktails:
- Cocktail glasses
- Bowl of lime wedges
- Shallow dish with rim salt
- Bucket of ice and shaker
- Hot sauce (to make it spicier)
- Variety of garnishes
OTHER BRUNCH COCKTAIL RECIPES
For another spicy drink option, try my Jalapeno Margatini. Or, here are some more cocktails to serve at brunch for yourself or a group of friends:
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @willcookforsmiles and #willcookforsmiles so I can see all the things you tried!
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V8 Bloody Mary
- 6 oz V8 juice preferably low sodium
- 3 oz vodka
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika*
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive juice from jar of olives
- 2 tsp lime juice about 1 wedge
- 1-2 dashes hot sauce
- 1 tbsp sea salt flaky or fine
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- In a small bowl, combine sea salt, chili powder, and paprika for the salt rim seasoning and mix it well. Spread it in a small shallow plate.
- Use a lime wedge to rub the rim of a tall glass with some lime juice. (This will help seasoned salt stick to it better.
- Tap the rim of a glass into the seasoned salt all around the perimeter. Fill the glass with ice 1/2-3/4 way full. (It's a personal choice.)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, close it tight, and vigorously shake for 20-25 seconds.
- Have fun with the garnishes and make them as elaborate as you want.
- Serve right away and enjoy!