Field Notes

Master Class: Bloody Mary

Whether you love it or hate it, the Bloody Mary is a fixture of brunch menus everywhere. And it relies on--what else?--the flavor of chilies to give it that trademark bite. Credit for the Bloody Mary goes to Ferdinand Petiot, a bartender who came up with the drink while working at Harry’s Bar in Paris. He later brought the cocktail to America after the end of Prohibition, changing the name to the Red Snapper at the request of his bosses at the St. Regis hotel in New York.

Whatever you call it, the key components of the Bloody Mary are few: tomato juice, vodka, hot sauce, lemon, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. And booze-lovers everywhere have taken this canvas and added to it their own personal inspirations: Sriracha spiked versions, “bloodless” takes without tomato juice, and garnishes that look like salad bars are all fair game.

Here’s our perfect “classic” take; later this week we’ll be sharing some variations.

Bloody Mary

Makes 4 drinks

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Tabasco
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated horseradish
  • Celery sticks, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

In a large container, mix all of the ingredients together and stir well. Pour into glasses filled with ice, garnish with a celery stick and lemon wedge, and serve.