Drinks,  Recipes

Kick-Ass Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
Homemade Bloody Mary Mix
When I was little, I used to spend every holiday with my grandparents. While they always hosted Christmas, on New Years Day we would usually go to a party held at the house of a family friend. I remember this tradition fondly and about 10 years ago, decided to recreate it, inviting friends over for a hangover-busting New Year’s Day brunch. The central theme of this brunch has always been “Bacon.”
As in, “come for the bacon, you know you want it.”
Yes, the uber-trendy ingredient of 2009 has been the most popular part of brunch at my house for the better part of a decade. Every year I cook at least 5 lbs of it and it disappears like sharks into the swirling chum. This is no fancy-schmancy bacon, nor it even my own homemade stuff, just plain old Farmer John, cooked to a crisp. It’s gone within minutes of hitting the chafing dish.
There’s no recipe for me to share here, just my recommendation for a successful brunch; cook bacon and they will come.

So, instead I’m going to share with you the other thing people always comment on; my homemade Bloody Mary mix which I’ve been told “kicks ass.” And that’s not about a generous pour of vodka either, it’s about the spicy/salty/umami taste of the mix itself.
Personally, I like to drink it plain because I don’t like vodka, though this time I’m thinking of sneaking some tequila into mine. It’s been a rough month.


Bloody Mary Ingredients

How to make a kick-ass homemade Bloody Mary mix:

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

A "kick ass" recipe for a spicy homemade Bloody Mary mix.
Prep Time15 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cocktails
Servings: 1 cups


  • 3 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce like Tabasco
  • 2.5 oz lemon juice about 2 lemons
  • 1.5 oz lime juice about 2 limes
  • 2 Tbsp olive brine
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 64 oz tomato vegetable juice


  • Mix all of the ingredients together except the tomato juice. It should yield about 1.25 cups of mix. Add as much or as little to the tomato juice as you prefer. I usually start with about 1/2 cup of mix for every quart of juice. Add your preferred alcohol, or drink it as a Virgin Mary.


Tomato Vegetable Juice; most Bloody Mary mixes use canned tomato juice, and that’s fine, but I prefer a tomato vegetable juice like V-8 or the one from Trader Joe’s which is what I usually use now. It has more flavor. If I had canned some of my fresh tomato juice this summer, I would certainly consider using that instead. But given that fresh tomatoes are not in season right now, I’ll stick with the tomato vegetable juice.
Horseradish; The recipe calls for prepared horseradish (yes, the stuff in the jar), but if you can find fresh horseradish root, you could use that, just make sure it’s grated very fine, and adjust the amount to your personal taste.
Olive brine; this is the stuff out of a jar of good green olives. I have a bottle of “dirty martini” olive brine so I used that rather than leave my olives dry in the jar.
Bloody Mary Mix
Bloody Mary Mix before adding vegetable juice
Bloody Margarita
My “Bloody Margarita” with tequila instead of vodka.


  • Elycooks

    Love a good bloody mary! And love your comment about leaving out the vodka – for those of us who might need a tad of detox after a glorious holiday season. I sometimes add beef broth and heat for a heartening soup on a wintry day

    Love your blog, will connect on Twitter.

    Happy New Year!

  • Vivian

    Perfect timing! I love Bloody Mary’s and well given the time of year they are my favorite hangover cure. Looks delicious. I haven’t used horseradish in mine before, but my mouth is already watering thinking about it. Hopefully I won’t need it, but I definitely will enjoy it 🙂

    Happy New Year!

  • Tiffany

    Hahahahaha! You really are ahead of the curve. My favorite day-after meal is pepperoni pizza where the grease is sliding off the slice and onto my arms. THAT is the ultimate hangover cure. Although the thought makes me sick sober.
    Didn’t need it this year. I had my half glass of wine in the honest-to-god crystal goblet my husband bought me for my birthday and passed out at 9:30. My daughter was up til 11:30. =:D
    I don’t know if I could do a Bloody Mary… seems a bit like sipping on alcoholic pasta sauce.

    • formerchef

      Well, I guess you have to like tomato juice. It’s so spicy and flavorful, you don’t really taste the alcohol much. I did have mine with Tequila and I must say, it was pretty tasty!
      Oh yeah, and my friends have taken to calling the party “baconfest” LOL.

  • Jill

    Ive been experimenting with alot of various recipes the owners call the best, but this is by far my favorite. Im making a big jug of it with the booze in it, and giving it to my brother for his b-day today, along with cocktail onions, huge olives, and my sister is getting him 2 beautiful goblets just perfect for marys!!!! he is on his own with celery!!!! Thanks for sharing this perfect recipe, I can stop my frantic search now…………ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh………..cheers

  • Kim

    Have you ever canned your bloody mary mix? My husband and I have a very large garden with a massive amount of fantastic tomatoes this season. We have already juiced 3 gallons and are ready to make the bloody mary mix, but would like can so we have enough through the winter (and entertaining through football Sundays and the holidays). Thanks!

    • formerchef

      No, I’ve never canned it, but if you have experience doing it, I assume you could try. However, I don’t know if you’d need to cook it first before canning and I can’t say as to how that would change the flavor. I suppose you could just can the juice and make the bloody mary mix with it later, as needed.

  • Kal Albert

    I’d STONGLY suggest freezing not canning it. I make a LOT of tomato juice and freeze it every year and tastes almost as good as fresh…real close. Canning can’t compete. I would heat the juice however until just simmering then freese, juice only, and add everything else fresh later. I think you’ll be surprised at how good it works!

    btw ….testing the bloody mary mix this afternoon…online looking up recipes and this looks great! thanks

  • Darryl T.

    Dude, when I found this recipe while grocery shopping, I got what I needed and made this for the misses. She absolutely loves it. Said it was the best bloody mary she ever had. Good job my friend with your winner.

  • Kevin White

    I live in Gillette, WY and we have a tradition as well called Wyoming Cowboy football. The drive from our house to Laramie takes about 3 1/2 hours. There is a spot in the road that we always make a point of visiting. The Shamrock Bar. The Shamrock is quite a “let’s call it rustic” place with a huge fireplace which has a hole in the wall next to it big enough to throw a cat through, floors of wood rivaling a stack of lumber at a lumber yard, etc. The place serves the best Bloody Mary we have had. they serve theirs with a slice of dill pickle. I am anxious to try your recipe and am hoping it is as good. We like to put pickled asparagus in our Bloody or green olives or more. We also call a Bloody with Tequila a Bloody Maria. Thanks for the recipe I hope to sip one this weekend! Cheers and GO POKES!

  • GG

    whoo hoooo!!! by goerge, i think you might have saved the day. every x-mas i make homemade khalua, takes about 2 weeks in the dark and a shake daily, and collect unigue glass bottles to put it in and give to my closest friends for x-mas. well… this saturday we are getting together and i did not get the khalua done yet. sooo…., the hubs said, “wonder if you can make homemade bloody mary mix” as we were having a late morning bloody mary and all the store bought was gone. thank you so much! after all day at the wineries saturday, waking up sunday at the bed & breakfast, i am sure the girls will start the day out with bloody marys. yeahh!!!! i let ya know the reviews . thanks again, gg

  • Harry

    What a great mix of flavors! Just made up a batch and it’s splendid by itself. I will try it with vodka and/or tequila later. Thanks for sharing!

  • Laurie

    This is a terrific recipe and really easy to make. I used pickle juice ’cause I had no brine and it came out delicious. I made a whole bottle of it by pouring out a glass of juice and then pouring the mix into the bottle. I’ve been living on Virgin Mary’s for the past few days. For those on a diet or trying to quit smoking (which I am), this is a great, low calorie way to keep your mouth happy.

  • Suzyq

    Absolutely divine. I made this for a brunch I was having this weekend. I made the mix the night before and the next morning, I added it to some tomato puree that I had canned this past summer. It was indeed fantastic. I will certainly make this again. Everyone, including myself loved it!

  • ashley rebekah

    this is the best bloody mary mix in the whole f*cking universe. i live in minneapolis, and many a bar claims to have “the best bloodies in town”, and i have tried almost all of them. but none of them even come close to the perfected mix of salty-kick-briny-paradise that is this mix. and the best part about this is, i can stay home in my hungover state and make my own damn bloodies and leave the restauranteurs to their bland bloodies and overcooked eggs.


  • Chris

    This is an Awesome recipe! I googled because I was canning tomatoes and was trying to figure out something to do with all the extra tomato juice. So I made this recipe and canned it to go with my spicy pickles as a hostess gift or thank you gift. Thanks!

  • Micholyn Fajen

    This truly is a killer recipe! I used V8’s spicy hot vegetable juice and went a little heavier on the olive brine and used our homemade horseradish. This is great as a virgin with a beer chaser. What an awesome breakfast…is it wrong to want to make this as my daily morning launch pad??? Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Katie

    OMG! Delicious. I didn’t have olive juice so split it between peppercini and caper brine and siracha as part of the hot sauce. So delicious. Thanks!

  • Pete

    Im a big fan of micheladas (bloody Mary with beer) and have had many made at various bars and restaurants. I made a pitcher of this mix and it is by far the best I have tasted. I drink it with my beer and my wife drinks it without any alcohol and she loves it. Thank you for sharing.

  • Bryan

    I’m a huge fan of the Bloody Mary and this post is truly inspirational! Trust me, I spend a lot of time “studying” (drinking) these things and you’ve got some great ideas. How many different kinds of brines have you experimented with? My go to is usually a pepper or pickle brine.

  • Jenny Willis

    This is the first recipe I pulled up & I’m so into your story that I’m going to try it for a party I’m having Fri. Minus the bacon (but maybe the next day) lol! Thanks for posting!

  • Alison

    I am SO excited that I found your website! You have SO many wonderful recipes…I can’t wait to try them out! I am making the bloody mary recipe tonight…I can’t WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

  • Heather

    Vodka has no carbs so you can TOTALLY do the alcoholic version of this Bloody and still not worry too much about putting on weight! I’m about to go test it out myself!

  • Melissa

    What can i do if I don’t have horseradish right now? I was going to make a virgin just for right now to taste my homemade tomato juice that I made yesterday but notice that I did not have the horseradish nor the lemon juice cause i used the rest for the tomato juice last night. Please let me know.

    Thanks Melissa

    • formerchef

      Melissa- I think you have two options; leave it out (yes, it will taste different, not as spicy) or go to the store. 🙂 In all seriousness, if you’re looking for a substitution, unless you have fresh horseradish, I’m not sure what you’d use, but you certainly don’t have to use it.

  • Andrew

    We are going to prepare this tomorrow. Very excited to give it a try. We are canning our own tomato juice. Can we mix the ingredients right into this process? Thanks for your help.

  • Tanya

    As a Canadian with a deep love for Caesars (Canada does not do bloody marys, it’s caesars all the way!) moving to NYC has been tough without my homeland staple. I made a jug of this mix though and I have to say, I think I’ll live! 😉

    Honestly the best bloody mary I’ve ever had, and I’ve been getting them all over Brooklyn lately trying to find something to compare to my Caesar. This is it!! It’s so different, but so flavorful and satisfying. I add a bit more Worcestershire and horseradish than called for. My husband was overwhelmed at how good it was and swore to always have the ingredients in the fridge to make it!

    Thanks so much!

  • Tanya

    It is very much like a bloody mary only with Clamato (Mott’s is the go-to brand in Canada- I haven’t tried the brand I’ve seen in NY yet). It is a celery salt rim, ice, tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, vodka and clamato. Garnished with a lime wedge and celery stalk typically (though my favourite garnish is a spicy pickled bean). Sometimes people put some horseradish in, but mostly we’re all just purists!


  • John

    This is absolutely amazing. I like how you kept it simple with of the shelf products and the amazing taste! Thank you for sharing this.

  • Richard Vasquez

    Chef, this sounds wonderful!! I will be bartending at a Day of the Dead celebration in a few weeks and need to make 5 gallons of the mix… Do you have a break down of ingredients for a 5 gal. mix? Thanks!!!

    • formerchef

      Wow, 5 gallons?? No, I don’t have anything like that, but you can scale up. That recipe yields a half gallon, plus about 1.25 cups. So, if you multiply it times 9 you should have enough for 5 gallons (not including any added ice or alcohol).

  • Victoria

    Woohoo! You had me at “bacon”. Ever since Our first Burning Man in 2010 Bacon Bloody Marys have been a staple. (Ordering a side of extra crispy bacon and sticking it directly in…heaven!) This recipe sounds great! I’ve been searching for one to use this Christmas Day. My boyfriend and I don’t have family in town, so it’ll be our treat as we open presents.
    I’ve come up with the idea to make a bacon rimmed bloody! Have you done or seen this?? It came to me as I was swirling a piece around one morning. 🙂 Do you think rimming with lime juice with allow the bacon crispy bits to stick well enough? I’ve always wanted to try a Bloody Rita…

  • Ande B.

    Soooo excited to find your recipe! It sounds like exactly what we were looking for in a bloody mary recipe. Thank you and Happy New Year!!

  • Alan

    Found this recipe through a google search, and it is great! The juices mixed with the heat of the mustard and horseradish give it a really nice flavor, and I really like the idea of making the mix separate from the juice–never thought of that before, even though it seems so obvious now!

  • Barb

    Where I come from we always have a beer chaser with a Bloody Mary….. Most don’t know this… But try it sometime and these look delicious … So will try with my beer chaser!!!! Thanks for the recipe

  • Sydney

    Made this last night for Easter today. Awesome!! I am a tequila fan and everyone else vodka. The mix was strong so we added an extra 8-12 oz of V8. So great! Thank you!!


    Well, i mixed this up for a Bridal Brunch i had for a friends daughter, but most of the girls just drank Mimosas of course. But, after mix was already added to V8 and sitting in the fridge for 2 weeks, and we had a group of friends over to visit for the day on the dock, i broke out the Mixture to add to our Beer.. OMG.. Everyone LOVED this mixture.. some said wow too spicy, the rest of them Wanted the recipe. so Thank you for this recipe it is Totally A HIT… Beth in Georgia..

  • Lorena

    I have had some great Bloody Mary’s! But, I was thinking since your party consists of bacon! Have you ever put a nice piece of crispy bacon in your Bloody Mary? It is absolutely amazing!

  • Mark W.

    I love Bloody Marys and, until viewing your website, had never heard of (or CONCIEVED OF) Bloody Margaritas! Hoo-ah! My wife picked up the final ingredients from Wal-Mart and is on her way home, so I plan to mix up a batch of your mix for tomorrow. My biggest quandary will be deciding between a Bloody Mary or Bloody Margarita…. I SHORE DO LOVE tequila! I’ll let you know the outcome.


      The Spicy V-8 will DEFINITELY make this spicier, you will find once you try the recipe, that it is SPICY enough. it is Perfect, and the longer it sits, the more potent it is. Just use her recipe first, then try a SINGLE glass of the spicy before adding the entire mixture to the Spicy V-8, or not. here is her comment on the mixing
      {“Mix all of the ingredients together except the tomato juice. It should yield about 1.25 cups of mix. Add as much or as little to the tomato juice as you prefer. I usually start with about 1/2 cup of mix for every quart of juice. Add your preferred alcohol, or drink it as a Virgin Mary.”} you will LO♥E her mix.. DELISH

  • Angela

    As a loyal beer drinker, I was stumped with what to do with an old, huge bottle of vodka that had been collecting dust on my shelf for the past… I don’t even know how long. Until I accidentally came across this recipe and remembered for a minute how much I used to love a good, spicy Bloody Mary. I now thank my lucky stars you posted this recipe because it is quite simply AMAZING! I went straight to the grocery story to get the ingredients, but somehow forgot to get hot sauce. 1.5(ish) tsp of red pepper flakes made a great substitute, and I also put in 1/2 tsp crushed garlic for good luck. It seems to add another nice dimension to it’s kick.

    Thanks again for putting it up for us, and cheers!

  • Terry D.

    Ok, I just made this but used my juicer and juiced fresh tomatoes from my garden and I used Colman’s mustard from England (very hot like horseradish). WOW, is this good! Could be, may be, no, it is the best Bloody Mary ever! Thanks chef!

  • Pat in Charlotte, NC

    Ok, all I can say is Phenomenal recipe!. I have never, ever been a tomato/tomato vegetable juice drinker. My husband has always been a Vodka drinker and several months ago started trying Bloody Mary’s. Although I had tasted several of his that he has ordered in various restaurants, I just did not like the taste. Too watery, bland and no kick.
    Went to Mexico on a business trip and tried a tomoto juice mixture (without the alcohol) and fell in love. Needed to find a recipe that would suit both my husband and my palate.
    Found this recipe on a Saturday night and based on the reviews, went out that evening and bought all the ingredients, followed the recipe, added a little more horsheradish, a bit less hot pepper and let the mixture chill overnight. Had some friends over the next morning for brunch and got rave reviews. I am hooked. The mixture gets hotter the longer it sits in the fridge.
    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I have found my new Sunday morning brunch beverage.

  • Jody Kuelbs

    I’ve been looking for a good homemade (with fresh tomatoes) from scratch recipe and this one sounds delicious. Are you able to can this one also or just serve fresh. All of the recipes for canning seem to have all of the vegetables in and need to be pureed.

    • formerchef


      Since I don’t can, I’m sorry I can’t answer that question. But there are no chunky vegetables in the recipe. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to juice them, or puree them.

  • ss

    Is the 3 Tbsp worchestershire sauce a important ingredient? Could it be replaced with anything else or omited. Would it effect the taste a lot? I’m allergic to anchovies.

    • formerchef

      Critical? No, but it adds a certain “umami” flavor. Do you have a standard substitution for Worcestershire? If so, use that. You could also try soy sauce, though I might start with half the amount and adjust the taste as preferred. If all else fails, just leave it out!

    • Rachel

      Not that this matters to you this long later but perhaps it will help out someone else. I (and my favorite vegan friendly bar) make bloody’s with vegan (and therefore anchovy-free) worchestershire. Either Annie’s or Wizard’s brand. Available online or at your local natural food store. Tastes the same, at least in a bloody.

  • Mic

    Hey there, I just wanted to say thank you!!! I have been trying to perfect my Bloody Mary for about a year now, and after trying your recipe….I think in did it! My jalapeño/habanero infused vodka and your mix recipe combined have finally ended my quest. Hmmmm….. now I will have to focus on another project!
    Thanks again!

  • Amity

    Thank you So Much for posting this perfect recipe!!
    I have used this as my go-to Bloody mix recipe for 2 years now, and when I lost my written copy of it I was very concerned I wouldn’t be able to find your recipe again! By Far the highest quality recipe around! I tried many many Bloody recipes before finding this one and will Never go back! It’s a wonderful mix as-is and also great to play around with and tweak. I have no tolerance for spicy things but have many friends/family who Love spicy, so I usually make two Bloody concentrates.
    Always a huge hit at parties and Much better than the Bloodies served at bars and restaurants in my (rural) town!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  • steve

    Love this recipe and here are my tweaks.
    I use the low sodium trader joes mix and do not add any extra salt.
    I add a few tbsps lea and perrins (could use anything) of steak sauce.
    Other than that I have stuck to the recipe and love it.

  • Shawna

    This was good but too much Dijon mustard. Tasted like I was drinking a Caesar salad dressing. Next time I cut the amount of Dijon, added a good shot Sirracha sauce and it was perfect!!

  • Matt

    Thank you for the extra tip about the bloody margarita! I never buy prepackaged bloody mary mix anymore. I love playing with the ingredients to modify my mood as well as my guests. The bloody margarita is exceptionally tasty!


  • Rebecca

    I modified the recipe a bit and used chipotle Tabasco sauce and I added 1 tsp of chili powder which added a nice smokey flavor. Being from Texas, we tend to like things a little more spicy so I added a little more Tobasco, horseradish, and worchestershire. My friends and family loved it. What a fabulous recipe, thanks for sharing!

  • Sue

    I’m making this tomorrow. Just paid a fortune for an already made mix, that I know is great. At $10. for a small jar, can’t afford much. We’re going to a camp out party this weekend and want to serve these to all comers. A cook goes into the kitchen to figure this out, thanks for doing that. Looks great! I’ll get back to you on the results, but I’m sure no one will refuse a bloody mary on Sunday. It’s our Labor Day Weekend in the States, the end of summer.

  • Sue

    Truly Kick Ass Bloody Mary!

    Oh man, I served up a crowd with this kick ass recipe! It was sooo good, we had folks coming from all around hearing about “drunch” you know, a little drunk, a little brunch. Put celery, pickle, olive, whatever, in it, you’re good to go. The flavor is unmatched. Great umami. Thanks, Chef.

  • Catharine

    I’m excited to try this for a brunch party this weekend- sounds so delicious and all the comments are raving! Just wanted to ask: how many people would this serve? Wondering if I should make 2 batches.

    • formerchef

      It depends on how much of the mix you want to add to to the juice, but the mix itself comes out to about 1.25 cups and then you add that to the 64 oz of vegetable tomato juice, so you’d get at minimum a little more than 2 quarts.

  • Mr. Tommy

    I make it in double recipes. I use less salt. I put it in squeeze ketchup type bottles and keep it in the bar. 4 squirts in a tall glass with 2 oz vodka. Shelf life is not an issue due to total salt content. This is the kickass sauce to Demetries. Much more cost effective. Thanks f0r sharing.

    • formerchef

      Glad to hear you like it. However, I do hope you are refrigerating this, regardless of the amount of salt. I do not recommend keeping this on the shelf unrefrigerated.

  • Eddie

    Great killer recipe and thanks for sharing. I’m going to have to try it next weekend. Usually I’ll get lazy and go with a ready-to-mix non-gmo gluten free option like Lava bloody mary mix to get that homemade taste and texture but your recipe just looks too good to pass up on!

  • sherry

    I am so glad i came across this i’m going to make this and run it buy our cook off team that does 1 Bloody Mary a year for cook off . last year our team got 1st this year we didn’t place in top 10 so im on the look our for a great recipe just may be the one i will let you know next year
    it sounds just awesome

  • Mark

    I think it tastes great even if you just mix everything together. I blended in slightly to make sure it was combined, and then I let it chill in the fridge for a while. I used original V8, which I actually like better than the Trader Joe’s version for this. Instead of olive brine, I used pickle juice, which also works well. Instead of the 3 TBSP of Worcestershire sauce, I used to 2 TBSP of A1 sauce, and I liked the results. I used a little less salt than called for in the recipe, but V8 is very salty already, so it’s still very salty (in a good way.)

  • Becca

    I’ve come back to this blog time and time again for this recipe over the last ten years. It will always be my go-to bloody mary recipe because it simply is THE BEST.

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