A good Bloody Mary can make or break your brunch. And while you might be convinced that they can only be enjoyed in a trendy brewpub or upscale breakfast spot, I'm here to change your mind. As a former bartender and current home bar enthusiast, I know a thing or two about how to make this essential morning cocktail. I'll walk you through the easy step-by-step instructions for how to create the ultimate Bloody Mary without the $14 price tag. And no, you don't have to tip me.
From a zesty mix to the right garnishes to how much horseradish to add, this article will teach you how to concoct the ultimate Bloody Mary. You'll be hosting brunch parties in no time!
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Because brunch without a Bloody is just, well...breakfast.
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The first step is to grab the right glass for the job.
via: ShutterstockWhile some folks serve their Bloodies in a short tumbler, I always like to go big and serve mine in a highball glass. You get more drink that way and I just think it looks prettier. Luckily, these glasses are typically inexpensive and can be used for all types of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
via: AmazonThese Classic Premium Highball Cocktail Mixing Glasses can hold up to 16 ounces of liquid and are a great combination of simple, classic, and durable. The sturdy base prevents breakage and the dishwasher-safe design makes them easy to clean. You get a set of six for under $20 bucks.
Next comes a very important step that you mustn't skip: the salt rim.
via: ShutterstockPlay up the savory nature of your Bloody by dipping the rim in a mix of salt and spices. And while you could go the extra mile by whipping up your own, it's easier to just buy a tin of rim salt to keep on hand. To apply, wet the rim of your glass slightly before dipping it in your salt mixture.
via: AmazonRokz, the brand that makes this Rokz Bloody Mary Salt Rimmerz, also makes a ton of other rim salts and sugars for various cocktails. I love their Bloody Mary flavor because it incorporates rock salt, celery seed, cayenne pepper, dried orange peel, and a variety of other spices for a truly unbeatable flavor profile.
Now that your rim is salted, fill your glass up with ice and grab some vodka.
via: ShutterstockAdd 1.5 fluid ounces of vodka to your glass and fill it up the rest of the way with a high-quality Bloody Mary mix. What's that? You're surprised that I use a mix instead of making it myself? That's because I recently found the best mix I've ever tasted, and it made my homemade stuff taste downright amateur.
via: AmazonI've tried a lot of different Bloody Marys in my life, and this Top Hat Bloody Mary Mix & Michelada Mix makes the best of the best. It has just the right amount of horseradish to keep things zesty without being unbearably spicy. If you want a bit more kick, feel free to add a spoonful or two of horseradish to your drink.
Now it's time for everyone's favorite part of a Bloody Mary.
via: ShutterstockConstructing the garnish is a great way for you to show off your personality. Love spicy stuff? Load up your toothpick with jalapeno olives and habanero-infused cheese curds. Want something a bit more classic? Stick to cocktail olives, mini pickles, and a stalk of celery. You can go as extra as you want with your garnish and no one will think less of you.
via: AmazonThese Royal Bamboo Knot Cocktail and Hors' D'oeuvre Picks are the same ones the professionals use and offer the perfect starting point for your garnish. I once had a Bloody that had an entire fried chicken on top of it, so the possibilities are endless. If all else fails, just add bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.
Still feeling uninspired? I've got you covered.
via: ShutterstockYou can buy garnish sets on Amazon that come with everything you'll need to top off your favorite brunch drink. I love ordering a set when my fridge is looking bare and I know I'm going to have people over for drinks in the next few days.
via: AmazonThis Tillen Farms Our Bloody Mary Condiment Collection includes pickled dilly beans, pickled carrots, pickled baby cucumbers, and pickled asparagus. Think of this as a great starting point and add whatever else you're in the mood for. Hard-boiled egg? Chicken nuggets? Mini doughnuts? There are no wrong answers when it comes to Bloodies.