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Swap out the vodka in a Bloody Mary for tequila, and you’ve got the Bloody Maria! This simple change makes for a Mexican style spin on the drink.

Bloody Maria
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Swap out the vodka in a Bloody Mary for tequila, and you’ve got a whole new drink: the Bloody Maria! That simple switch-up gives big flavor returns. Vodka can often get lost in a cocktail, but tequila comes out with a strong finish. The Maria is Mary’s better half, much like how the tequila-based Mexican Mule is our preferred version of the Moscow Mule. Plus, you can load it up with Mexican-style flavors and a squeeze of lime. Here’s how to make a Bloody Maria!

Ingredients in a Bloody Maria

The Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail that was invented back in the 1920’s. It went on to world-wide popularity as a brunch drink and hangover cure. It even makes the list of International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, which means it has an “official” definition. The Bloody Maria simply swaps out the vodka for tequila, making a Mexican-style drink. Here are the ingredients in a Bloody Maria:

  • Tequila
  • Tomato juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Horseradish
  • Mexican hot sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper
Bloody Maria

How to make a Bloody Maria (basic method)

This recipe for a Bloody Maria is a mix, meaning it makes enough for 4 drinks. Use it for entertaining, or if you want a single serving, make the mix and refrigerate the rest for later. The flavor improves over time! Here are the keys to making the best Bloody Maria:

  • If you can, chill the tomato juice and tequila first. This lets the drink get cold without having to use too much ice to dilute it.
  • Shake the mix in a cocktail shaker without ice. The best way to make a Bloody Maria is not shaking or stirring it with ice, like you would with a normal drink. Why? It dilutes the mix too much and makes for a watery consistency. Simply mix the mixture without ice, then serve it over ice. This results in the perfect, thick consistency and flavor.
  • Strain and if time, chill. Straining removes the chunks of horseradish from the drink: a cocktail strainer is best (though you can use whatever strainer you have). If you have time, chilling the mixture for about 1 hour or overnight lets the flavors meld.
  • Rim the glass and garnish! Serve over ice with the garnishes of your choice.

Chilling allows the flavors to meld (optional)

This Bloody Maria tastes great right away. But it tastes even better after chilling for 1 hour, or overnight. Why? Chilling helps to meld all the ingredients together into a cohesive flavor. Since usually this drink is made for entertaining, it shouldn’t be too hard to whip up in advance and chill until serving. But you can also drink it right away: it still tastes fantastic!

How to make a bloody maria

Finish with a squeeze of lime!

To amp those Mexican flavors even more, we like to squeeze a wedge of lime onto the top of our Bloody Maria. This adds just the right brightness, without it getting lost in the drink. It’s optional, but adds a nice nuance.

Best Bloody Maria garnishes

Now for the garnishes! The Bloody Mary is a drink with one of the most interesting and unique collections of garnishes. For the Bloody Maria garnishes, you can use similar but lean towards more Mexican flavors:

  • Celery stalks (required!)
  • Lime wedges
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers or jarred peppers of any kind
  • Pepperoncini
  • Pimento stuffed olives
  • Cocktail onions
  • Dill pickle spears

The easiest way to serve the garnishes is on cocktail picks or skewers. (Of course if you’re solo, you can just throw them all in!) Thread all your garnishes onto the picks or skewers, which looks stunning and helps keep the cocktail easy to drink. Here are the bamboo cocktail picks we use.

Bloody Maria cocktail

What to use to rim a Bloody Maria

What’s best to use for a Bloody Maria glass rim? Just like with garnishes, there are infinite possibilities for what to add to the glass rim. Here’s what we used, and then a few other variations:

  • Old Bay & salt: Use a 50/50 mixture of Old Bay seasoning and kosher salt.
  • Chili powder & salt: For a more Mexican spin, use chili powder and kosher salt.
  • Celery salt & kosher salt: Mix celery salt with kosher salt for a classic spin.

Bloody Mary variations

Love the Bloody Maria? Great, we’ve got lots of variations to choose from! Here are some favorites:

  • Classic Bloody Mary Here’s the traditional classic.
  • Red Snapper The version with gin!
  • Spicy Mary Love the heat? Make this version with jalapeno peppers. This would also be great as a Bloody Maria!
  • Virgin Mary Who needs alcohol? This zero-proof version is just as good.
  • Bloody Caesar The delicious Canadian variation starring Clamato juice.
  • Michelada While not a direct descendant, it’s a Mexican style beer-based variation.

This Bloody Maria recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan (with vegan Worcestershire sauce), plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Bloody Maria

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 drinks 1x


Swap out the vodka in a Bloody Mary for tequila, and you’ve got the Bloody Maria! This simple change makes for a Mexican style spin on the drink.


  • 2 cups tomato juice, chilled
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan as desired)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican hot sauce (like Cholula)
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) tequila, chilled
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • For the rim: Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade) or chili powder, kosher salt
  • For the garnish: celery stalk, lime wedge, pickled pepper or jalapeno, cocktail onion (use cocktail picks if desired)


  1. If time allows, chill the tomato juice and tequila. Shake the tomato juice before pouring.
  2. In a large cocktail shaker, combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, celery salt and black pepper. Shake well to combine (without ice). Strain into a quart mason jar or small pitcher.
  3. Optional: If time, chill at least 1 hour or overnight for the best flavor. (Or, make ahead and store up to 1 week.) But you also can serve right away!
  4. To serve, on a plate place a mixture of roughly half kosher salt and half Old Bay seasoning (or chili powder). Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run it around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt.
  5. To each glass, add 2 ounces (¼ cup) of tequila and ½ cup of Bloody Maria mix and stir gently to combine. Fill the glass with ice and add the garnishes. Squeeze in the lime wedge before serving.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More tequila drinks

Got a bottle of tequila to use up? Here are a few more tequila cocktails to peruse:

  • Best Margarita Recipes There are so many variations on this classic tequila drink: try ClassicMezcalJalapeño, Skinny, and more.
  • Paloma Tequila and grapefruit make up this classic Mexican cocktail.
  • Tequila Sunrise This vibrant cocktail layers the colors of a summer sunrise using tequila, orange and grenadine.
  • Ranch Water A Texas-style tequila highball cocktail made with lime juice and mineral water! Like a bubbly, lighter version of the margarita.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Ron Hemphill says:

    Need drink recipe for Mango flavored tequila. Can you suggest something?