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Here are all the best Bloody Mary variations to try! These types are the most popular riffs on this classic brunch cocktail.

Bloody Mary variations
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There’s nothing quite like the savory and spicy kick of a good Bloody Mary. This famous classic cocktail was born in the 1920’s, and has been going strong ever since. And because it’s so beloved: there are lots of riffs on the drink that have become famous in their own right. Here are all the top Bloody Mary variations to try: from the tequila-based Bloody Maria to the gin-based Red Snapper. Each one has its own character and charm…in fact, you’ll probably want to try them all.

And now…the top Bloody Mary variations to try!

More Bloody Mary variations

Here are a few other popular types of Bloody Mary variations:

  • Green Mary Uses green tomatoes (tomatillos) instead of red tomatoes
  • Bloodless Mary Made with tomato water.

A little Bloody Mary history…

The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920’s. There are many stories about its origin, but it most likely came to be at the New York Bar in Paris (where other famous cocktails were born, like the French 75 and Between the Sheets). Some people say it’s named after Queen Mary I of England, or Mary Pickford, a movie star back in the day. Others claim one of the first patrons to drink it at the New York Bar said that it looked like his girlfriend Mary he met at a cabaret called “Bucket of Blood”.

Whatever the case, this combination of tomato juice and vodka has become one of the most famous brunch cocktails in the world. It’s spawned all sorts of spins with different liquors.

Best garnishes!

Garnishes are where the Bloody Mary gets even more fun! Here are a few ideas for how to step up your Bloody Mary variations…and even make them into a mini-meal:

  • Celery (required!)
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pimento stuffed olives
  • Cocktail onions
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Pepperoncini
  • Pickled vegetables: jalapeno peppers, okra, cauliflower, or asparagus
  • Cheese cubes
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Bacon
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Bloody Caesar drink

5 Bloody Mary Variations!

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


Here are all the best Bloody Mary variations to try! These types are the most popular riffs on this classic brunch cocktail.


  • 8 ounces (1 cup) liquor: 
    • Vodka for the Classic and Spicy Bloody Mary
    • Tequila for the Bloody Maria
    • Gin for the Red Snapper
    • Omit for the Virgin Mary
  • 2 cups tomato juice, chilled
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan as desired)
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • For the rim: Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade) and kosher salt
  • For the garnish: celery, lemon wedge, olive, cocktail onion (use cocktail picks if desired)


  1. If time allows, chill the tomato juice and alcohol. Shake the tomato juice before pouring.
  2. For spicy only: Slice the jalapeño pepper into thin slices. If you prefer a more subtle heat, remove the seeds. (Wash your hands well afterward.)
  3. In a large cocktail shaker, combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, Tabasco, celery salt and black pepper (and jalapeno slices if making the spicy variation). Shake well to combine (without ice). Strain into a quart mason jar or small pitcher.
  4. 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!
  5. To serve, on a plate place a mixture of roughly half kosher salt and half Old Bay seasoning (or celery salt). Cut a notch in a lemon wedge, then run it around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt.
  6. To each glass, add 2 ounces (¼ cup) of alcohol (or omit for virgin) and ½ cup of Bloody Mary mix and stir gently to combine. Fill the glass with ice and add the garnishes.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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 and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Bill Rabsey says:

    I think it would be appropriate
    for some creative bartender
    to come up with a Bloody Mary
    type drink to recognize the brave
    Ukrainian soldiers and their
    I would call it a Himar, the long range artillery the United States
    has supplied to the Ukraine that has proven to be so effective.