This virgin Bloody Mary tastes just as good as the real deal! This drink is so full of flavor: spicy, savory, and salty: you won’t miss the alcohol.
Craving a Bloody Mary but can’t do alcohol? Make this virgin Bloody Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary, and you’ll hardly know the difference! It’s so full of flavor: savory, tangy, spicy, and salty all at once! You’ll hardly believe it’s a mocktail. In fact, we almost like this one even better than our classic Bloody Mary: especially because you can drink as many as you want! Here are all the keys to making the very best Virgin Mary drink you’ll have.
Ingredients in a virgin Bloody Mary
The Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail born in the 1920’s. Somehow the combination of tomato juice and vodka became a smash hit and it’s the most popular brunch cocktail to this day. The great thing about this drink is that it’s so full of flavor, it’s easy to cover up that there’s no alcohol! The zing of the horseradish and Worcestershire sauce easily help to distract the palate. The ingredients in a virgin Bloody Mary are:
- Tomato juice
- Lemon juice
- Worcestershire sauce
- Olive juice
- Tabasco sauce
- Celery salt
- Black pepper
A secret ingredient: olive juice (optional)
Here’s the secret to giving a little complexity to the flavor: olive juice! Olive juice or the brine from a jar of olives can help to stand in for a little of the “funky” flavor you’ll get from alcohol. We used the same technique in our virgin margarita by adding pickle juice!
However, if you you’re not planning to use olives as a garnish and don’t have them on hand: you can omit it! The flavor is just as good without. It’s just a touch more fun with it!
How to make a virgin Bloody Mary (basic method)
This virgin Bloody Mary is made with the same method as our classic Bloody Mary: you just don’t add alcohol! Most of our cocktail recipes are for 1 drink, but this recipe is essentially a virgin Bloody Mary mix that makes 4 drinks. If you want one serving, simply refrigerate the remainder: the flavor improves over time! Here’s how to make a virgin Bloody Mary:
- Chill the tomato juice first. This lets the drink get cold without having to use too much ice to dilute it. Make sure to chill the tomato juice after you buy it.
- Shake the mix in a cocktail shaker without ice. Without ice? Yes! Ice dilutes the mix too much and makes for a watery consistency. Simply mix the mixture without ice, then serve it over ice.
- 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. But if you want it on demand, serve immediately.
- Rim the glass and garnish! Serve over ice with the garnishes of your choice.
Chill to let flavors meld…or drink right away!
This virgin Bloody Mary tastes great right away. But it tastes even better after at least 1 hour of chill time, or even better, overnight! You can actually make it in advance up to 1 week. Chilling helps to meld the flavors together into a cohesive whole, instead of tasting each ingredient separately. But if you’ve gotta drink it right away: go for it! (We get it.)
Virgin Bloody Mary garnishes
Here’s another great thing about a virgin Bloody Mary: garnish it up, and it looks and feels just like the real thing! There are so many great ways to garnish this cocktail, from celery to pickled vegetables. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Celery (required!)
- Pimento stuffed olives
- Lemon wedges
- Cocktail onions
- Dill pickle spears
- Pickled vegetables: jalapeno peppers, pickled okra, pickled cauliflower, pickled asparagus
The best way to serve the garnishes is using cocktail picks or skewers. Thread all the garnishes onto them: they look stunning and it makes the cocktail easy to drink. Here are the bamboo cocktail picks we use.
More mocktail recipes
Looking for more zero proof cocktails to enjoy? Each of these mocktails are as tasty as the original drinks themselves. Make sure to try:
- Virgin Margarita Tastes just as good as the real thing! This mocktail is tangy and lightly sweet, with a secret ingredient that takes it over the top.
- Virgin Piña Colada Icy and perfectly flavored with pineapple and coconut: great for parties!
- Shirley Temple The original mocktail! The classic way to make it skips soda: it’s just ginger ale, grenadine, and lime.
Bloody Mary variations
Lastly, got some alcohol drinkers to mix drinks for too? Here are all the best Bloody Mary variations to try:
- Classic Bloody Mary Here’s the traditional classic cocktail.
- Bloody Maria A Mexican style spin on this drink: using tequila!
- Spicy Mary Love the heat? Make this version with jalapeno peppers.
- Michelada Not a direct descendant, but it’s a Mexican style beer-based variation.
This virgin Bloody Mary recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan (with vegan Worcestershire sauce), plant-based, and dairy-free.Print
This virgin Bloody Mary tastes just as good as the real deal! This mocktail is so full of flavor: spicy, savory, and salty: you won’t miss the alcohol.
- 2 cups tomato juice, chilled
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan as desired)
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons olive juice / brine (optional)*
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/8 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)
- If time allows, chill the tomato juice. Shake the tomato juice before pouring.
- In a large cocktail shaker, combine the tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, olive juice, Tabasco, celery salt and black pepper. Shake well to combine (without ice). Strain into a quart mason jar or small pitcher.
- 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!
- 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.
- To each glass, add 1/2 cup of virgin Bloody Mary mix and stir gently to combine. Fill the glass with ice and add the garnishes.
*Use the brine inside the jar of olives you’re planning to use for a garnish.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Virgin Bloody Mary, Virgin Mary cocktail
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.