Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

Liven up brunch and tailgates with Homemade Bloody Mary Mix! Mix up a big batch of this flavorful cocktail mix for guests to make their own tomato juice vodka drinks.

a Bloody Mary with a pitcher of Bloody Mary mix and a plate of Bloody Mary rim salt

About this Homemade Bloody Mary Mix recipe

There’s nothing like a good Bloody Mary, is there? I distinctly remember all the good Bloody Mary cocktails that I’ve enjoyed with friends. For me, they simply make the day memorable, from the celery stalk garnishes to the complex savory flavors.

Similarly, it’s easy to remember a bad Bloody Mary too! That’s why the mix you use is important. I prefer making my own mix — the store-bought stuff is always hit-or-miss for me. 

The recipe below is my go-to! In 2023, I was on the Amused Bouche podcast, where hosts Jen and Abby blind taste-tested a bunch of bloody brands. Guess who won out? This fresh Bloody Mary mix recipe — it’s a winner every time! 

My homemade mix calls for all the flavors of a basic Bloody Mary: tomato juice, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, two kinds of salt, black pepper and hot sauce.

Don’t have time to make it? I taste-tested a bunch of Bloody Mary mix brands in search of the best. 

Why you’ll love this recipe 

This Bloody Mary mix is so easy and you are going to love it as much as I do! And don’t just take it from me, it has over 100 five-star reviews. 

  • In about 10 minutes, you can make your own mix! 
  • This recipe is so fresh-tasting and it stands high above store-bought mixes. 
  • It makes enough for about 24 cocktails, so it can easily serve a crowd. 
  • You will be in control of the flavors and tailor your bloodies to your taste, such as scaling back on horseradish, adding pickle flavor or dousing on more hot sauce.
  • Edible garnishes. Need I say more?
a carafe of homemade Bloody Mary mix with a kitchen towel and a plate of Bloody Mary rim salt

What is a Bloody Mary?

A classic cocktail made with vodka and tomato juice, everyone knows the classic Bloody Mary for its top spot on brunch menus everywhere. It has spicy, sour and umami flavors packed into every sip.

Many love this savory vodka cocktail as a newfangled “hangover cure,” but the origins of the Bloody Mary actually date back to the pre-prohibition era. It was invented in Paris at Harry’s New York Bar in the 1920s.

This savory drink is often jazzed up with embellishments like lemon juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce and garnished with as many fresh and pickled veggies, bacon, shrimp and lemon as you desire. (More ideas below!)

Though Bloody Marys can be made by the glass, Bloody Mary mix is a pre-made solution that makes it easier to whip one up. Once made, all you need to do is mix it with vodka (or your spirit of choice), add your garnishes and drink up!

top view of a Bloody Mary with garnishes, a plate of rim salt and a pitcher of

Ingredients

To make homemade Bloody Mary mix, here’s what you will need to stock up on at the grocery store:

1. Tomato juice: This is the key to your Bloody Mary mix, so make it good. I like to use organic tomato juice, but whatever you do: Make sure to pick up one that’s 100% pure juice with no added sugar. You don’t want your bloodies to be sweet! 

2. Horseradish: Horseradish is a spicy, pungent condiment made from a root vegetable of the same name in the mustard family. Be careful not to buy “horseradish sauce” — you are looking for pure, ground, prepared horseradish.

3. Lemon juice: When it comes to any cocktail, fresh lemon juice is always going to yield the best result, though you can use the bottled concentrate if you’re in a pinch. 

4. Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment made with vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic and other seasonings. You probably already have this flavorful, all-purpose sauce on hand, as Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient in dishes like burgers, Caesar salad dressing and shrimp cocktail sauce.

5. Salt & pepper: My go-tos in my kitchen are sea salt or kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. These two are a delicious pair and the pepper adds a lot of texture here. Always salt to taste!

6. Celery salt: Because celery is a must-have garnish, this celery salt infuses more celery flavor into this cocktail. Made with salt and ground celery seed, it’s a great secret ingredient, but if you don’t have it, just substitute a little more sea salt.

7. Hot sauce: I know what you’re thinking: Hot sauce is spicy. Well, yes, but you’re only using three or so teaspoons for about a half-gallon of mix. It will dilute and mainly provide peppery flavor. Tabasco, Tapatio and Texas Pete are common and well-loved choices, so use your favorite. Cholula is mine!

Best vodka for Bloody Marys

Keep your favorite vodka on hand for mixing. I always recommend using the best vodka you can afford. A premium vodka will make a big difference.

My go-tos are Absolut, Deep Eddy and Tito’s, but on occasion, I will splurge on Reyka or something local. Check out my Vodka 101 guide to help you choose a favorite.

When you’re making homemade Bloody Mary mix, it’s wise not to waste your alcohol by pre-mixing it unless you know you’re going to drink it all. I hate wasting booze!

closeup of garnishes on a Bloody Mary

Substitutions & variations

Want to mix things up? Try these ideas:

Spicy Bloody Mary mixYou can start with a spicy alcohol like hatch chile vodka or jalapeño tequila.

Non-alcoholic version: This mix doesn’t contain any alcohol, so you can sip it on its own for a Mocktail Mary! You can also substitute a zero-proof spirit like Ritual gin alternative or Seedlip Garden 108.  

Have fun! The joy of making your own cocktails yourself is the chance to make them your own. My advice is to experiment and find what you like! Try swapping in one or more of these as your own secret ingredients:

  • dill pickle juice
  • lime juice
  • soy sauce
  • olive brine
  • garlic powder
  • liquid smoke
Tomato juice in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon.

Instructions

In a big bowl with a spout or even in a pitcher, combine all the ingredients (except the alcohol), and stir everything together until combined. I use a wooden spoon or spatula — something long to stir it together.

You can pour it back into your tomato juice bottle to store it or keep it in a large pitcher. Store the mix in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

I like to use two of these carafes with lids for parties. Divide the mix in two, and keep the spare in the fridge for when you run out.

How to make a Bloody Mary with mix

When you’re ready to mix up your own Bloody Mary, add vodka to an ice-filled glass. (Be sure to rim it first if you’re adding a rim of Bloody Mary rim salt.)

Then top with Bloody Mary mix. Add any garnishes, such as a celery stick, some pickled veggies, maybe some bacon! You can get really crazy and have so much fun with garnishes.

Store it in a food-safe, airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within one week.

a glass of Bloody Mary with a glass carafe of Bloody Mary mix

How to adjust the recipe

If you make this recipe as I prescribed it, you will have a classic Bloody Mary mix on your hands. But the beauty of making it yourself is having an easy mix that’s a base for making it your own.

Too bland? You can make this a spicy Bloody Mary mix by adding more hot sauce or horseradish. You can also use spicy tequila or flavored vodka.

Needs more flavor? Add dill pickle juice or olive brine. More Worcestershire sauce is also an option.

Too salty? Add 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar to add a touch of sweetness and some balance for the salty and sour flavors. To avoid this, add just a little salt at a time and taste it before adding more.

a closeup of a garnish on a Bloody Mary made with homemade Bloody Mary mix

Uses for Bloody Mary mix

Use this mix to make Bloody Marys, of course, but it’s perfect for a number of similar savory tomato juice cocktails. The traditional recipe is made with vodka, but its sisters are made by substituting the alcohol for something else.

  • Try a Bloody Maria with tequila or mezcal.
  • Next is the Bloody Derby, made with bourbon. It sounds weird, but you’ve got to try it. 
  • Made with gin, the Red Snapper — AKA the Bloody Bulldog — is my favorite version!
  • The Cubanita, made with white rum, has so much flavor. 
  • Make a Virgin Mary a few different ways: With zero-proof alcohol, with a little bit of olive brine or as mix that’s simply sipped plain.

There are also a host of other tomato cocktails that are made with different types of mixers.

  • Make green Bloody Mary with tomatillo juice, yellow tomato and cucumber.
  • Canada’s national cocktail, the Bloody Caesar, is made with clamato juice not Bloody Mary mix. Clamato juice combines tomato juice, dried clam broth and spices.
  • The Bloody Bull is made with Bloody Mary mix, but also has beef stock added in. It’s a great way to add in some extra meaty flavor.
  • Sangrita is a fruity tomato drink from Mexico that’s often enjoyed as a tequila chaser, but it could be a delicious Bloody Mary mix too.
  • Then there’s the Michelada. It uses tomato juice, not Bloody Mary mix, however, plus lime juice, hot sauce and beer.
an infographic of Bloody Mary garnish ideas

Garnish ideas

Bloody Marys aren’t the same without garnishes! Serve up a bunch of options and a handful of bamboo cocktail skewers.

Here are some favorite garnishes for the ultimate Bloody Mary:

  • spicy salt — for the rims of the glass (or salt with Old Bay Seasoning)
  • celery stalks
  • a dill pickle spear, sliced dill pickles or cornichons
  • a skewer of pickled vegetables, such as okra, jalapeños, carrots, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus
  • olives — these blue cheese olives would be great
  • cocktail onions
  • bacon — I like to bake bacon ahead of time to serve with Bloody Marys
  • a lemon wedge or lime wedge
  • shrimp — this Old Bay steamed shrimp would be incredible
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • cheese cubes
  • meatballs

Not enough ideas? Check out my Ultimate List of Bloody Mary Garnishes. There’s more than 100 ideas!

Bloody Mary bar

If you’re having friends over for brunch or watching the big game, why not whip up a pitcher of homemade mix to keep on hand? You can also take it on the go for a tailgate or a picnic. Ask everyone to bring a creative garnish to keep it fun!

There are so many choices when it comes to these savory cocktails. So why choose? Set up your own Bloody Mary bar for a party and let your guests decide! 

All you need is your favorite mix, lots of optional garnishes and a few types of booze for your friends and family to create their favorite bloody!

Another idea is to set up a mimosa bar to complement your savory cocktail bar! Pour a few different types of juices (like apple cidercranberry or guava juice) into pitchers and place them next to a few bottles of champagne, a bottle of triple sec and fruity garnishes for an easy and impressive DIY drink station. (Maybe some beer too, for a beermosa!)

a plate of rim salt with a Bloody Mary

Food and drink pairings

You can enjoy them while watching football, for brunch with friends or any time you are in the mood. I love serving them with Bloody Mary salsa, which has vodka too!

They’re great with savory breakfast foods like simple eggs and bacon or something fancier like shakshuka or eggs benedict. (Personally, I don’t love a bloody with sweet breakfast foods like pancakes — that’s mimosa territory.)

This breakfast martini would also be perfect alongside a Bloody Mary! It’s made with orange marmalade, gin and citrus juices. Or have a little fun with an Irish breakfast shot.

And don’t forget the coffee. Cold brew coffee concentrate and some homemade coffee creamer deserve a spot on the table as well! (Those with hangovers will thank you.)

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

a carafe of homemade Bloody Mary mix with a kitchen towel and a plate of Bloody Mary rim salt

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
The best easy, homemade Bloody Mary mix is made with a few simple ingredients and packs a powerful punch in Bloody Marys and Bloody Marias.
4.90 from 129 votes
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ingredients

  • 46 ounces tomato juice
  • ¼ cup horseradish
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons celery salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons hot sauce to taste

instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Decant into a pitcher or bottle. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Stir or shake well before using.
  • If rimming glasses with salt, rub a lemon wedge around the outer edge of the glass. Place the rim salt on a small plate and roll the glass in the salt.
  • Fill tall glasses with ice.
  • If adding vodka or tequila, add 2 ounces of alcohol to the glass.
  • Top with Bloody Mary mix.
  • Garnish with a leafy celery rib, a wooden skewer of olives, bacon and/or a lemon wedge.

notes

This Bloody Mary mix will keep in the fridge for about 1 week. Makes about 2 quarts. 

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nutrition information

Yield: 16 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 0.5cup Calories: 26kcal Carbohydrates: 7g Protein: 1g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g Sodium: 585mg Potassium: 282mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 4g Vitamin A: 377IU Vitamin C: 22mg Calcium: 22mg Iron: 1mg
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Comments

  1. Kathy Hester says

    5 stars
    This was so good! I used a vegan Worcestershire sauce, your jalapeno vodka, and garnished with hot pickled okra – yum!

  2. Kathy Hester says

    This was so good! I used a vegan Worcestershire sauce, your jalapeno vodka, and garnished with hot pickled okra – yum!

  3. Kim says

    I have been searching for a great bloody mary mix and this is our new favorite! Tastes great and love all the reminders for garnishes to keep it fun!

  4. Donna says

    I love a good bloody mary, but this is the first time I have ever attempted making one at home. I loved this version, it packs some serious punch in terms of flavor! Will be making this one again for sure.

  5. Jennifer says

    I agree, there’s nothing quite like a good bloody mary and I’m so excited to try all your garnish suggestions!

  6. Sandra says

    5 stars
    No comparison to the store purchased mix. This is so fresh and delicious. Perfect for the brunch I hosted!

  7. Kathleen says

    I was asked to bring Bloody Mary’s to our Easter brunch, so so glad I found you! All of the fun variations have my mind really going, thanks for so much great info! And I must find that bourbon barrel aged Worcestershire sauce! Oh my!

    • Susannah says

      I’m so glad you are going to make this recipe for your Easter brunch! It’s such a good one and everyone can find a good fit with the variations.

  8. Julie says

    5 stars
    I got so much information from this post. My family loves bloody mary’s and the ones I put together for Sunday brunch were better than even our favorite restaurant!

  9. Michaela Kenkel says

    We made these last weekend and I have thought about them every day since!! The absolutely perfect mix!! I will never use store-bought again!

    • Susannah says

      That is fabulous news, Michaela! I’m so happy you loved this recipe and it converted you from store-bought.

  10. Brandi says

    Just made my first batch for our girls Bloody Mary extravaganza! Smelled amazing! Can’t wait to try them!

  11. Quelle Heure says

    I have been looking for years, and years for a Bloody Mary (Maria) mix that I could make that I wished I could order at a bar and say…”This is a fantastic Bloody Mary” This is it, and I love it!. I made it down to the letter, and loved the taste, but then I did however add two tablespoons of soy sauce, it deepens the color, and an extra teaspoon of salt. I didn’t want it to fade when the Vodka was added. Making this in bulk now, what a great surprise! My hunt is over. Thanks so much! JMKeller

    • Susannah says

      Oh, thank you so much, JM! I’m so happy to hear you fell in love with this recipe and that it checks all the boxes for you. It’s one of my favorites. Soy sauce is a great addition — thank you for sharing!

    • Susannah says

      Hi Shannon! Tomato juice usually keeps for about a week after opening it. However, this will taste the best if enjoyed within 2-3 days of making it.

    • Susannah says

      Hey Beverly! Glad you loved it! I like mine to be a bit tart, but I totally get wanting to cut it back.

  12. Tim says

    Made my first batch cutting down on horseradish , lemon juice,and Worcestershire. Was ok, but big mistake. Second batch I followed the directions. Better than any premixed bottles from the store

  13. Cocktail Whisperer says

    No Tabasco?! I don’t think Tabasco was mentioned once!
    •A1 sauce
    •Dill
    •Horseradish
    •Worcestershire
    •Celery salt
    •Lemon juice
    •Salt & Pepper
    •Pickle brine
    •V8 (after carefully taste testing both tomato and v8 juices, I conclude that V8 makes a better, well-rounded Bloody Mary.
    Cheers to you!!

    • Susannah says

      Hey Nancy! Good question. It will keep in the fridge for about 1 week. That’s because of the added lemon juice and other fresh ingredients.

  14. Brett in PDX says

    This is quite good! I halved the recipe and juiced one lemon and one lime as I only had one lemon. I also used low sodium V-8 as I prefer to tomato juice. I had to add a little more V-8 at the end as it is still pretty salty even with the low sodium juice. A little dill pickle juice would be a nice touch too!

    • Susannah says

      Hi Marilyn, I have never tried to can this, but I do think it could work if you canned it properly with a hot water bath. Since my recipe is made with bottled tomato juice, though, you might be better off trying a recipe made with real tomatoes. I’ve not made this one, but it looks like a solid recipe. Let me know if you try it!

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