Spicy Bloody Mary

Spice lovers will love learning the ways to make a Spicy Bloody Mary even spicier! This classic brunch cocktail can handle the heat.

peppers and cheese next to a glass with a Spicy Bloody Mary

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, Feast + West receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are our own. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Spicy Bloody Mary recipe

A classic Bloody Mary is just about perfect on its own, but there are so many ways to make these tomato cocktails your own.

The Bloody Mary is an incredibly versatile drink, whether you change up the spirit (such as using tequila to make Bloody Marias) or top it with fun garnishes (from the classic ones, like cheese cubes, to the creative, like cheeseburgers).

And then there’s the flavors within the drink itself. More garlic? Okay. Less horseradish? Sure. Not enough spice? You got it.

One Spicy Bloody Mary coming right up, you spice lover, you!

Why you’ll love this recipe

If you’re a lover of spicy salsa and hot sauce, this one is for you. There’s a lot to love about a spicy Bloody Mary cocktail:

  • You can customize it to your liking, making it as mild or spicy as you like.
  • Top it with fun garnishes that up the spice level a little more.
  • Make just one or make a pitcher — this recipe is easily multipliable.
garnishes on a spicy Bloody Mary

What is a Bloody Mary?

A Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail most often served at brunch or sporting events. It’s a tomato-based cocktail that’s flavored with horseradish, garlic and hot sauce.

Because they are savory cocktails, these classic drinks pair well with savory breakfast foods like bacon, eggs and shakshuka but also works with sweet dishes like French toast, waffles and pancakes.

These cocktails are often nicknamed a “hangover cure,” but more than likely the name just comes from their role on weekend brunch menus everywhere.

cheese cubes, peppers, asparagus and other Bloody Mary garnishes

Ingredients

Vodka

Vodka is the spirit of choice for a traditional Bloody Mary cocktail. If you like, you can use savory, infused vodka like this hatch chile vodka for some extra flavor.

Another favorite of mine for spicy bloodies is homemade jalapeño infused tequila. You can follow the same method with vodka.

If you plan to make Bloody Marys regularly, I suggest that you keep your favorite vodka on hand for mixing.

I always recommend using the best vodka you can afford. My go-to brands are Absolut, Deep Eddy and Tito’s, but on occasion I will splurge on Reyka or a local bottle. Check out my Vodka 101 guide to help you choose a favorite.

Tomato juice

Along with vodka, tomato juice has a starring role in the Bloody Mary recipe! It is a tomato cocktail, after all, so don’t skimp here.

Organic tomato juice is my preference, but whatever kind you get, make sure to pick up plain tomato juice that is 100% pure juice with no added sugar. You don’t want your bloodies to be sweet!

Clamato juice can be substituted for tomato juice. It’s a mixture of tomato juice, dried clam broth and spices.

If you plan to make Bloody Marys often, it is better to buy cans of tomato juice (rather than a big bottle) to keep on hand in your pantry.

Lemon juice

Fresh lemon juice is always going to yield the best results for cocktails. It is going to provide a more natural flavor than bottled concentrate, which tends to be more sour and artificial-tasting.

However, the bottled stuff has saved me on more than one occasion, so I always keep it in the fridge. No worries if you need to use it here!

Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is used in tons of dishes like hamburgers, salad dressings, cocktail sauce and, you guessed it, Bloody Marys.

This condiment is a fermented, all-purpose sauce made from vinegar and flavored with anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic and other seasonings.

Find it at any grocery store, though I have my eye on this bourbon-barrel aged Worcestershire sauce — it would be incredible in a Bloody Mary!

hot sauce with a Spicy Bloody Mary

Spicy hot sauce

Hot sauce can range from mild to hot Hot HOT, and what you use is going to depend on your preferred spice level.

You only need a few dashes of hot sauce, so keep in mind it will dilute and mainly provide peppery flavor. You can skip it or you can add more to taste. Totally up to you.

I prefer a medium spice level. I used my favorite Cholula Hot Sauce for this recipe. I also love this Garlic Habanero hot sauce, which is fairly spicy. I usually do just a few dashes. Start with a few, and you can always add more until you find the right amount of heat for your tastebuds.

There are a number of hot sauce brands on the market, including Tabasco, Cholula, Tapatio, Frank’s Red Hot and Texas Pete.

If you want to go even spicier, the folks at Pepper Geek put together this list of hot sauces ranked by the Scoville Scale.

Horseradish

Horseradish is the spicy, pungent condiment often served on prime rib and hot dogs, but it has a role in the Bloody Mary too. The addition of horseradish gives a Bloody Mary a spicy kick.

It is made from a root vegetable of the same name in the mustard family.

This condiment comes grated and bottled but you can also make your own prepared horseradish with vinegar and fresh horseradish root.

Be careful not to buy “horseradish sauce.” You are looking for pure, ground, prepared horseradish.

Celery salt

Celery salt is salt that’s mixed with ground celery seeds. This flavorful salt is often used in soups and meat dishes, but it works well in Bloody Marys too.

Since celery is a must-have garnish for Bloody Marys, this salt infuses more celery flavor into your homemade Bloody Marys.

Sea salt

Finely-ground sea salt is my choice for everyday cooking in my kitchen, but feel free to substitute kosher salt instead.

Black pepper

Freshly-cracked black pepper will always add the most flavor, but you can use pre-ground pepper too.

Cayenne pepper

Ground cayenne pepper is a spice made from the long, skinny, cherry-red pepper of the same name. It is moderately spicy and adds a punch of heat to the Bloody Mary.

You can also substitute chipotle chili powder or any spicy ground pepper.

Bloody Mary rim salt on a black plate, ready to rim cocktails

Bloody Mary salt

While totally optional, adding a rim of flavorful salt to your Bloody Mary is a great way to impart some extra flavor in every sip.

You can make your own Bloody Mary Rim Salt with fine salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and a little cayenne pepper, if you like it spicy.

You can also buy pre-mixed Bloody Mary salt to keep on hand if you prefer!

Garnishes

A Bloody Mary is only as good as its garnishes, right?

For a spicy Bloody Mary, use a mixture of hot- and cool-tasting garnishes. A stalk of celery is classic and will provide balance for spicier garnishes like jalapeños, pepper jack cheese and peppered bacon.

Other classics include a lemon wedge, a green olive, a pickle spear, fresh cilantro and/or a cherry tomato.

See below for the section called “Spicy Bloody Mary garnishes” for more ideas.

a shrimp hanging on a spicy Bloody Mary

How to make a Spicy Bloody Mary

You can make a spicy Bloody Mary with just a few steps. Here’s what to do:

  1. Place Bloody Mary rim salt on a plate. Rub a lime wedge around the edge of a Collins or Highball glass (affiliate link). Roll the rim of the glasses in the salt to coat the rim. Add ice cubes to the glass.
  2. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, celery salt, sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  3. Shake well and pour into the prepared glass. Embellish with your favorite garnishes.

If you want to make a ton of bloodies, try my own Bloody Mary mix recipe. To make a spicy Bloody Mary mix, use the spicier hot sauce and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

If you are making your own Bloody Mary Bar for a party, set out several of these options as well as classics for people to choose their own adventure. (Some people don’t like things as spicy!)

How to make a Bloody Mary spicier

There are a few things you can do to customize the spice level of your ideal Bloody Mary.

  • Use spicy tequila or spicy vodka.
  • Add more horseradish.
  • Sprinkle in more black pepper.
  • Add a pinch more cayenne.
  • Use a spicy rim salt.
  • Add more dashes of hot sauce or sriracha. (Or use a spicier hot sauce.)
  • Top it with spicy garnishes like fresh or pickled jalapeños, cubes of Pepper Jack cheese or spicy jalapeño stuffed olives.
an infographic of Bloody Mary garnish ideas

Spicy Bloody Mary garnishes

Bloody Mary lovers know the best part of a bloody is what goes on top!

You may wish for a few non-spicy garnishes to give your mouth a break, such as celery sticks and olives.

Remember that dairy can help quell a surge of spiciness on your tongue, so be sure to add a few pieces of cheese to help bring balance to your drink.

Here are a few suggestions for the ultimate Bloody Mary with lots of heat:

  • spicy pickles
  • fresh peppers, such as jalapeños, habaneros or poblanos
  • jalapeño poppers
  • pickled jalapeños
  • shishito peppers
  • spicy rim salt on the edge of the glass
  • crushed spicy potato chips on the rim
  • spicy bacon
  • pepper Jack cheese cubes
  • pickled garlic
  • spicy shrimp
  • cocktail onions

Don’t miss my ultimate list of Bloody Mary garnishes for more ideas.

peppers garnishing a Spicy Bloody Mary

Substitutions

Make it non-alcoholic. Use Ritual tequila alternative (affiliate link) which has a lightly spicy and smoky flavor. Or skip the alcohol altogether.

Make it spicier. See the sections above about spicy garnishes and how to make a Bloody Mary spicier.

Make it milder. Skip some of the spicy additions, or make a classic Bloody Mary.

Use Clamato juice. If you like, you can use Clamato instead of tomato juice.

Make a Spicy Bloody Maria. Use tequila instead of vodka in this spicy cocktail.

Bloody Mary Variations

The classic Bloody Mary is made with vodka. However, it is incredibly versatile and you can substitute the vodka for something else.

  • For a Bloody Maria, you have a choice of tequila or mezcal. This one is often made into a spicy, too.
  • To make a Virgin Mary, you can use zero-proof alcohol or a little bit of olive juice. It can also just be a glass of Bloody Mary mix.
  • Bourbon is the star of the Bloody Derby, which has a sweet-and-salty spin
  • To make the Red Snapper, also known as the Bloody Bulldog, you’ll use gin in lieu of vodka.
  • Then there’s the Cubanita, a rum Bloody Mary. This one would be great spicy, too!
  • Finally, there’s the Michelada, which is essentially a Bloody Mary with beer. However, it doesn’t usually contain Bloody Mary mix. Instead it uses a simple combo of tomato juice, lime juice, hot sauce and beer.
Bloody Mary salt on the rim of a garnished Spicy Bloody Mary

Spicy Bloody Mary

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Make a Spicy Bloody Mary and customize it to your preferred spice level.

Ingredients

  • Bloody Mary salt, for rim
  • 2 ounces regular or spicy vodka (or tequila)
  • 4 ounces tomato juice
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 to 8 dashes spicy hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • garnishes such as a celery stick, jalapeños, spicy cheese and bacon

Instructions

  1. Place Bloody Mary rim salt on a plate. Rub a lime or lemon wedge around the edge of a Collins or Highball glass. Roll the rim of the glasses in the salt to coat the rim. Add ice cubes to the glass.
  2. To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, celery salt, sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper.
  3. Shake well and pour into the prepared glass. Embellish with your favorite garnishes.

Notes

Want a spicier Bloody Mary? Here are a few ideas:

  • Use spicy tequila or spicy vodka.
  • Add more horseradish.
  • Sprinkle in more black pepper.
  • Add a pinch more cayenne or an extra pinch of chipotle chili powder.
  • Use a spicy rim salt.
  • Add more dashes of hot sauce or sriracha. (Or use a spicier hot sauce.)
  • Top it with spicy garnishes like fresh or pickled jalapeños, cubes of Pepper Jack cheese or spicy jalapeño stuffed olives. For more ideas, see the section above called "Spicy Bloody Mary Garnishes."

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 6 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2022mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!

The Golden Ratio Guide:

Mix the perfect cocktail, every time

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!