You will be surprised at how mouthwatering a Virgin Bloody Mary is! Even without alcohol, the classic brunch cocktail really shines.
Virgin Bloody Mary recipe
Brunch can be all about the booze, but it doesn’t have to be!
Mocktails of all kinds can be the star of the show, too. Even the Bloody Mary, a popular brunch cocktail, can be made without alcohol!
Known for its vodka component, the classic tomato cocktail is just as good without booze.
There are a few ways to make a Bloody Mary without alcohol, and I’ll show you all of them in this post!
These methods are great to know if you are setting up a Bloody Mary bar at a party with alcohol so you can make a great non-alcoholic drink to serve any guests who’d like one.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Bloody Marys are a great way to start the day. The best part? They can be made so many different ways, even without alcohol!
You’re going to love this recipe, and here’s why:
- A Virgin Bloody Mary tastes just as good as the real deal. You won’t even miss the alcohol.
- There is more than one way to make a Virgin Mary. It’s a very customizable cocktail!
- They are perfect for brunch, game day and New Year’s Day!
In fact, National Bloody Mary Day is January 1, but that’s the day many people start the Dry January challenge, which is a month of no drinking. The Virgin Bloody Mary drink is perfect for kicking off the year on a good foot!
What is a Bloody Mary?
The classic Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail usually served at breakfast or brunch. The regular Bloody Mary is made with vodka and tomato juice, plus a bunch of ingredients that pack it full of flavor. The supporting cast includes Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and lemon juice.
So-called the “hangover cure,” Bloody Marys can be made with vodka, bourbon, gin, rum and tequila.
The non-alcoholic version is called the Virgin Bloody Mary, sometimes the Virgin Mary, and it can be made a few different ways.
Ways to make a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary
There are a few ways to make a Bloody Mary without alcohol:
1. Omit the alcohol.
The first way to make a Virgin Mary drink is to skip the alcohol altogether. Bloody Mary mix is totally drinkable on its own.
In fact, a lot of people order plain Bloody Mary mix on airplanes!
You can make your own Bloody Mary mix or you can buy it at the grocery store.
2. Use zero-proof spirits.
The mocktail movement is booming these days, and there are tons of zero-proof spirits on the market right now. They are essentially water that’s been flavored to taste like alcohol and can be used as a 1:1 alcohol replacement in many cocktails.
Strykk Not V*dka is one that can be used in place of vodka, but you can also use other brands. Ritual, Lyre’s, Spiritless, Monday and Seedlip are some of the top brands.
If you want to venture away from the basics, try using a tequila alternative to make a Virgin Bloody Maria or a gin alternative to make a Virgin Red Snapper. (See the section Substitutions below for more customization ideas.)
3. Add olive brine or pickle juice.
The third way you can add some extra flavor to a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary is to use some of the juice in a jar of pickles of olives.
If I had to choose between the two, it would be olive brine, all the way — it’s salty and perfect. I don’t like dill pickle juice as much, but this is totally up to personal preference. If you don’t love that salty brine flavor of either option, you might be better off with one of the other options.
In addition to replacing or omitting the alcohol, here’s what else you will need to make a Virgin Mary cocktail:
Rimming Bloody Marys with a flavorful Bloody Mary salt is a great way to impart some extra flavor in every sip.
It is so easy to make your own with stuff you already have in your pantry: salt, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. You can buy pre-mixed Bloody Mary salt to keep on hand.
Tomato juice is the star of any Bloody Mary recipe! Stay away from cheap tomato juices and make sure to get one that’s quality.
Use organic tomato juice if you can, but whatever you do, make sure to pick up on one that is 100% pure juice with no added sugar. You don’t want your bloodies to be sweet!
Clamato juice can also be substitute for tomato juice. It’s a mixture of tomato juice, dried clam broth and spices. (Though if you use it, technically you’re making a “Bloody Caesar” cocktail not a Bloody Mary.)
Next up is horseradish, the spicy, pungent condiment often served on prime rib and hot dogs. It is made from a root vegetable of the same name in the mustard family.
It comes grated and bottled, or you can make your own prepared horseradish with vinegar and horseradish root. Be careful not to buy “horseradish sauce.” You are looking for pure, ground, prepared horseradish.
Fresh lemon juice is always best for cocktails. It is less sour and has a slight sweetness.
However, the bottled concentrate has saved me more than once, so I always keep it in the fridge.
Worcestershire sauce is used in tons of dishes like hamburgers, salad dressings and cocktail sauce, so you might have it on hand already.
Worcestershire sauce 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 if you’re vegan you should make sure to use vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Salt & Pepper
For salt, I prefer a finely-ground sea salt so I always have it on hand, but feel free to substitute kosher salt.
Freshly cracked black pepper will always add the most flavor to your Bloodies, but you can use pre-ground pepper too.
Celery salt is salt that’s mixed with ground celery seeds. It’s most-used in soups and meat dishes, but it works well in Bloody Marys too.
Since a celery stalk is a must-have garnish for Bloody Marys, this salt infuses more celery flavor into your homemade bloody mix.
Hot sauce can be spicy, but look at it this way: You’re only using a few dashes per glass. It will dilute when shaken up in the cocktail shaker, so really it’s just for flavor. You can skip it or you can add more to taste. Totally up to you.
Tapatio, Texas Pete and Tabasco sauce are common and well-loved choices, so use your favorite. I used my favorite Cholula Hot Sauce for this recipe.
Bloody Mary Garnishes
Part of the fun of Bloody Marys — okay, all of the fun — is the optional garnishes. They make Sunday brunch so much more exciting (and tasty, too).
Bloody Mary garnishes can get pretty crazy. Think, mini cheeseburgers and tiny hot dogs. I’ve put together a list of around 100 Bloody Mary garnishes for you.
Or you can go classic with one of these ideas for garnishes for the ultimate Bloody Mary:
- celery stalks
- a dill pickle spear, sliced dill pickles or cornichons
- a skewer of pickled vegetables, such as okra, jalapeños, cauliflower, green beans or asparagus
- olives, plain or stuffed like blue cheese-stuffed olives
- cocktail onions
- bacon — I like to bake bacon ahead of time to serve with Bloody Marys
- a lemon wedge or lime wedge
- shrimp — popcorn shrimp would be incredible
- grape or cherry tomatoes
- cheese cubes
My advice is to pick a handful of these options and serve them with bamboo cocktail skewers.
How to make a non-alcoholic Bloody Mary
Get out some tall glasses and a cocktail shaker.
Go ahead and rim your glasses with Bloody Mary salt if you’re doing so. Add ice cubes to the glasses.
Add ice to the shaker, then add your lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, sea salt, black pepper and horseradish.
Give it a shake and pour into the prepared glasses.
Embellish your Bloody Mary mocktail with your favorite garnishes, like a celery stick and a wedge of lemon, and enjoy!
If you are up for some more flavor combinations, you can try some alternatives with non-alcoholic spirits. You might find a new favorite Bloody Mary recipe!
Spicy Virgin Bloody Mary: Follow the instructions for this Spicy Bloody Mary and skip the booze or use a tequila-tasting zero-proof spirit. You could also add some spicy bitters such as Hella Cocktail Co.’s Smoked Chili Bitters.
Virgin Cubanita: For this spin on the Bloody Mary, use a rum-tasting alcohol replacement such as Ritual rum alternative.
Bloody Mary Variations
If you are enjoying a Bloody Mary with people who’d like to add alcohol, you can try one of the many variations made by switching up the alcohol:
- Traditional Bloody Mary — made with vodka.
- Bloody Maria — made with tequila or mezcal.
- Red Snapper — made with gin. Also known as the Bloody Bulldog.
- Bloody Derby — made with whiskey.
- Michelada — made with beer, tomato juice, lime juice and hot sauce.
Or you can switch up the spices and condiments to make fun creations. For example, the New Orleans Bloody Mary is made with cajun hot sauce and creole seasoning.
More Virgin Cocktails
Here are some more mocktail recipes to try:
- Bloody Mary salt, for rim
- 2 ounces zero-proof spirit OR brine from olives or pickles (optional)
- 4 ounces tomato juice
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 to 4 dashes hot sauce, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- garnishes such as a celery stick, olives and bacon
- Place Bloody Mary rim salt on a plate. Rub a lime 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.
- To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add your vodka alternative. You can use a zero-proof spirit, pickle juice, olive brine or skip this step entirely.
- Then add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, sea salt, black pepper and horseradish.
- Shake well and pour into the prepared glass. Embellish with your favorite garnishes.
See article above for garnish ideas and variations on the Bloody Mary.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2693mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g