The Classic British Bloody Mary

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The Bloody Mary is a timeless brunch companion, a hair-of-the-dog hangover cure, and a surprisingly versatile cocktail. While its origins are a little murky (as with many great cocktails!), the British version offers a unique twist on the classic. This guide delves into the ingredients, directions, and surprising health benefits (sort of) of the UK’s Bloody Mary.


Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

50ml High-quality Vodka (British brands like Grey Goose or Bombay Sapphire work well)

  • 125ml Tomato Juice (Opt for a rich, flavorful juice like Pomi)
  • 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins is a classic choice)
  • 2-3 Dashes Celery Bitters (Angostura is a popular brand)
  • Pinch of Smoked Paprika
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • To Garnish:
  • Celery Stick
  • Lime Wedge
  • Optional: Cherry Tomato, Olive, or Shrimp

  • Directions:

    1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
    2. Add the vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, celery bitters, smoked paprika, and black pepper to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
    3. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds to chill and combine the flavors.
    4. Strain into the prepared highball glass filled with ice.
    5. Garnish with a celery stick, lime wedge, and your choice of additional accompaniments (cherry tomato, olive, or shrimp).

    Nutrition Facts (per serving):

    While not exactly a health food, the Bloody Mary does offer some surprising benefits. Tomato juice is a good source of vitamins A and C, and lemon juice provides a boost of vitamin C. Here’s a rough estimate of the nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 150-200 (depending on the vodka brand)

  • Carbohydrates: 10-15g (from the tomato juice)
  • Sugar: 5-10g (from the tomato juice)
  • Sodium: 300-400mg (watch out if you’re on a sodium restriction!)

  • Note: These are estimates and can vary depending on the ingredients you use.


    The British Bloody Mary is a flavorful and refreshing take on a classic brunch cocktail. With its focus on high-quality ingredients and a touch of smoky paprika, it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. So next time you’re looking for a satisfying brunch beverage (or a pick-me-up!), whip up a British Bloody Mary and enjoy!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use a different type of alcohol in a Bloody Mary?

    Absolutely! While vodka is the traditional spirit, you can experiment with gin, tequila, or even a smoky mezcal for a unique twist.

    2. What if I don’t have celery bitters?

    Celery bitters add a depth of flavor, but you can still enjoy a delicious Bloody Mary without them. Just adjust the other spices to your liking.

    3. How can I make my Bloody Mary spicier?

    For a kick, add a dash of hot sauce (Tabasco or Sriracha work well) or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

    4. Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Bloody Mary?

    Of course! Simply replace the vodka with tomato juice and adjust the other ingredients to your taste. You can also use a flavored sparkling water for added fizz.

    5. What are some good food pairings for a Bloody Mary?

    The Bloody Mary is a brunch staple, so pair it with classic breakfast fare like eggs, bacon, sausage, or pancakes. It also goes well with lighter options like avocado toast or smoked salmon.