The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond

The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond

by Brian Bartels


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Finalist for the 2018 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Book Awards 

The definitive guide for those devoted to the brunchtime classic, the Bloody Mary, with 50 recipes for making cocktails at home.

The Bloody Mary is one of the most universally-loved drinks. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and beyond, there simply isn't a wrong time for a Bloody.

In The Bloody Mary, author Brian Bartels--beverage director for the beloved West Village restaurants Jeffrey's Grocery, Joseph Leonard, Fedora, Perla, and Bar Sardine--delves into the fun history of this classic drink.(Did Hemingway create it, as legend suggests? Or was it an ornery Parisian bartender?) 

More than 50 eclectic recipes, culled from top bartenders around the country, will have drinkers thinking outside the vodka box and taking garnishes to a whole new level.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607749981
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 233,721
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

BRIAN BARTELS was raised in Wisconsin, consecrated Bloody Mary territory. He has been a writer and bartender his entire adult life, and first worked the stick during a busy Saturday brunch service, where he learned his first cocktail, the Bloody Mary, the fast and hard way: spilling the pre-made mixture over his hands and wrists instead of inside the pint glass. He now lives in New York City, where he is a managing partner and bar director for the beloved restaurants Joseph Leonard, Jeffrey's Grocery, Bar Sardine, Fedora, and Perla. 

Read an Excerpt

what’s in a bloody mary? 

Cocktail fashions come and go, but the nourishing charm of a Bloody Mary endures. The Bloody Mary pushes boundaries while staying true to its roots. Over the course of its eighty-year history, its garnishes have stretched all across the culinary map. 

A classic Bloody Mary contains the following ingredients: tomato juice, vodka, spices, and seasonings. It often includes Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, celery salt, and a curveball ingredient that is generally left up to the creator. As with any well-made cocktail, a Bloody Mary should be balanced, but that curveball ingredient should also make the drink fun, inspiring good-to-the-last-drop smiles. 

When I first started making Bloody Marys, in my early twenties, I would add lemon and lime juices, olives, pickle brine, Worcestershire, and Tabasco, and then I would pop an ounce of Guinness in at the end, a little luck o’ the Irish for a finale. People commented on how much they enjoyed the recipe, but I didn’t think it was rewriting history or anything like that. My Bloody was great because it was consistent. 

To make a Bloody Mary unforgettable, one doesn’t need the flair of a master mixologist or the prowess of a celebrity chef. A level of consistency is a sound barometer. The true fabric of what goes into a Bloody Mary will vary from recipe to recipe. Think of it this way: there are few cocktails that allow you to sub in every spirit under the sun! Personally, I think a sound Bloody should include tomato juice, vodka, black pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and lemon juice. While some of those ingredients can be altered or substituted, the only variable I feel has no substitute is temperature. I like my Bloody Marys served chilled or with ice. 

old pepper 
DAVID A. EMBURY, The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, 1948 

David Embury wasn’t even a bartender when he published his groundbreaking book in the late 1940s. Drinking was his hobby. When the world of bartending turned a corner in the early 2000s and got very serious about its origins, Mud Puddle Books resurrected Embury’s cherished Fine Art of Mixing Drinks. I often return to its pages because it always reignites my inspiration. 

This recipe is unique in that it swaps rye whiskey for vodka. Rye whiskey and all of its majestic spice brings a whole new perspective to the Bloody Mary. I like to use Ragtime Rye from New York Spirits, which has a 72 percent rye mash bill, for extra spice. Note that this recipe calls for chili sauce or tomato juice. I prefer chili sauce for added heat, but be sure to use a good old-fashioned chili sauce like the classic from Heinz. Avoid the sweeter stuff. 

This recipe recommends using a sour glass, which is a smaller stemmed glass that holds 4 to 6 ounces. A short-stemmed wine glass or an old-fashioned glass works just fine. 


Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Roll the ingredients back and forth with another shaker 3 times and strain into a wine glass filled with ice.

Table of Contents

recipe list 

the “original” bloody mary 44 
smirnoff brunch book bloody 46 
gaz regan’s bloody mary no. 2 47 
old pepper 49 
bullshot 50 
the red snapper 51 
mr. boston’s bloody bloody mary 54 
the stork club bloody mary 55 
classic bloody caesar 57 
prairie oyster cocktail 58 
trader vic’s bloody mary 61 
smoked bloody bull 62 
zuni café bloody 67 
root down bloody mary 68 
sobelman’s bloody mary 69 
commander’s palace bloody 71 
bunny mary 72 
bill mary 75 
when the quinn cries mary 76 
la boȋte bloody mary 77 
la boȋte bloody maria 79 
mary on holiday (virgin mary) 80 
the great dane michelada 82 
cucumber snapper 83 
pb & j & mary 85 
irish goodbye mary 86 
january 1 cocktail 87 
umami mary 88 
parker compound bloody mary 90 
aylesbury bloody mary 91 
bloody ramen 93 
the publican bloody mary 97 
green bay bloody mary 98 
sardine bloody 100 
shannon’s sangrita/michelada 102 
the covina bloody mary 104 
williams & graham bloody 105 
the red wagon 106 
red light 107 
the cornballer 108 
danish mary 111 
wake and bacon bloody mary 114 
denman street mary 116 
the gilda’d mary 118 
mary go round 119 
kimchee and nori bloody mary 120 
beet and sherry bloody mary 123 
michael and vito 124 
normandie bloody mary 127 
east indies bloody mary 128 
underground food collective maria 130 
the shanty’s red snapper 133 
pirate mary 138 
all-day bloody mary 140 
state street bloody mary 143 
morgenthaler mary 144 
bloody mary no. 20 146 
reedsburg pickling solution, aka the universal pickle brine 151

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The Bloody Mary: The Lore and Legend of a Cocktail Classic, with Recipes for Brunch and Beyond 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
Awesome book! If you are a fan of Bloody Marys you need to read this book. Interesting history of the drink & fantastic recipes. Such a fun book. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.