Abel’s Famous Bloody Mary

I try to keep the long-winded origin stories on these recipes to a minimum, but sorry folks, this one is worth it.

It all started on Thanksgiving day, four years ago. It was Abel’s and my first Thanksgiving together, and we were hosting a friends-giving at my house. I had told him that I love having a bloody mary on Thanksgiving morning, while everything is still on schedule and the utter chaos that is cooking a full Thanksgiving meal hasn’t made you question all that is rational (WHY did anyone ever think it was a festive idea to cook so many things that require an oven on the same day?????).

I asked Abel if he would be responsible for bloody marys, and man did he step up to the challenge. While I was expecting some v8, vodka, and maybe if I was lucky an olive or pickle on a toothpick…..Abel spent a whole evening researching bloody mary recipes and showed up on Thanksgiving morning with a bag full of ingredients. He proceeded to get out all the ingredients and spread them all over multiple counters. The painstaking garnish composition began, and the individually made-to-order bloody marys slowly came together, one dash of this and one squirt of that at a time.

It wasn’t my finest moment. I got frustrated. The bloody marys weren’t the focus of the day! I needed counter space! I had shit to do! THERE IS A SCHEDULE ON THANKSGIVING. My fascist kitchen tyrant self came out, and I snapped at him to just “make a damn bloody mary” so we could move on with the day.

Well, he handed me my bloody mary and you already know the punch line – it was the best bloody mary I had ever had. By miles and miles and miles.

Since that day, I only like Abel’s bloody marys. He’s much faster at making them now, but they are still individually made and they still require a lot of space. It’s worth it though, and you’ll never go back.

One last note: these ingredients make for a killer bloody mary…but like all good things, you should adjust to your liking because everyone has their own bloody mary spirit. Some like really spicy, really lemony, really horseradishy, or none of the above. The below is how we enjoy them, and will continue to enjoy them. PS: they’re even wonderful without the vodka.


  • V8 vegetable juice (regular or low sodium)
  • Vodka
  • Fresh lemon
  • Fresh lime
  • Worcestershire
  • Tapatio (or insert your fave hot sauce here)
  • Cayenne
  • Celery salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt (only if using low sodium V8)
  • Dill pickle juice
  • Horseradish (prepared, not creamy)
  • Garnish: celery, green olives, pickled veg, jalapenos, whatever your heart desires
  • Ice


Prep your garnishes first! If you put it off till last all your ice will melt and water down your beverages. We have bloody mary garnish specific skewers (highly recommend if this beverage is regularly part of your life), but toothpicks or wood skewers will work as well.


Put 4-5 ice cubes in a pint glass. Add a dash of black pepper, dash of celery salt, and pinch cayenne.

Next add 3-4 dashes of worcestershire sauce (don’t skimp, this is what gives the bloody its really full, rich taste), and another 3-4 dashes of Tapatio.

Add 1.5 oz (1 shot) of vodka, and now add the v8 to fill the glass, leaving about 3 inches at the top for some last additions and to allow for your celery and garnish as well.

Add 1/2 tablespoon of pickle juice, one healthy spoonful of horseradish. You want to add this toward the end so it doesn’t all settle at the bottom of the glass. Squeeze a lemon slice and a lime slice into the glass, and put the rinds in the glass as well. Add another lemon and lime slice to the rim of the glass, both for aesthetics and so people can increase the citrus if they want.

Stir the whole beverage with a celery stick, add the garnish, and serve to your happy guests.

PS: A nice addition is a rim of Tajin (chili lime salt)…..


One Comment Add yours

  1. Mary Markov says:

    I’m playing catch-up with emails, so — I apologize—just really reading this post rather than a cursory scan.I just have to say, you crack me up! Bloody marys aren’t part of my routine—I usually order a mimosa—but since you hit a MOST familiar note describing your Thanksgiving counter tyranny, it made me think th


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