Shhh! It’s The Cocktail With The Secret Spicy Ingredient

This week: the Bloody Mary Photograph by Roxana Azar


by Jess Commons |
Published on

While we're used to drinking Bloody Mary's the morning after the night before, we're also more than happy to drink them the evening before the night before the morning after. We spoke to Joe McCanta - Grey Goose's brand ambassador to find out what the cocktail's all about and what his secret ingredient to make the perfect one is.** **

What is a Bloody Mary?

It's a savoury cocktail which blends vodka with tomato juice, citrus, seasonings and spices.

Where did it come from?

There’s quite a bit of controversy as to who created the drink and where/when. I however, tend to agree with one of the most in-depth researched articles on the Bloody Mary which was written in Class Magazine by NYC bartender Jack McGarry who tracks all the blurry stories and tries to codify the actual history. The Bloody Mary began life as a drink called the Oyster Cocktail which moved over for a drink called the Tomato Juice Cocktail (with no alcohol) which was essentially tomato juice but flavoured with spices and Worcestershire sauce. This bartender then started infusing this drink with vodka (and a bit of an aniseed liqueur) around 1934.

What's the secret to making the perfect one?

Every bartender has their own recipe just like every Italian grandmother has her own sauce recipe. However I think there are a couple of key points to make a really great one. First, make sure all of the ingredients are of the best quality - most importantly the vodka and the tomato juice. Secondly, I think the addition of freshly grated horseradish and a spoonful of french mustard makes an absolutely beautiful drink. But shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone!

Can it really a help a sore head?

I couldn't possibly comment.

What's the point of the celery?

Apparently in the 60's at a swanky bar in Chicago, one of the celebrity guests asked for celery to be used when the bartender had ran out of swizzle sticks to stir the drink. From a taste point of view the celery compliments the spicy drink perfectly as celery is the single best source of vegetative sodium (salt) in any food- so it adds a salty hit of texture (crunch) to the quite- rich drink. Think of it as a wonderful accoutrement rather than a garnish.

Can you give us the definitive recipe?

Sure! Here you go...


2 parts Grey Goose Vodka

4 parts premium organic tomato juice

1/4 part fresh lemon juice

1/4 part of Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 part dashes of hot sauce (preferably Tabasco)

Pinch of fleur de sel

Pinch of black pepper

Celery, ground black bepper and fresh aromatic herbs to garnish


  1. Add plenty of ice and all of your ingredients to a shaker or stirring glass

  2. If you're using a shaker, tilt is backwards and forwards a few times to mix the ingredients without making the drink frothy. If you're stirring, you can do so vigorously

  3. Pour the mix into a glass. Top up with fresh ice if it's not quite full

  4. Add your garnishes. Any fresh herbs and a celery stick work well

Follow Jess on Twitter @jess_commons

For more great cocktail recipes you can make at home download the Mixed Cocktail app.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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