The Bloody Mary is renowned as a hangover cure in a hair of the dog, let’s keep on the sauce kind of a way!

This isn’t a method of curing a pounding head and queasy tummy that I have tried before but many stand by it. A Bloody Mary is the perfect accompaniment to a social brunch and if you take out the vodka element, turning it into a Virgin Mary, then you have quite a healthy concoction of tomato and spice, but that’s not the idea here really is it!?

The variation in spiciness of a Bloody Mary can range from the sublime to the ridiculous. A dash or two of a hot sauce such as Tabasco to tickle the taste buds versus a full head implosion in the form of the mind blowing Blair’s 16 Million Reserve. The latter perhaps taking things a little too far though. The one tip to head when making this cocktail is to start out with just a little of your chosen hot sauce and build up the intensity to suit your palate as once you’ve added even a drop too much there’s no going back.

Yield: 1 cocktail

Prep time: 5 minutes


  • 30 ml or 1 oz vodka
  • 90 ml or 3 oz tomato juice
  • 15 ml or 0.5 oz lemon juice
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of celery salt
  • Ground pepper
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Pickle spear (optional)
  • Lemon or lime garnish


  1. Add the vodka, tomato juice and lemon juice and stir well.
  2. Add the seasoning, a little at a time until the spiciness works for you.
  3. Garnish. The optional pickle spear brings in a completely different flavour to the mix and is worth at least trying out.

Variations: Horseradish can also be added to the seasoning for an extra kick if you think it needs it. Other seasoning options include: beef bouillon, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika. The list goes on. It’s one way to use up those festering spices in the back of the food cupboard anyway. 

“The World’s Most Complex Cocktail” 
If you have the time and the patience to make a Bloody Mary using fresh tomato or tinned tomatoes then simply add about a dozen tomatoes or a tin of tomatoes to a blender along with a stick of celery and a handful of flat-leafed parsley sprigs and puree until smooth. Chill the mixture for about an hour and strain through a sieve. Then put the drink together as detailed above. It’s a labour of love but perhaps if you plan on making up a batch of tomato based pasta sauce you can keep some on the side for a Bloody Mary or two.

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