No weekend brunch is complete without a Bloody Mary (or four). The combination of tomato juice, various spices, hot sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and a few healthy glugs of vodka almost seems like a healthy way to wash down your sausage and biscuits. The thing we enjoy most about the cocktail isn’t just the fact that many brunch restaurants have bottomless Bloody Marys, but how very adaptable the drink is.
Depending on where you purchase a Bloody Mary, the recipe will undoubtedly be different. Creativity is the keyword when it comes to the cocktail — as ingredients are swapped in an out and slices of thick cut bacon, slices of pizza, and even whole burgers are added to some mutant versions as “garnish.”
Even when it borders on the absurd, we love the Bloody Mary and so do bartenders. That’s why we asked a few of our favorites to tell us their go-to vodkas (the most important ingredient) when mixing up their own house recipes.
Greenbar TRU Garden Organic Vodka
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In 2008, you guys asked us what it truly meant to make organic spirits. Other than great flavor, we knew it meant cleaner soil, water, air. Then we started planting trees. We’re celebrating Earth Month — and 11 years going organic — with the vodka that started our sustainability — Greenbar TRU. Some of your favorite restaurants in Calif. are now serving Greenbar TRU cocktails, where 1 cocktail = 1 tree. That's an equation we can all get behind.
Nikki McCutcheon, beverage director at Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge in New York City
Greenbar TRU Garden Organic Vodka! It’s a quality product for a great price. The vodka is herb-infused with nine botanicals that compliment all the garden vegetable flavors in a Bloody Mary.
CH Peppercorn Vodka
Jack Galobich, bartender at The Gage in Chicago
CH Distillery in Chicago’s south side makes a stellar Peppercorn Vodka using tellicherry peppercorns from western India. Any other vodka is just going to get lost, this one has some personality and genuinely adds something to round out the cocktail.
Ketel One Vodka
Joshua MacGregor, mixologist at db bistro modern in New York City
My favorite vodka for a Bloody Mary is Ketel One. With its bright clean profile, it highlights ingredients in the glass without clashing or trying to steal the show.
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Some @chopinvodka and a friends homemade mix. Can’t ask for a better Saturday 🥔 • • • • • #bloodymary #bloodymarys #bloodymaryking #bloodymarytime #bloodymaryaddict #bloodymarygram #bloodys #bloodymaryplease #bloodymaryobsessed #bloodymarycocktail #bloodymarysofinstagram #bloodymarylife #potato #potatovodka #chopinvodka #lime #homemade #homemademix #homebartender #saturday
Gabrielle Ricord, lead bartender at Outpost in Goleta, California
My favorite vodka to use in a Bloody Mary would have to be Chopin. Bloody Mary’s are a day drink, and the smoothness of Chopin makes for an easy drink (especially when trying to recover from the previous night). The nice thing about Chopin is it doesn’t disappear in the cocktail, but it’s not too sharp or overbearing.