What Does a Bloody Maria Taste Like?
People’s opinion of a Bloody Maria is typically binary, just like the Bloody Mary. The two are very similar, and people either love them or hate them. It’s not your typical cocktail because, unlike other sweet, sour, refreshing, earthy, or herbal cocktails, the Bloody Mary is creamy and savory. The Bloody Mary has a creamy full body mouthfeel; it’s salty and sweet with bright red tomato and umami flavors. Understandably, some people find this an off-putting taste for a cocktail since it’s so different. Personally, I am put off when the tomato flavor is too strong, but I love this cocktail when there is much more Worcestershire and horseradish in the drink. Like buying a jar of spaghetti sauce, just because you don’t like one brand does not mean you dislike spaghetti entirely. Maybe the issue isn’t the flavors of the drink but the proportions and balance of those flavors. If made right, this can be a delicious drink. Unless you find a Bloody Mary mixer you like, it’s best to make it from scratch exactly the way you want.
The History Of The Bloody Mary.
The Bloody Mary originated in 1920s Paris, France, by Fernand Petiot while working at The New York Bar. This bar would later become the famous Harry’s New York Bar after Harry MacElhone bought it. Fernand came up with the Bloody Mary as a kind of a hair of the dog drink to cure hangovers, and the popular myth states it was none other than the famous drunk Ernest Hemingway who Fernand first made the cocktail for. While that is likely not true, it’s still fun to imagine.
After prohibition ended, Fernand Petiot immigrated to New York and served his signature cocktail at The King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel. The Bloody Mary was still just tomato juice and vodka in France, but New Yorkers were not impressed. They found the drink flat, two-dimensional, and too tomato-y. They suggested he somehow spice it up a bit. English being his second language, he took the suggestion literally. He added hot sauce, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. The spiced-up remake was a hit. More and more people began ordering Fernand’s Bloody Mary but the St. Regis Hotel found the name too vulgar for its high-class clientele. They tried to change the name to The Red Snapper, but it was too late. The cocktail had expanded beyond the hotel’s walls, and the public knew it as the Bloody Mary.
Using Bloody Mary Mix Vs Making It From Scratch.
If you are wondering whether to buy a mix or make it from scratch, it tastes best and is almost the same amount of work. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Also, if you can drive to the store to buy a mixer, you can buy tomato juice and spices. Some mixers taste good, but they cost 2 to 3 times as much as just getting the ingredients and a cheap mixer tastes cheap. In addition, making it yourself provides you with much more control over the taste and final product.
Now, if you’re wondering whether to use V8 or Tomato juice, then that is up to you and a matter of preference. V8 is fine and gives the drink a more herbal tomato soup-like taste, while using regular tomato juice gives it a cleaner, brighter tomato taste. They’re cheap ingredients, so try both and see which you prefer.
Is The Bloody Maria A Hangover Cure?
The Bloody Mary was originally a “hair of the dog” cocktail and this tequila variation is the same. The hair of the dog was a 19th-century English expression for saying that one can heal a wound by applying a part of the thing that did the damage to the injury. It came from the idea that if you were bit by a dog, then putting some of the dog’s hair in the bite would help keep the wound from getting infected. In the case of a hangover, a hair of the dog cocktail is one you drink the following day to help ease the pain. As you start to sober up, your brain starts to register what you just did to yourself. This keeps you from fully sobering up. It’s supposed to give you just enough of a buzz to numb you till the brunt of the hangover passes. That being said, the Bloody Maria is a pretty good hangover drink. The Bloody Maria provides electrolytes, vitamins, enough booze to buzz, enough fluid to help hydrate lightly, and spices for pain relief. Salt provides the electrolytes. Tomato juice is high in vitamin C, E, and potassium. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Worcestershire sauce has B vitamins, niacin, and vitamin C. Horseradish is also very high in antioxidants. The hot sauce has capsaicin, which is often used as pain relief since capsaicin turns off the neurotransmitters that are currently telling the brain it’s in pain—like Tylenol.
The Most Important Ingredient.
The most essential ingredient in this cocktail is the spices you use to balance the tomato juice and the number of spices you use. Like the 1930s New Yorkers who told Fernand Petiot to spice the drink up because it was too tomato-y, You are trying to enrich and balance the tomato juice flavor with spices. It doesn’t take much Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or horseradish to change the flavor drastically, but the right amount will blend evenly with the tomato juice. Too little spice makes for a flat drink, and too much is overwhelming. I got better at making this drink the more I cooked in the kitchen and learned not to fear cooking with spices. When creating a Bloody Maria, the most common problem people make is under-spice it, and the drink ends up too tomato-y, flavorless, and flat. This leads many people to think they hate these kinds of drinks. Taste is unique to everyone, so under spiced to one is perfect for someone else, but my advice is to taste each ingredient individually and experiment with flavors and proportions. If the taste is incorrect, add what it needs to make it right. This isn’t an easy drink to get right, so don’t if it’s not quite right, don’t be discouraged; keep trying.
Download The Official Vintage American Cocktails App
Discover what classic cocktails you can make right now with the ingredients you have. Check out the Vintage American Cocktail app.
Make Cocktails Like A Pro
If you have ever struggled with a recipe or wonder why yours are not turning out like they do at the bar then check out my simple step-by-step videos. I will walk you through how to expertly build each drink so you get consistently great results.
- Free and simple step by step videos.
- Tips and tricks from years of experience.
- Historically accurate and balanced recipes.