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Course: Drinks

Bloody Mary: Reloaded

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 18 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 28 ounces, plus extra hrenovuha
Reason for reload: Our original mix completely depended on the quality (and availability) of ripe tomatoes. Since it seems to me that really good tomatoes are increasingly difficult to find (unless you grow your own), it makes more sense to turn to the pantry. The only non-pantry ingredients are lemons and limes, which are, as of this writing, plentiful.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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Hrenovuha (horseradish vodka)

  • 1/2 liter vodka
  • 1/3 cup grated fresh horseradish (grated on small holes of box grater)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • peel of half a lemon (harvested with a vegetable peeler)
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole caraway seeds

Bloody Mary Mix

  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes (with juice)
  • 12 ounces beef stock
  • 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco recommended)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Bloody Mary

  • 3 ounces AB's Bloody Mary Mix (above)
  • 1 ounce Hrenovuha
  • ice
  • 1 leafy celery stalk, for garnish

Specialized Hardware

large sieve
2 Quart-size jars or bottles with lids
Funnel large enough to hold a paper coffee filter
3 paper coffee filters
clean glass bottle that can hold the finished vodka
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 18 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 28 ounces, plus extra hrenovuha


For the Hrenovuha

  • Put all ingredients in a quart-size jar. Lid up, shake to combine, and steep at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 18-24 hours.
  • Triple straining is required. First, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring sup. Dump the solids, then line the sieve with a coffee filter and filter the vodka into a second vessel. Then line the funnel with two filters and slowly pour through into the bottle.
  • Stash in the freezer for up to 6 months. (The refrigerator is fine, but I do like a straight shot of this stuff every now and then, and I like my vodka shots numbingly cold.

For the Bloody Mary Mix

  • Place the tomatoes and juice in a mesh sieve set over a medium bowl. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to extract as much juice as possible. (You should end up with 2 cups.) Discard the solids or save them for another use.
  • Combine the juice and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour the mixture into a clean jar or bottle, lid up, and chill for 4 hours before use.
    Keep refrigerated for up to 1 month.

For the Bloody Mary

  • Stir the Bloody Mary mix and hrenovuha together with ice in a Collins glass and serve with a leafy celery stalk.
    For a more elegant presentation (as for a proper evening cocktail), strain 5 ounces of the above cocktail through a fine sieve to remove pulpy stuff. This should render 4 ounces of thinner liquid. Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker for several seconds to chill, then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cocktail olive.
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