Game Day Cocktails 101: The Bloody Mary

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How To Make A Stellar Bloody Mary

Her Majesty

From simple to grand, the Bloody Mary still reigns as cocktail queen on game day. Created in the 1920’s by a Parisian bartender with Russian vodka brought by those fleeing the revolution, the iconic drink was served under many names for decades including Red Snapper which was prepared by using spirits that had been steeped with black peppercorns to liven the otherwise tasteless liquor. Several stories claim how it was dubbed Bloody Mary, one being that it was named after Mary Tudor of England for her relentless, violent reign over Protestants. But it wasn’t until the 1940’s that the tomato juice based cocktail really took off & was most famously a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. His instructions for preparing the beverage by the pitcher included brand specific ingredients such as Lea & Perrins Worcestershire or A1 steak sauce as a flavor enhancer plus a smidgen of cayenne pepper for heat. As far as the spirits, it’s said his recipe stated, “If it lacks authority add more vodka.”

The Bloody Mary more than likely became a prominent game day elixir for it’s “healing” properties as a good resource to cure a hangover. The savory concoction can be blended & mixed all sorts of ways & crowned with a garnish sure to sail the drink straight into the zone. Southwestern Bloody Mary’s pay homage to an Alabama Crimson Tide match up against the Texas A&M Aggies for a regional spin but you can make a batch anyway you so choose. Follow my basic fundamentals, The Essential Guide To Crafting A Game Day Bloody Mary, to blend a creation uniquely your own guaranteed to score big with fans.

Game Day Cocktails: Southwestern Bloody Mary By Rebecca Gordon Buttermilk Lipstick TV Cooking Personality Editor-in-Chief Birmingham Alabama Tailgating Expert Southern Hostess Sports Entertaining Tide & Tigers Today Game Day Host WBRC Fox 6 Original Football & Tailgating Recipes, Crafts Party IdeasGame Day Cocktails 101

Style Points

Jalapeños sliced thin not only add a spicy kick-off to this tailgating favorite but also creates an instant garnish to the cocktail. 

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickSouthwestern Bloody Mary’s
makes 8 servings

The Basic Fundamentals

Down. The. Hatch. Auburn fans can revel in a glass of this classic game day cocktail with a twist that can be prepared with a Mississippi state original, Cat Head Vodka, giving new meaning to taking down the the Ole Miss Rebel competition this Saturday.

1 {64-oz} bottle vegetable juice, chilled
1 cup vodka or tequila
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder 
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 jalapeños, thinly sliced
Garnishes: Lime slices & jalapeños 

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

The Extra Point

Try offering a selection of tasty added garnishes such as pickled okra, cucumber spears or carrot sticks.

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{helpful advice}

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It isn’t a southern game day without an amazing Bloody Mary.
Be sure you have all of the key players on your roster.
Use my guide & learn how to create the right combination of flavors.

rebecca gordon buttermilk lipstick Southern Recipes & How To's Easy Tailgate Recipes RebeccaGordon ButtermilkLipstickThe Essential Guide To Crafting A Game Day Bloody Mary

I break it down from juice to spice & a garnish that’s nice, the ultimate game day concoction can be yours. Follow these pointers to create your own signature blend.

No. 1

The Tomato Juice

You’ll find several options to use as a solid base for a delicious batch of Bloody Mary’s. There’s straight up tomato juice which is fine, however I prefer to start with vegetable juice as it’s filled with a combination of flavors you’ll traditionally find in a great recipe such as tomato & celery juices. You can even reach for a prepared blend but I find you still may want to add a few extras.

No. 2

The Spirits

Traditional recipes call for vodka. If certain brands speak to you by all means go with what you know but try experimenting with enhanced formulas for a truly exciting cocktail. You’ll find peppercorn, lemon, lime & even cilantro flavored varieties that could make for exciting combinations. You may also consider tequila, gin or bourbon. If you want to get really punchy, add a bottle of champagne or white wine to the overall blend for a sangria of sorts. Float lemon & lime slices in the mix to make it ultra festive.

No. 3

The Spices

Salt, black pepper, celery salt & cayenne are the basic additions to a custom blend but try a collection of spices that you may otherwise use to flavor savory dish at the grill. Chili powder, cumin & garlic powder can lead you down a road of barbecue inspired Bloody Mary’s while paprika, black pepper, cayenne & ground thyme can mirror blackening seasoning. Open your spice cabinet & try a few items that speak to you. 

No. 4 

The Extras

A dash of this & that usually makes for an excellent Bloody Mary blend. Steak sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice & even beef bouillon have been know to make an appearance in my game day glass. Sweeteners such as molasses or brown sugar added in small quantities are great for rounding & balancing the overall blend. 

No. 5

The Garnish

While celery sticks reign as the most classic way to garnish a Bloody Mary, a host of savory delectables are just waiting to crown your custom concoction. From simple to downright daunting, some even consider the beverage to be a meal in itself. Thinly sliced citrus perched on the rim of the glass can finish without flaw or you can thread a cornucopia of pickled pretties & fresh produce on wooden skewers. Some top picks include:  Pickled okra, cocktail onions, olives, blanched green beans, carrot sticks, grape tomatoes & peppers. As for more elaborate items, you’ll find everything from pork rinds, shrimp & bacon to buffalo wings, cheeseburger sliders & deviled eggs. Get creative & go wild. 

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Southern College Football Fanatic * SEC Tailgate Strategist * Southern Recipe Writer & Sometimes Novelist * Half-Hour Hostess * Media Personality * Houndstooth Hound Owner * Small Town Dreamer * Big Idea Doer * 3rd Generation Pimiento Cheese Fixer * Casserole Maker * Budweiser Drinker * Bourbon Cocktail Sipper * Peanut Butter Love Affair * Cookie Monster * Calorie Burner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer but doesn't care * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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