Nigel Slater's classic bloody mary recipe

A bloody mary is just the thing to drink with a turkey sandwich.

Nigel Slater's classic bloody mary recipe At its most basic, a measure of vodka is topped up with tomato juice and seasoned with Worcester sauce, Tabasco and lemon juice, but the fine details can be tweaked to your own taste.


Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour over 50ml of vodka. Top up the glass with tomato juice. Season with a shake of celery salt, a twist of black pepper, a couple of shakes of Tabasco sauce and a few more of Worcestershire sauce. A pinch of grated horseradish, a dash of sherry and a squeeze of lemon will finish it. Pop in a short stick of celery.


A restrained hand on the vodka is often more welcome than you might expect. The tomato juice should be thoroughly chilled. Spicing should be generous but not overenthusiastic. Sticks of celery are more than decoration – they are edible stirrers. Canned or bottled juice is more appropriate than freshly squeezed, which is often watery and acidic.


There is an endless list of tiny twists to the classic recipe, but each addition requires your bloody mary to be rechristened. A bloody fairy needs a measure of absinthe, while a virgin mary lacks booze. I'm not sure anyone would thank you for a slutty mary. That's the one garnished with a sausage.

Powered by article was written by Nigel Slater, for The Observer on Sunday 26th December 2010 00.05 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010