The Bloody Mary was invented by a French-American bartender working at Harry’s American Bar in Paris in the Roaring 20s.
KAREN HOCHMAN is editorial director of THE NIBBLE. Her own Bloody Mary recipe—using Knudsen’s tomato juice, lots of horseradish, Worcestershire sauce and fresh lemon and lime juices—is quite superb.
Updated January 2009
The Best Bloody Mary Mixes
Bloody Good Mary Mixes Can Be As Good As Mixing Your Own
Page 1: Freshies Bloody Mary Mix
CAPSULE REPORT: It’s not easy to find great cocktail mixes. Most are pretty pallid or icky-sweet and filled with artificial ingredients. These Bloody Mary mixes—from Freshies, Mad Pepper Farms and Mixerz—make Marys as good as we can mix up ourselves, with a lot less work. Kudos—and mix us another, please! This is Page 1 of a four-page review. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.
The Bloody Mary was invented by Fernand Petiot, an American bartender working at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris during the Roaring 20s. (You can read the history of the Bloody Mary in our article on Bloody Mary Recipes.)
Fast-forward 40 years, when people have more money than patience to mix their own cocktails. Bottled mixes enter the market in force. While the Bloody Mary isn’t the most difficult cocktail to make, and tomato juice is a normal ingredient to have in one’s kitchen, why measure Worcestershire, Tabasco and lemon juice into your tomato juice when all you have to do is open a mix bottle, add vodka and stir?
A big reason to skirt mixes is the flavor: Many don’t taste as good as what one could create at home from readily-available ingredients. Why is there such a big market for mixes?* Add enough vodka, and most people don’t fuss over the nuances of taste. But readers of THE NIBBLE do, so every time we come across a mix, we taste it to see if it can do better than what we can mix up ourselves.
*Bloody Mary mix stood as the most popular cocktail mix for decades until it was replaced by Margarita mix. $750 million worth of cocktail mixes are sold each year, with more than 50% of the total consumed in the U.S. Margarita mix is the number one seller, with Bloody Mary mix a distant second. Sweet-n-Sour mix is a close third.
Here are three Bloody Mary mixes that shine. In addition to great flavor, they have wonderful body and “mouthfeel”—from minced onion and garlic, celery salt, horseradish and other ingredients. The mixes are so enjoyable that people drinking Virgin Marys will never miss the vodka...and vodka-drinkers who taste the mixes may even ask to hold the vodka.
Freshies Bloody Mary Mix
While the name “Freshies” today represents the all-fresh, all-natural ingredients in the bottle, it originally referred to skiing fresh powder turns. Freshies Cocktail Mixes began in Telluride, Colorado: a chef and a bartender teamed up to create a Bloody Mary mix that became famous throughout Colorado ski towns.
Freshies makes a very exciting Bloody Mary mix—the best one we tasted in our evaluation of dozens, until we tasted Mixerz and Demetri's, which are different recipes but are equally delicious. Starting with a base of fresh tomatoes (which is very unusual and a sign of top quality), this recipe includes Worcestershire sauce, fresh onion, fresh horseradish, fresh garlic, fresh dill, fresh lemon juice, celery salt, hot sauce, Dijon mustard and black pepper. The ingredients blend into a substantive body and an exciting texture with a medium level of heat—enough to please those who like it hot without overwhelming those who don’t. People who want to ratchet up the heat can chose the Habañero Hot flavor, and those who want none can select Smooth-N-Mild, which eliminates the horseradish so, as the name implies, it has a smooth texture as well. We enjoyed drinking a second bottle as Virgin Marys. A six-ounce glass has 45 calories. If you want to do more than drink it, there are recipes on the website.
FRESHIES BLOODY MARY COCKTAIL MIXES
Original Recipe, Habañero Hot, Smooth-N-Mild
- Quart (32 Ounces)
- Half-Gallon (64 Ounces)
- Gift Sets available
Purchase online at Freshies.com or telephone 1.888.BLOODY.4.U
Also available at fine retailers. Click here for a store locator.
Made from everything fresh, including ripe, red tomatoes.
Continue To Page 2: The Mad Pepper’s Bloody Mary Mix
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