Whether you’re a bartender looking to shake up the menu or a home chef hoping to add to your brunch repertoire, sometimes we all just need a change of pace. But this change doesn’t have to be drastic––sometimes the best variations work with what you already love instead of creating something from scratch.
With that in mind, here are 5 of our favorite Bloody Mary variations for when we’re looking to escape a rut.
1. Bloody Maria
The Bloody Maria is likely the most popular take on the Bloody Mary, swapping out the usual vodka for its stronger-flavored counterpart, tequila. The citrus flavor of the tequila interacts with the tomato juice, as opposed to the co-existence found when vodka and tomato mix. What you’re left with is a Bloody with a little more bite to it.
2. Bloody Caesar
Instead of switching out the liquor, this time around we’re going to swap out the tomato juice. Even though the tomato flavor is really the heart and soul of the traditional Bloody Mary, that doesn’t make it untouchable. Enter: the Bloody Caesar. In this drink, we’re keeping the tomato juice but we’re also adding some clam broth to the base (AKA a Clamato juice). The result is a much more in-depth flavor. And hey, add a single piece of lettuce as a garnish and you can tell people you had a Caesar Salad for breakfast.
3. Bloody Pirate
Alright, that’s enough messing around with the tomato juice, let’s put it back in our concoction and try switching out something else. Pretend you’re sailing the high seas and drinking the only thing you love more than gold: rum. The Bloody Pirate takes out the vodka and instead opts for rum, a darker liquor that’ll have you walking the plank after a couple of glasses.
4. Red Beer
Red Beer (which is surprisingly not a beer with a hint of communism) is a tailgate favorite for football lovers and Bloody Mary drinkers alike. A simple cocktail comprised just of beer, tomato juice, and Bloody Mary seasoning, this drink comes together wonderfully. Try this alternative for a delicious, spicy drink that’s easier on the BAC than the hard-hitting vodka in a normal Bloody Mary. Prepare for kickoff from the parking lot (or the couch) with an easy-to-make Red Beer.
To get a feel for the Michelada, all you have to do is imagine Red Beer, but bring it south of the border. While the Red Beer recipe works great with most domestic beers, the Michelada specifically opts for the lighter Cerveza beer of Mexico. The result? A more summery taste that’s easy on the palette while still meeting the kick of a classic Bloody Mary.