Barbecue Bloody Mary

This Barbecue Bloody Mary recipe is a tangy vodka cocktail with a surprising punch of flavor from the addition of barbecue sauce.  This lovely libation is the perfect blend of salty, savory, smoky, and tangy.  What could be a better way to start off brunch, a tailgate, or a backyard barbecue than with a Barbecue Bloody Mary?

A perfectly crafted bloody mary is a staple for a Southern Brunch.  It feels almost healthy with the tomato juice.  It usually comes loaded with snacks already in it – like celery, olives, bacon, pickles. And the best part is that it is completely acceptable to have a couple of them before noon.

Tall glass of Barbecue Bloody Mary vodka cocktail with just a hint of barbecue sauce and garnished with barbecue seasoning, celery, and a crispy bacon strip. The perfect blend of tangy, savory, and a bit of sweetness.


There are endless possibilities for this drink and everyone has their own favorite way to make it.  The most important ingredient is vodka.  I like a plain, good quality vodka, but go wild and try an infused vodka.  

Typically,  all bloody marys include a tomato-based juice. You could use a premade mix, and there are some great ones on the market.

I like the texture of a tomato/vegetable juice, like V-8.  If you want a salty, briny flavor, Clamato might be your base of choice.  It’s really up to you.

Next, do you want spicy or tangy?  I like the bite of horseradish rather than the tongue-numbing heat of cayenne or tabasco.  But if heat is your thing, add cayenne, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning.

Now you want a salty element.  Worcestershire sauce, season salt, celery salt, pickle juice, or olive juice are all delicious options.

Finally, think about what other flavor profiles you like.  Something with a hint of sweetness?  Maybe a smokiness?  Peppery bite? 

For this cocktail that we’re making today, I’m using barbecue sauce for both sweetness and a bit of smokiness.  The lemon juice adds a fresh and brightness to the otherwise heavy flavors.

In Texas, I’ve enjoyed bloody marys with a bit of beef broth or meat drippings – even bacon fat.

Then, add the garnish.  I like using a barbecue dry rub to rim the glass on this recipe.  Its a hint of what’s in the glass…a bit sweet, smoky, tangy, savory.  It’s whetting your tastebuds for that first sip.

Celery sticks as a garnish are typical.  I like bacon to enhance the barbecue sauce flavor.  Olives, with or without blue cheese filling, are delicious.  Little gherkin pickles, pickled green beans, or carrot sticks are more options.  I’ve seen slices of salami, shrimp, jalapenos, or cheese skewered and served nestled inside.  

Tall glass of Barbecue Bloody Mary vodka cocktail with just a hint of barbecue sauce and garnished with barbecue seasoning, celery, and a crispy bacon strip. The perfect blend of tangy, savory, and a bit of sweetness.


I like to serve this cocktail for brunch alongside a Spicy Sweet Chicken Biscuit or Easy Sausage Kolaches.  

For tailgating, lunch, or casual dinner, try a Grilled Piri Piri Chicken or a Low Country Shrimp Boil.

Other brunch recipes you may enjoy:



This tangy vodka cocktail is a delicious blend of spicy, savory, salty, and a touch of sweetness.  The unexpected zing of barbecue sauce keep this classic brunch cocktail interesting.

  • Author: Eats By The Beach
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Category: Breakfast / Brunch
  • Method: Blend
  • Cuisine: Southern



¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)

Barbecue seasoning, for rimming the glasses

6 cups tomato vegetable juice (I used V-8)

3 tablespoons barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons horseradish

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 olive juice

Dash of hot sauce, if desired

12 ounces vodka

6 slices cooked bacon, for garnish

3 celery stalk, cut in half for garnish


To rim the glasses:

Place the barbecue seasoning on a small, shallow plate.  Run a lemon rind around the edge of each glass, then dip the rim of the glass into the seasoning.  Set aside.

For the cocktail:

In a blender, pour in the vegetable juice. Lemon juice, barbecue sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, olive juice, and hot sauce.  Blend until well combined.

Fill the glasses with ice and add 2 ounces of vodka.  Fill the glass with the bloody mary mixture.

Garnish with a slice of bacon and a celery stalk.

Keywords: tangy vodka cocktail, bloody mary, brunch recipes, cocktails