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.
WHATS IN A BLOODY MARY?
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.