Think beyond vodka and see what’s shaking when you add some bourbon to your bloody mary.
A Cocktail’s Bloody History
This ubiquitous brunch cocktail has dubious origins. One story is that the bloody mary – comprised of tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, citrus and spices – was invented in 1921 by a gent named Fernand Petiot, a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Another version is that the drink was the brainchild of comedian George Jessel, an actor, singer and film producer, who frequented New York’s 21 Club. Regardless of its origin story, the bloody mary is delicious, refreshing and imbued with hangover-relieving superpowers.
Brand New Bourbon
I’m not a big fan of vodka, so I always ask for gin, tequila or mezcal in my bloodies. But why not bourbon? One of my favorite bourbons, Larceny, just hit the Nebraska market. Based on Pappy Van Winkle’s original recipe, Larceny’s secondary grain is wheat, so it drinks softer and rounder than high rye bourbons. Critics love Larceny, too – it earned the prestigious double gold at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, was ranked #18 on Spirit Journal World’s 2013 Top 120 Spirits in the World and was designated a “Best Buy” by Whiskey Magazine. This bourbon is equally delicious served neat, over ice or in a cocktail (thanks to its high 92 proof). At $25 a bottle, Larceny drinks like far more expensive spirits.
The Smoky Bourbon Bloody Mary pairs bourbon, smoked paprika and black pepper with the usual suspects of tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and lime juice for a unique twist on the bloody mary. It would be perfect for your Father’s Day festivities or an ideal summer sipper at your next barbecue.
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika Salt
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 2 dashed Worcestershire sauce
- 2 lime wedges
- 1 lemon lemon
- 6 ounces tomato juice
- Bloody mary garnishes
- Combine salt, smoked paprika and pepper. Rub a lime or lemon wedge along the rim of a glass and coat rim in Smoked Paprika Salt.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice add one teaspoon Smoked Paprika Salt, bourbon and Worcestershire. Squeeze in lemon and lemon wedges and drop into shaker. Shake until chilled.
- Add tomato juice and shake again until chilled.
- Pour into rimmed glass and garnish with your favorite bloody mary garnishes, such as olives, pickles, pickled okra, bacon or whatever your heart desires.
Love bourbon? Check out these other cocktails: