The Ingredients That Take A Bloody Mary From Good To Great, According To Rocco DiSpirito - Exclusive

A Bloody Mary is an acquired taste — you either love it, or you loathe it. If you are in the latter group (aka the Bloody Mary haters), then maybe you've just been missing the top-notch tips that the experts can provide. After all, the drink has gone through plenty of changes throughout the years. The classic Bloody Mary dates back to the 1920s in Paris, when an American bartender decided to mix the same amount of both tomato juice and vodka. But the cocktail didn't really hit its stride until the late 1970s — when spices were incorporated into the drink, and Tabasco introduced a Bloody Mary mix on grocery store shelves.

Now, a traditional Bloody Mary recipe consists of three parts vodka, one part lemon juice, six parts tomato juice, and pepper, salt, Tabasco, celery salt, and Worcestershire sauce. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table at the Sun Food and Wine Fest, Italian American chef Rocco DiSpirito described exactly which of these ingredients take your afternoon cocktail from good to great.

Don't forget the basics

"[The way to take] a Bloody Mary [from] good to great would be all the seasoning," Rocco DiSpirito told Tasting Table. "Don't forget celery salt — very important. Worcester sauce — Lea & Perrins Worcester sauce. A little Tabasco — also great." And don't just pour in more table salt thinking it's the same thing: Celery salt is made up of crushed celery seeds and salt that is often added to savory dishes, or in this case, cocktails.

The Food Network star also believes that garnishes are what add another layer of fun to the drink. While shooting an episode of "Guy's Ranch Kitchen," DiSpirito whipped up a Bloody Mary and topped it with mini cheeseburgers. As they say in Texas, "Go big or go home" — but there are plenty of great alternatives to add more complementary flavors if that sounds like a little too much effort when you just want a drink.

DiSpirito explained, "The basics [are] horseradish, lemon juice, [and] salt" for "super-duper Bloody Marys." The celebrity chef also added that MSG — an arguably controversial type of sodium salt — is becoming a common cocktail additive that he likes: "For a Bloody Mary, it's perfect." That may be true — but it also sounds like the real secret to a great Bloody Mary is to have the chef come to our local brunch spot and make one for us.

Keep up with Rocco DiSpirito's latest projects on his Instagram page. For more information about the Sun Wine and Food Fest, visit Mohegan Sun's website.