Spice Up Tomato Juice For A Customized Bloody Mary Drink

If you think a traditional Bloody Mary has plenty of spice, you may be surprised at the options for adding extra punch and panache to this well-loved morning cocktail. A Bloody Mary does indeed have an inherent kick, given that a pivotal component of the drink is Tabasco sauce, which comes from hot red peppers on a salt-dome island in Louisiana. The Tabasco factory on Avery Island doles out three-quarters of a million of the cute little bottles every single day, and you can bet a whole lot of the sassy sauce ends up in Bloody Mary cocktails. 

However, a typical Bloody Mary cradles lots more ingredients than Tabasco hot sauce, including vodka, lemon and tomato juices, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, and celery salt. That means the spice-infusing hot sauce taste may get lost within all the other liquids, at least for folks who love a mouth-on-fire. No worries in that regard, as customizing a Bloody Mary is an art that only gets better with more irons (and spices) in the fire. Your tolerance for spicy heat is the only limit.

Rather than worrying how particular dried or fresh spices may affect the overall composition of your Bloody Mary, or even leave telltale floaties in their wake, try spicing up just the tomato juice. A power-packed concentration of tangy, tart, or tantalizing flavors in the juice lets you add small incremental amounts to achieve your perfectly spicy Bloody Mary. It works equally well for a tasty Virgin Mary with no alcohol. 

Spice up Bloody Marys with powders, sauces, and infusions

It's possible, though time-consuming, to spice up the tomato juice in a Bloody Mary using fresh peppers such as sliced habaneros, jalapenos, or various chili peppers. Let the sliced peppers soak in the tomato juice for at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours. But remember that spiciness doesn't strictly mean hot; it can also just mean extra flavor from ingredients such as tangy vinegar, fresh garlic, dill, or a scoop of horseradish. All these can punch up the tomato juice, and consequently, the Bloody Mary.

A much easier way to get similar flavor into a Bloody Mary is with powdered spices. Sprinkle some smoked paprika or jalapeno powder directly into the tomato sauce, or try any variety of hot chili-pepper powders such as red habanero, hatch green chili, sriracha, cayenne, serrano, or chipotle. If your goal is a super-sizzling cocktail, venture into the world of powdered ghost peppers and Carolina reapers, known as one of the world's hottest peppers with a Scoville heat level of 1.64 million. Just be aware that the reaper might annihilate other flavor components in your recipe.

Another method of spicing up a Bloody Mary is through bottled sauces such as a green chili hot sauce, which mixes well with the tomato sauce or even works as a separate cocktail ingredient on its own. And finally, there's the option of using spicy vodkas infused with cucumber jalapenos, green chilis, poblanos, and even ghost peppers.