Kimchi Bloody Mary

Kick off 2017 with a spicy kimchi Bloody Mary
43 Ratings
87% would make again
Insa's Kimchi Bloody Mary
Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

All December long, we're bringing you the recipes, tips and tricks you need to Feast your way through the holidays, no matter how you celebrate the season.

Let's be honest: Come January 1, we may not wake up only to a few regrettable texts but also wake up feeling a little worse for the wear. The only proper way to ease back into the world (and toast to 2017) is a power brunch, complete with a spicy Asian Bloody Mary.

Shayna Cott, the beverage director of Brooklyn's hit Korean barbecue spot and karaoke den, Insa, swears it's the "best bet" for getting through the day after a rough night. And what better test is there than New Year's Day.

RELATED   5 Ways to Make a Bloody Mary »

The Bloody Mary has been the morning cocktail of choice for decades, but the origin of how that came to be is nearly impossible to get to the bottom of—unlike the drink itself.

Several sources point to Harry's New York Bar in Paris, where bartender Fernand "Pete" Petiot supposedly started mixing vodka brought over by Russian émigrés with canned tomato juice in the 1920s. Other tales point to an alcohol-free drink made with tomato juice and oysters popular in the 1890s. Ironically, it is often classics like the Bloody Mary that allow for the best variations.

Insa's version is light and refreshing, with a savory underbelly from fish sauce, a touch of sweetness from soju, a kick from a mixture of kimchi and powdered wasabi, and a salty-spicy punch from the rim of togarashi, a Japanese spice blend. And while it calls for accoutrements like pickled ramps, Cott says almost anything goes. "We've all seen cheeseburgers [atop Bloody Marys]. If we've gone that far, certainly anything you find in your fridge is acceptable." A sentiment that for the first day of the New Year feels just right.

Kimchi Bloody Mary

Recipe adapted from Shayna Cott, Insa, Brooklyn, NY

Yield: 8 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: N/A

Total Time: 15 minutes


For the Bloody Mary:

4 cups tomato juice

2½ cups soju

½ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, kimchi brine

½ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

½ tablespoon Tabasco

½ tablespoon prepared horseradish

¼ teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon wasabi powder


For the Garnish:

Castelvetrano olives

Pickled cocktail onions

Pickled ramps

Cucumber kimchi

Cabbage kimchi

Lime wedges

Togarashi salt


In a large pitcher, stir together all of the Bloody Mary ingredients until well chilled, then divide between ice-filled glasses. Garnish each glass with a skewer containing an olive, pickled onion, pickled ramp and cucumber kimchi. Float a pinch of cabbage kimchi and a lime wedge next to the skewer, garnish with togarashi salt then serve.

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