The typical blood mary is a tomato juice with angastora bitters and worchestershire sauce and perhaps a few spices so that’s a basis for just about any mix.
I start with a couple of the large cans of V8 – tomato juice works fine too, but I’ve always preferred V8 as it has more flavor and consistency. I also used to play with their spicy-hot but as the recipe progressed, “starting hot” really wasn’t necessary as you will see.
The mix makes about a gallon with two cans so I would go nuts with the garlic as a starter. About 5-8 cloves diced up in 1/8″ squares. It probably works out to about 2 tablespoons all told. (I love garlic!) Fresh ground pepper is also high on my list so I’d grind up at least a table spoon of it as well and often add a mix of white and black pepper corns in as well (no need for a lot, maybe a teaspoon or less – they generally settle to the bottom anyway)
One of the indianwood ‘tricks’ was to ad about 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground white horseradish – add more or less based on personal preference and/or the strength of the horseradish. (if it doesn’t fry my nostrils upon opening the jar, I usually bring it back to the store as defective! hey, I’m a pollock!)
I also add about a tablespoon (or more) of fresh, finely ground bacon bits, (many recipes include beef consomme – I prefer the hickory and pork flavor myself) about a half teaspoon of onion powder and a whole teaspoon of celery powder. I’ve even been known on occasion to finely mince some celery leaves to mix in as well.
I’m not a huge fan of the bitters so if I’m adding it it’s usually only a few drops for an entire gallon recipe – probably less than 1/4 teaspoon. But at least a tablespoon or two of the worchestershire sauce. It should be enough to slightly darken the entire mix just a small bit.
I then add about 1-2 tablespoons of the juice from a jar of pickled, diced green olives, sometimes throwing some of the diced olives into the mix as well. Last but not least, tobasco sauce! Lately I prefer their hickory smoked chipotle mix which I believe is the green one. It’s a nice accent to the bacon bits as well.
Shake/stir/mix is up really good and the hardest part is resisting the temptation to have any for a good 12-24 hours. The garlic, pepper, horseradish and bacon need a while to permiate the mix. I usually just stow it in the back of the fridge for a day or so, taking it out occasionally to give it another good mixing.
While working bar at Meadowbrook, someone enlightened me that one of the original bloody mary was made with ale instead of vodka – I haven’t had vodka with mine ever since. Although mixing the two I wouldn’t recommend. Instead, I pour the mix over ice and use it as a chaser for a good foreign dark stout ale served at room temperature, sipping the mix over the ice to help mute the ‘hot’ bite.
The combination of the rich luke-warm beer and the chilled but spicy mix is to die for!