There’s no cocktail more appropriate for a Sunday with a raging hangover than a Bloody Mary, and there’s no recipe more appropriate for a Bloody Mary than this one.

The recipe has two main steps: making an infusion aka “Bloody Mary mix” which takes about 12 hours, and mixing the actual cocktail which takes about 90 seconds. The upfront time investment in preparing the mix pays dividends when you’re having the aforementioned hangover and want to get to your cocktail, quickly!

The secret ingredient is the pickle juice. It adds a layer of complexity and depth that completely changes the character of the drink. The choice of vodka is not particularly important, but neutral Russian vodkas tend to work much better in this infusion compared to fancy French ones (looking at you grey goose).

Ingredients

For the mix:

  • 200ml vodka, preferably Russian Standard
  • 200ml pickle juice
  • 10-15 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few sprigs of dill
  • A few splashes of hot sauce

For the cocktail:

  • 2oz (60ml) Bloody Mary mix
  • 3oz (90ml) tomato juice
  • A splash of fresh lemon juice, optional
  • A sprig of dill or a stalk of celery for garnish.

Instructions

For  the mix:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a jar, close the lid and give it a good shake
  2. Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours
  3. Strain through a cheesecloth or a very fine sieve, bottle and keep in the fridge for up to a month

For the cocktail:

  1. Combine the mix, tomato juice, lemon juice in a shaker with plenty of ice.
  2. Shake vigorously until cold, about 20 seconds
  3. Pour into a tall glass over ice, garnish with dill or celery and serve.

Taking it to the next level

  • Torching fresh tomatoes before juicing them gives the drink an extra smoky flavour.
  • On the topic of smokiness, try tabasco chipotle for amazing taste without the fire hazard.
  • For the ultimate smokiness, swap the vodka with mezcal.
  • For those serious about their hot sauce, Fire Dragon Chillies in New Zealand make some of the best in the world.
  • Sky is the limit when it comes to garnish. Pickles, mozzarella balls, smoked quail eggs, crispy bacon are all perfectly acceptable options.