Bloody Marys are a famous hangover drink, so we figured we’d share a recipe before you head off to holiday parties and New Year shenanigans. There’s something so debaucherous about showing up bleary eyed at brunch (or the breakfast table) and requesting a Bloody Mary. It hurts so good. (Fun fact: according to the original formula, the celery stick must be chewed after each sip.) Here, Nicole Franzen shares her perfect bracing recipe, along with a secret ingredient…


The Best Bloody Mary You’ll Ever Have
By Nicole Franzen of La Buena Vida

I don’t know about you, but I love Bloody Marys. The best thing about them is that there’s no wrong way to make them. These days, people are getting really creative with their recipes, including ingredients like clam juice, pickled vegetables, hot sauces, bouillon cubes, and bacon—but I prefer to go the classic route.

My dear friend is a bartender on the Lower East Side, and she makes what I think are the best Bloody Marys. I visit her often to sip on one of her perfect concoctions, sometimes even without the vodka. There is something so satisfying about the salty, spicy tomato juice that I just love and crave. Her twist: the addition of Old Bay. And while some recipes call for more Worcestershire, I like to go heavy on the lemon juice, olive juice and horseradish. My ideal afternoon? These Bloody Marys and a dozen oysters.

Recipe: Old Bay Bloody Marys
Makes 2 drinks

For the drink:
4 oz. vodka
16 oz. tomato juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Juice of one lemon
2 tbsp. olive juice
2 tbsp. horseradish
1 tsp. hot sauce
Freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. Old Bay, plus extra for the rim

For the garnish:
2 stalks of celery
A few olives
Two lemon slices

What to do:

Combine all the ingredients—minus the vodka—in a pitcher. Taste and adjust seasoning to preference.

Run a lemon along the rims of each glass. Then dip each rim in a dish filled with Old Bay seasoning.

Fill glasses with ice, pour 2 oz of vodka in each, and finish with the Bloody Mary mix. Garnish with lemon slice, olives and celery.

Thank you, Nicole! What do you think, everyone? You could always whip up a round for your relatives one morning, along with scrambled eggs and toast…

P.S. More best recipes, including the best margarita and the best party cocktail.

(Photos by Nicole Franzen of La Buena Vida. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)