When it comes to choosing the best vodka for bloody mary mixing, one that complements the classic cocktail’s signature flavors is the way to go. Traditionally, a bloody mary is made from vodka, tomato juice, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, celery salt, and black pepper, but the classic recipe is open to interpretation.
Over the years, people have modified the recipe to suit their preferences, with some opting for a spicier hot sauce or adding further herbs or spices. One easy way to tweak the classic recipe to suit your palate is to try mixing your bloody mary cocktails with different vodkas.
As a favorite spirit the world over, vodka is readily available in liquor stores, but with so many options, choosing the ideal one can be a little daunting.
There are many different vodkas, hailing from many different countries, and with different flavors and distillation processes, they all have slightly different flavor profiles.
Best Vodka for Bloody Marys
So, next time you’re out shopping for vodkas, before knocking out a homemade bloody mary, consider trying a different brand or flavor. With the current political situation in the world, many are choosing to eschew vodkas from Russia—the traditional home of the spirit—in favor of trying something new in the form of a non-Russian vodka.
Why not take the opportunity to try a Ukrainian brand or an American one? Or, to shake things up even more, you could opt for a flavored or spiced vodka.
Best American Vodka
Humboldt Organic Vodka
California’s best-selling organic vodka, Humboldt Organic, is distilled from sweet organic sugarcane for an incredibly smooth taste. Its subtle vanilla and citrus notes work well with the other ingredients in a bloody mary recipe.
This clean vodka has been commended at the Bartender Spirits Awards and is smooth enough to sip and ideal for mixing bloody mary cocktails.
Best Ukrainian Vodka
Khor Platinum Vodka
Next time you’re checking out the selection of vodkas for bloody marys, why not lend a tiny bit of support to a nation in turmoil and choose Ukrainian vodka? Ukraine is one of the nations that make up the Vodka Belt and is no stranger to producing well-respected vodkas.
Khor Platinum is a corn-based spirit that goes through a birch and alder charcoal filtration system to achieve a clean, balanced taste. This fine spirit is one of the top-selling vodkas in the world and is perfect for mixing bloody marys.
Best Polish Vodka
Belvedere Intense Unfiltered Vodka
Belvedere is a luxury vodka brand of Polish rye vodka named after Belweder, the presidential palace in Warsaw. Their vodkas, made from Polish Dankowskie Rye and quadruple-distilled, are blended with purified water from Belvedere’s own artesian wells for a smooth finish.
Belvedere Intense Unfiltered Vodka comes in at 50% ABV and is free from additives, including sugar and glycerin. The company’s commitment to nature—utilizing green energy, locally-sourced produce, and sustainable packaging—makes this luxury brand a great choice not only for your bloody marys but also for the environment.
Best Flavored Vodka
While opting for a smooth vodka can help elevate your bloody marys with their clean taste, you could also look to improve your cocktails by utilizing an infused vodka to introduce other flavors. A bold-yet-popular choice in this department is Bakon.
This bacon-flavored vodka, produced in Oregon, may seem an odd choice, but the savory bacon flavor works well in bloody marys. With bacon being a breakfast staple in many countries, Bakon Vodka’s savory notes sit perfectly within the world’s favorite brunch cocktail.
Best Vodka for a Spicy Bloody Mary
St. George Green Chile Vodka
If spicy bloody marys float your boat, a green-chile vodka may provide that extra spicy kick you crave. St. George Spirits produce one of the best vodkas with an extra kick—St. George Green Chile Vodka.
The vegetal notes from the green jalapeno chiles sit well alongside the classic cocktail’s tomato juice and herbs and are a great way to add complementary flavors and more spice to this classic cocktail.
This perfect vodka for spicy bloody marys is produced in California, and the rich flavor of this 40%-ABV spirit means that it’s one that you simply must try in your next bloody mary.
Best Top Shelf Vodka
Absolut Elyx Vodka
This single-estate, copper-crafted luxury vodka hails from Sweden, and while it may have an above-average price, it also comes with a well-balanced, warm, and smooth finish. It imparts an aroma reminiscent of freshly baked bread and has notes of white chocolate and light cereal, along with a deep, mellow spice.
The care and precision taken in the production process ensure Absolut Elyx is one of the best vodkas for bloody marys and ensures a delicious cocktail every time.
Best Budget Vodka
A more budget-friendly choice that still packs a smooth texture and works well in a bloody mary is Sobieski. Named in honor of the iconic King Sobieski, who defended Europe against the Ottomans, it is made with 100% rye and is among the purest, smoothest vodkas in the price range.
Whether you use a bloody mary mix or make this complex cocktail from scratch, the introduction of this Polish vodka to the mix will not upset the apple cart. This is surprisingly smooth with a clean taste is as great for sipping as it is for mixing into your bloody mary.
This Icelandic vodka, distilled in small batches using water from a glacial spring filtered through lava rock, has an exceptionally clean and smooth taste.
The unique distillery is powered by geothermal power from underground volcanoes, and if you pair Reyka with the right hot sauce in your bloody mary recipe, you can be sure of a smooth yet fiery cocktail.
The guys at Absolut Vodka in Sweden have produced this superbly flavored spirit, and its peppery flavor makes it one of the best vodkas for bloody marys.
Simply mix 1½ parts Absolut Peppar with 2½ parts tomato juice, add your hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, a dash of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and black pepper, and you have yourself a superb, fiery drink.
Chopin Potato Vodka
Chopin Potato Vodka is the world’s most-awarded potato vodka. Its flavor profile is uniquely creamy and full-bodied, making it a great standalone vodka that also lends itself well to the bloody mary.
As Poland’s last family-owned vodka maker, Chopin proudly produces small-batch, hand-crafted spirits like no other. Vodka is often described as ‘tasteless,’ but Chopin seldom is.
What is a good garnish for a Bloody Mary?
Garnishes can be made from many ingredients, including olives, celery, cucumber, fresh dill, fresh rosemary, pickles, roasted garlic, and red or yellow bell peppers.
You can spruce up your drink with a range of garnishes—whatever tickles your fancy.
How is vodka made?
Vodka is a clear distilled alcoholic drink with different varieties originating from Poland, Russia, and Sweden.
It is composed mainly of water and ethanol, and it’s made by distilling liquid from fermented cereal grains and potatoes. Some modern methods use corn, sugar cane, fruits, honey, and maple sap as the base.
What are the best American vodkas?
Humboldt Organic Vodka from California, Dixie Southern Vodka from South Carolina, and Tito’s Handmade from Texas are all well-respected vodkas hailing from the US.
Can I use a different alcohol to make a bloody mary?
Yes, switch the vodka for gin to make a red snapper; switch it to tequila for a bloody maria. For the wine enthusiast, switch it up with red wine to make a winey mary.
- There are great rye, potato, plain, and infused or flavored vodkas to enjoy in your bloody mary cocktail.
- The Bloody Mary cocktail is one that’s loved the world over, and its main ingredient is produced in many different countries.
- Traditionalists can choose an option from the Vodka Belt (north-eastern Europe), while the more adventurous can opt for vodkas from outside the region.
- Feeling adventurous? Get into the spirit with bacon- or chile-infused vodka and try different herbs, spices, and garnishes.