There are two things you need to know. One, I am a salt girl. And two, I want my alcoholic drinks to be worth it.
Consequently, I love an extra dirty martini at night and a sinus-clearing Bloody Mary in the morning.
You can frequently find me begging a waitress to hand over “as many olives as you are allowed to give me,” or inquiring about the ingredients in the Bloody Mary mix before ordering.
This last part is crucial. I am not interested in a weak and watery, airplane-reminiscent Bloody Mary.
I want a Bloody Mary that has serious kick and tastes far more complex than just tomato juice and black pepper.
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We’ve made some truly delish Bloody Marys in the past with Sichuan peppercorns, but I yearned for the zippiest, savoriest Bloody Mary recipe I could find.
And I found it.
This Bloody Mary recipe delivers a feisty cocktail with lasting tingle from fresh horseradish and Chinese mustard. Plus, it’s got lots of umami depth from three supersavory seasonings.
Whether you’re hosting a holiday brunch or just looking to up your bartending game, this recipe will impress any and all Bloody Mary lovers—and even win converts.
How To CocktailThe first-ever cocktail book from America’s most-trusted test kitchen includes essential classics, twists on old favorites (like this Bloody Mary); and brand-new test kitchen creations.
How to Make the Zippiest, Savoriest Bloody Mary Mix
For sinus-clearing sipping, swap fresh horseradish for the jarred stuff.
Horseradish heat dissipates fairly quickly once grated, so the prepared versions can never compete with the intensity of fresh. That’s why we swap milder jarred prepared horseradish for a generous amount of the freshly grated root.
For extra pep, add Chinese mustard powder.
We include Chinese mustard powder for another layer of heady heat. This ingredient gets its eye-watering sting from allyl isothiocyanate, the same compound that gives horseradish (and wasabi) its pungency.
For savory depth, use Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, and fish sauce.
Worcestershire sauce is a Bloody Mary stalwart for good reason, but we didn’t want it to do all the umami lifting. So we bolster its tangy, steak-y flavor with equal parts Old Bay seasoning and fish sauce.
Old Bay contributes spiced flavors from celery seed and paprika, while fish sauce adds unique briney, caramelly notes.