I’m alone right now, and I don’t know when this will happen again, so I’m going to write!

Joe and I made Bloody Marys on Saturday. We had a bottle of tomato juice, and found a recipe online that sounded good. You can check it out here: Kick-Ass Homemade Bloody Mary mix.  

Of course, I can’t leave a recipe alone. Especially when it shows a picture of one pepper sauce (Cholula in this case,) and recommends another brand “or one like it.”  You are practically being asked by the recipe creator to be creative yourself.

Here, I’ll just show you their ingredients:

3 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
2 Tbsp prepared horseradish
2 Tbsp hot sauce (like Tabasco)
2.5 oz lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1.5 oz lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 Tbsp olive brine
1 tsp celery seed
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp kosher or sea salt

64 oz tomato vegetable juice

We mixed up these ingredients, but instead of a sauce “like” Tobasco, we used Chiu Chow Chile Oil.


I can’t say enough about how incredibly tasty this stuff is.  It’s basically red chile flakes, fried garlic, and salt mixed in oil. It sounds like “ehhh” but it tastes like “KAPOW!!!!” I wanted to add even more than three tablespoons to the mix, but held myself back at Joe’s urging. (Look for Chiu Chow at an Asian supermarket. Buy more than one jar.)

We also mixed the ingredients in a container separate from the tomato juice, opting to combine an ounce of “mix” with 6 ounces of tomato juice and one ounce of vodka, as needed. I am so glad we didn’t mix everything together because I didn’t like this combo so much. It was too sweet for me. I even checked the tomato juice label to see if there was added sugar. Nope, just tomato juice and water. I added more salt and lime and olive juice, but I couldn’t find the right balance with the sweetness of the tomato juice. I still drank the bloody thing, and even with the crispy slice of peppered bacon and giant green olives that Joe stuck in it, I was a little bit disappointed. We were having Bloody Marys instead of dinner, you see.

But the bacon is an awesome idea.

Yesterday, I bought some V8 Juice. And that, my friends, is the key. It was the perfect combination of salty, briny, spicy (but not too spicy), and tart. Perrrrrrrfection.

There you have it. If you like your Bloody Marys a little bit sweet, use tomato juice. If you like it without the sweetness, use V8. An ounce of the above mix + 6 to 8 ounces of tomato juice or V8 + an ounce of vodka. Or no vodka. It’s still good.

You are welcome!



  1. Hi. It’s my recipe you used. 🙂
    I love the idea of using the Chiu Chow Chile Oil!
    I’m glad you figured out the issue with the sweetness. This is exactly why in my recipe I specify “tomato vegetable” juice (ie V8, though I use the Trader Joe’s brand) instead of plain tomato juice. And bacon is never wrong. 🙂

    • Yay! Thank you for the message!
      This recipe is sooooo good, my husband and I are determined to make an appetizer cocktail with it by adding shrimp skewers. Maybe even bacon-broiled shrimp skewers!
      Some people like their Bloody Marys sweeter. So veg juice is perfect for them. I’m glad I grabbed the V8 though. It made my weekend 🙂

    • You want to know how daft I am, Kristina? I read your recipe as “tomato vegetable juice” but understood “tomato juice”. I could have saved myself some grief, and some delicious bacon, had I paid better attention to that fine detail! -Tina

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