Infused vodka for Bloody Mary recipes

You can, of course, make an excellent Bloody Mary with plain vodka. But if you want to bump up the flavor or introduce some additional notes to the drink, try making infused vodka for your Bloody Mary.

Infused Bloody Mary Vodka recipe

This is my standard infused vodka for Bloody Marys. It’s spicy, peppery and savory.

  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2-4 habanero or cayenne peppers
  • 1″ chunk of raw horseradish, peeled and cut into smaller chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • a quart of half-gallon jar with lid

If you don’t care for an ingredient, feel free to leave it out.

Infusing Vodka for Bloody Marys

Add all of those ingredients to the jar, then fill the jar with vodka. Put the lid on and shake thoroughly. Set aside for 1-2 days, then remove the peppers. Let the remaining ingredients infuse for another 3-5 days.

You can taste the vodka every day or so to see how the flavor is developing. If you don’t feel like the flavors are as strong as you’d like, let the vodka infuse longer or add a little more of the ingredient.

Remember that you’re only using a two ounces of vodka in a Bloody Mary, so the flavor of your infused vodka will be diffused.

classic bloody mary with garnishes
Bloody Mary made with fresh tomatoes

Infusing vodka for Bloody Marys

If you want to create your own infused vodka recipe, it couldn’t be easier.

The first thing to consider is what flavor you want to impart to your finished Bloody Mary. This is up to your personal taste but some common ingredients for infusing vodka for Bloody Marys are:

  • peppercorn
  • horseradish
  • hot peppers – habanero, jalapeno, cayenne, etc
  • celery – seed or stalk
  • pepperoncini
  • savory vegetables like carrots, beets or onions
  • garlic
  • mustard seeds
  • fresh herbs or flowers
  • dried herbs
  • bay leaf

That is not an exhaustive list of options for making infused vodka for Bloody Marys, not by a long short. But those strong, savory flavors all work well against the strong, umami notes of the tomato juice.

Start with 1-3 ingredients and see what you think. Take note of what you used and in what amount, as well as how long you let the vodka infuse. That will make it easy to tweak the recipe or make other variations.

Bloody Mary and ingredients on a silver tray for a Bloody Mary recipe with infused vodka

What’s the best vodka for Bloody Marys?

Don’t overthink which vodka to use in your Bloody Mary, whether you infuse it or leave it as is. Choose a brand you would use in other cocktails but there’s no need to go for top shelf, premium vodka. Bottom line is that if you wouldn’t drink it in a martini or other drink, don’t drink it in a Bloody Mary. Tito’s is a great, inexpensive vodka for Bloody Marys and Kettle One or Absolute are excellent all around vodkas.

Infused vodka for Bloody Marys

Here’s a few more tips:

Consider how you want the vodka to enhance the flavor of your Bloody Mary. Do you want it to be spicy? Smoky? Sweet? A combination? There’s no wrong way to do it unless you end up with an infused vodka you just don’t care for.

It’s not just the flavors you control but also the strength of them. The more of an ingredient you add to the vodka, the more prominent it will be. And the longer you let ingredients steep, the stronger their flavor.

Herbs, vegetables, garlic and other fresh ingredients will give up their flavors more quickly than seeds, grains, spices, etc. For that reason, letting them steep long won’t significantly increase their prominence. Instead, add more to the infusion initially or put a new batch in if you want to strengthen their flavor.

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