A stellar bloody mary is a gift that keeps on giving. It’s an excuse to drink vodka (when you’re not drinking whiskey, that is) any time of day — especially at Sunday brunch — and it’s also an acceptable way to take the edge off any ill effects you may experience after an enthusiastic night. Plus, it’ll help you get your daily dose of vitamins. Cheers to your health, and all that.
But the best gifts from a perfectly concocted bloody mary are the flavors in the drink itself. The perfect amount of spice paired with the freshness of tomato juice, a kick from your alcohol of choice, and seasonings that blend in layers of flavor in every sip. And the best gift of all? Those delectable garnishes. Any brunch cocktail had better have something to munch on while we wait for our eggs or waffles, and those celery stalks, peppers, olives, and even bacon are just the ticket.
Acccording to Eater, the first bloody mary was served in the United States by Fernand Petoit in 1934 at the St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar. It was originally called The Red Snapper. Some say you can find better versions elsewhere — or at least new variations — but the bar continues to serve the original cocktail today. What’s more, other St. Regis locations offer their own house versions of the popular drink, each inspired by regional tastes.
Whether you’re looking to make a standard brunch cocktail, change up some ingredients, or assemble the bloody mary bar of your dreams, we’ve compiled some of the best variations out there. The next time you’re craving one, bartend for yourself instead of paying $15 for someone else to stick a pickle in your drink. The key bonus here: Extra garnishes for you.