A Bloody Mary is a delicious cocktail with vodka and tomato juice being the main ingredients.
In this article, we are going to look at our top picks for the best vodka for a Bloody Mary to help you find which brand suits you best.
What to Consider Before Buying a Bottle of Vodka
How to choose a bottle of vodka
Before you buy vodka, you need to set your budget. You will need to eventually replace your vodka once it has finished, and you do not want to spend too much on vodka that you cannot justify.
If you fall in love with an expensive vodka and you cannot afford it continuously, you will be disappointed. Rather find a vodka within your budget that you can buy more than once.
Things to look for in vodka
You need to consider the underlying tasting notes of the vodka and how that will affect the taste of your cocktail. If a vodka is flavored and the flavor profile clashes with your tomato juice, it will ruin your cocktail. So rather find a vodka with complementary tasting notes or notes that will enhance the tomato juice.
What’s the best way to make a Bloody Mary?
A bloody Mary is a somewhat simple drink to make in under 5 minutes. To make 2 cocktails, you need a handful of ice, 100 ml of vodka, 500 ml of tomato juice, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Additionally, you need Worcestershire sauce, Tobasco, a pinch of celery salt, a pinch of black pepper, and 2 celery sticks and 2 lemon slices to serve.
Start by filling a jug with ice and add the vodka, tomato juice, and lemon juice. Add 3 shakes of the Worcestershire sauce and Tobasco as well as the celery salt and pepper.
Stir the mixture until the jug is cold to the touch and strain into 2 tall glasses. Finally, top it up with ice, add a celery stick and lemon slice to each glass, and enjoy.
Top 5 Best Vodka for a Bloody Mary
1. St. George Green Chile
St. George vodka was a group effort where 3 men came together to create a unique and quality vodka product.
began with Jörg Rupf who is the founder of the brand. He set out in 1982 to create a craft vodka product in America where there was no such thing at the time.
Next, Lance winters applied for a job at the brand using a bottle of whiskey he has distilled in his garage. He used this method to show the skill he had and the creativity he used to find new ways of making beverages.
Finally, Dave Smith applied for a job while in university and has since become the Head Distiller of the brand.
- Tasting Notes: This St. George Green Chile has spicy and refreshing notes which would complement the light acidity of tomato juice. This flavor comes from a range of California cilantro, peppers, and lime which creates a salsa-esque spiced vodka product.
- Price: at an average price of $28 per 750 ml bottle, this vodka is slightly higher in price than some other offerings. However, the price reflects the time and extensive processes used to create this product.
- How it is made: The spicey essence of this vodka comes from California-grown peppers which give a spicey but manageable heat to the beverage. These peppers include serranos, habaneros, yellow bell peppers, red bell peppers, and jalapeños.
2. Absolut Pepper
With a philosophy of “One Source” Absolut vodka aims to ensure each step in their production occurs around and in Åhus, Sweden. This includes the ingredients used with the winter wheat harvested nearby and the seeds used to grow the wheat coming from within the area of Åhus.
The water used to distill the spirit is collected from a local source to keep to the authenticity of Swedish vodka production.
Using a CO2-neutral distillation process, Absolut ensures they are focusing on sustainable production, bleeding into the farming of their wheat which encourages sustainable farming techniques.
- Tasting Notes: Although Absolut Pepper has a clear appearance, there is an aroma of paprika, black pepper, and olives that gives away the flavored essence. With a taste of black pepper, smoked paprika, jalapeño, and charred wood, this is an ideal coda option for someone wanting to elevate the tomato essence of their cocktail.
- Price: At approximately $20 per 750 ml bottle, this is a vodka you could afford to purchase more often. This would be an ideal option for someone looking to add a slight kick to their Bloody Mary and who may need to replace the vodka more often.
- Interesting Information: Launched in 1986, this vodka was the first flavored offering by Absolut. The brand has indicated that this vodka is ideal for a Bloody Mary as vodka and pepper are the main ingredients in the cocktail, making this vodka a good way to achieve both requirements.
3. Absolut Elyx
Absolut Vodka was Absolut Elyx in 1879 by the founder, Lars Olsson Smith who created his business to challenge the monopoly on vodka production in Stockholm.
Absolut was sold at a lower price than the market price outside of the city borders, leading to the business becoming popular with locals.
The winter wheat used to create Absolut vodka is harvested locally from the area around Åhus in Sweden. This area is known for producing more than twice the global average of wheat production.
- Tasting Notes: Absolut Elyx is a luxury vodka with a full-bodied palate. The primary tasting note within this vodka is creamed cereal, macadamia nuts, and freshly baked bread. These savory notes will elevate the light acidity of the tomato juice and will complement the pepper notes within the cocktail.
- Price: As this is a luxury vodka, the price tag of $38 per 750 ml bottle matches that label. This is a vodka that should be bought by someone looking for an elevated reputation behind their beverages and someone looking to make a Bloody Mary on a less frequent basis. It could also be bought by someone who does not mind the price tag.
- How it is Made: Elyx is made using a vintage copper still from 1921 which removes unwanted compounds and impurities, leaving a clean vodka product. Winter wheat from a single estate is harvested and used to create this light and airy vodka.
4. Ketel One Cucumber and Mint
Over 300 years ago, Ketel One vodka was Ketel One Cucumber and Mint by Carolus Nolet Senior who wanted to create a modern and high-quality vodka product.
Since its inception, Ketel One has remained in the family, with generations taking over management and distillation of the product to keep it in touch with modern requirements.
Despite the effects of World War 2, prohibition in the US, and the French Revolution, Ketel One has remained and has continued to create new and innovative vodka and vodka production techniques.
The brand now creates vodkas that will work well in cocktails as the popular mixed beverage grew in popularity.
- Tasting Notes: This vodka has notes of fresh mint and cooling cucumber which many may assume should not be added to a Bloody Mary. However, the underlying tasting notes of cucumber and mint complement the tomato, cutting the acidity while elevating the flavors of the tomato. This would be an interesting vodka to include with your next Bloody Mary.
- Price: A 750 ml bottle of this vodka is available for $23 which is a middle-of-the-range price that is affordable for many people. This is a vodka that should be used for someone looking for the underlying flavors who will need to replace their vodka somewhat frequently.
- Other features: This vodka is claimed to contain up to 40% fewer calories than 1 glass of white wine, making it a healthier option. Although some vodkas tend to have less sugar, flavored variations tend to include some form of sweetener. This one does not, making this a healthy option.
5. Reyka Vodka
Reyka vodka is a spirit made in Iceland that focuses on sustainable production. The water used to create the vodka is collected from a glacial spring which is naturally filtered through a lava field to remove impurities.
Made in small batches, Reyka ensures quality control across their production and puts quality over quantity as their production method.
The energy used to run the distillery is powered by underground volcanoes, with geothermal energy harvested to power the various machines. This allows the brand to name itself as environmentally friendly and sustainable.
- Tasting Notes: With a natural and ‘green’ element, this vodka has notes of fresh-cut hay and sweet rose. These notes will add nuance to the tasting notes of the tomato juice and pepper within Bloody Mary, making a complex cocktail from a simple recipe.
- Price: Reyka Vodka is assumed to be an expensive vodka given the careful selection of ingredients and extensive process through which it is made however, Reyka is available for approximately $19 per 750 ml making it an affordable option.
- How it is Made: Reyka Vodka is made using a careful and exact process that involves 6-hour long distillations and small bathes. Each distillation will only make 255 cases allowing the brand to ensure quality control across its production.
Best Vodka for a Bloody Mary – Final Thoughts
The best vodka for a Bloody Mary is dependent on several factors. First, you want to look at which vodka option is better suited for you based on the price point. The cheapest vodka on this list is Reyka Vodka at an approximate price of $19 with the most expensive being Absolut Elyx with a price tag of $38.
Despite the common misconception, the most expensive vodka is not necessarily the best vodka overall. This could be due to the tasting notes. Certain vodkas are not compatible with tomato juice and would not work well in a Bloody Mary.
Overall, the best vodka for a Bloody Mary in terms of tasting notes would be Absolut Pepper given the complimentary notes and the vodka being made specifically for a Bloody Mary. It is then followed by St. George Green Chile which will give your vodka a slight kick while maintaining the additional flavor notes within the cocktail.
It truly depends on what flavor you are trying to bring to your cocktail and what your price range is. Hopefully, this article has helped you identify which vodka brand you will be trying next.