The All-Day Bloody Mary

See more Recipes

This recipe, one of the first developed for the opening menu at Pacific Standard, is my reconciliation to a drink that I never really cared for in the first place: The Bloody Mary. Yeah I know it’s weird. But as a bartender, I’ve always been that guy that died a little inside whenever someone ordered a Bloody Mary at night. I even wrote this in Drinking Distilled many years ago:

In general, you don’t order a Bloody Mary after noon. If you need to, you can stretch the time limit to say that you can order one within two hours of waking up. But once the sun goes down, you can’t drink a Bloody Mary in public. Only men with lower-back tattoos do that.

And that really came from the fact that when you work in bars, you’ve got to spend minutes running around looking for all the ingredients to make one of these damn things when someone orders one in the middle of a busy Friday night. But then I did address that a few years ago, so that was no longer a problem for me as a bartender.

But as a drinker, I’ve also just never really enjoyed a Bloody Mary very much. They’re often too thick for me, like drinking a jar of marinara sauce. As a result they don’t go particularly well with food, especially not the sort of light, fresh fare many of us want these days. And to top it all off, so often this thick, gloopy mess is garnished with a million different garbage garnishes on a stick in an effort to encourage some lowest-common-denominator social media activity.

So I decided to challenge all of those preconceptions of mine and see if I could come up with a Bloody Mary for Pacific Standard that was easy to build (our bar is massive and gets very, very busy), light and zesty rather than thick and gloppy, and beautifully and simply garnished.

I’ve spoken before about my love for the Caesar, Canada’s unofficial national cocktail. The Caesar was my north star on this experiment, and I kept going back to it as a reference point of what I was trying to achieve with the All-Day Bloody Mary: light, zesty, full of umami and flavor, with a crushable texture that can work any time of day or night. It also certainly needed to work alongside our food menu, with items like raw oysters, a soft salad in an apple cider vinaigrette, and a chilled steamed artichoke.

Just look at that gorgeous color!

Of course my first inclination was to just add water to the old Clyde Common premix – that resulted in a watery Bloody Mary with no real flavor or mouthfeel, but I did know that there needed to be some water in the mix to thin out the tomato juice. I then putzed around with a million different proportions (meh), tomato powder (too hard to reliably source, and not inexpensive enough for a professional bar program), and cooking down the Worcestershire to concentrate the flavors (too much work). And then it hit me, what we were really missing by watering everything down was the Bloody Mary’s signature bright tang and meaty umami.

This problem became easily solveable with monosodim glutamate (MSG) and citric acid.

There are lots of articles out there about the myths surrounding MSG that I encourage you to read if you flinched when you read that, but suffice it to say there has been a ton of blatant ignorance around it for decades, and if you’ve intentionally avoided foods with MSG you’re seriously missing out.

I love MSG in food and cocktails. We keep a dropper bottle of MSG solution at my well to boost the umami in a Dirty Martini (especially when enjoying one with bleu cheese-stuffed olives… drool). I use it in our Umami Mayo that comes with our chilled steamed artichoke, so it just seemed like the perfect addition – we already had a ton of the stuff on hand.

That magical cocktail ingredient happened to be exactly what we were looking for in terms of body and flavor, and the All-Day Bloody Mary has been a hit since we opened nearly two years ago (!) We serve it in a pint-sized cider glass with a salt-and-pepper rim and garnish ours with a very crisp, sour dill pickle spear and a lemon wedge. Hold the chicken wings, beef jerky, and mini-cheeseburgers on mine, please.

I also really like using a respectable but sustainable 1½ ounces (45 ml) of vodka as opposed to the more common 2 ounces (60 ml) in this one. According to the ABV Calculator, the All-Day Bloody Mary clocks in at a paltry 9-10% ABV which I think is much more deserving of the “All Day” title. Give it a try and let me know what you think – it’s been incredibly popular at our bar.

All-Day Bloody Mary Print Me

  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Roll gently and vigorously to combine and chill.
  3. Pour into a pint-sized glass rimmed with salt and cracked black pepper.
  4. Garnish with a lemon wedge and dill pickle spear.

Recipe printed courtesy of

14 Replies to “The All-Day Bloody Mary”

  • Remy says:

    Hi Jeffery, this recipe sounds great, looking forward to trying it.

    What do you use for tomato juice?


  • Marco says:

    Thank you for this great post! I prefer my Bloody Mary light and refreshing, with a balanced mix of spicy flavors. Instead of a heavy, thick consistency, I opt for a lighter texture that pairs well with various foods.

  • Jack S says:

    Hey! Made the mix this weekend and it’s really, really good. Quick question: are the proportions listed for the built Bloody Mary accurate? 5.5 oz seems kinda small to be served in a pint glass, unless you folks typically do 4/4/3 oz when it’s ordered at the bar. In any case, thanks for posting the recipe!

    • Hey glad you liked it! Yes those proportions are correct, be sure to roll it well to mix and dilute and you should be just fine. Of course YMMV depending on the size and temperature of your ice. But with our 1” (ish) bar ice it fits in the glass exactly as shown.

  • Lee Clarke says:

    Hi Jeffrey. Do you mind sharing the specs for your MSG solution please?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Hanby says:

    Thanks for another great post! I’m curious about if you tried using freshly pressed tomato juice to combat the thickness of canned juice? Some of my favorite Bloody Mary’s (Tjoget in Stockholm and Dante in NYC) have been with fresh tomatoes, and it is a completely different texture. However, I’m guessing that is both more expensive and labor intensive, so maybe it doesn’t make sense at your bar?

    • I wrote about using fresh tomatoes in The Bar Book and if you’re going the garden route you’ll need to roast them first. Simply “juicing” fresh tomatoes results in a very different flavor and texture, which I personally find delicious in a gazpacho but off-putting in a Bloody Mary. My favorite solution is puréed canned tomatoes, which are the best of both worlds.

  • BZ says:

    We had this for the first time @ Pacific Standard over the holidays and were absolutely blown away by how light but seriously flavorfull it was! Now we know the secret and will be making these at home when we can’t make it to Portland. My partner had me very nervous about ordering a bloody Mary at night but I’m glad I did! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Steve says:

    You know I will be making these at home soon

  • Will be making this this weekend for sure. thanks for the suggestion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *