V8 Bloody Mary

V8 Bloody Marys are spicy, well seasoned and loaded with Bloody Mary skewers holding a variety of snacking options. This easy V8 Bloody Mary recipe will be your go-to drink for weekend brunch.

With a special Bloody Mary salt coating the rim of the glass, Bloody Mary skewers (securing all manner of snacking) and the traditional vodka and spiced tomato juice combo…

making bloody mary salt and rimming the glass with it.

Is V8 juice a good substitute for tomato in a Bloody Mary?

To me, the answer is a resounding YES. I’ve always preferred V8 Juice to plain tomato juice. It’s softer and less acidic — and hey, who can argue with eight vegetables?

Therefore, swapping the standard tomato juice mixer for V8 in my favorite Bloody Mary recipe makes sense. (You can even use the low-sodium variety).

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Starting the V8 Bloody Mary with the garnishing rim might seem counter-intuitive, but there’s a method to the madness.

Before you pour your shaken V8 Bloody Mary into the glass/mason jar/bucket (or your receptacle of choice), the bloody mary salt must be rimming the glass already.  So let’s start there.

Bloody Mary salt ingredients

  • Kosher Salt
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Black Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lime Wedge

To salt the rim of V8 bloody Mary

  1. In a small, shallow plate or bowl, combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well and gently shake the plate to have an even layer of bloody mary salt. Set aside.
  2. Run a freshly cut lime wedge around the rim of the glass to “wet” it.
  3. Turn the glass upside down and place the rim in the Bloody Mary salt mixture.
  4. Twist the glass in the salt until the rim is evenly coated. 
  5. Turn the glass right side up and set aside.
A variety of garnishes for Bloody Marys

Garnishing a V8 Bloody Mary

Let’s be honest; the best part of any Bloody Mary is the garnish, am I right? Something to snack on while you’re libating. That garnish should always include a stalk of celery.


Its part stirrer, part crunch and celery have a natural ability to soak up the cocktail so that even at the last sip, there’s probably a little extra flavor in the celery.

Face it; celery is Bloody Mary’s partner in crime. Of course, the garnish doesn’t end with celery, so here are a few ideas on garnishing. 

Thought starters for Bloody Mary skewers 

  • Pimento Stuffed Olives
  • Cheese Stuffed Olives
  • Pickles
  • Pickled Onions
  • Pepperoncini Peppers
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Blanched Green Beans
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Radishes (whole or halved with some of the green stems still attached)
  • Blanched Asparagus Spears
  • Slim Jim or Beef Jerky Sticks
  • Pepperoni, Salami, or other Cured Meat (cut into cubes or folded in quarters and skewered)
  • Poached Shrimp
  • Crab Claws (blue crab, snow crab or king crab)

You don’t need to use them all; pick your favorites — or set up a Bloody Mary Bar with all the fixings for your friends to build themselves.

vodka, tomato juice and horseradish for bloody marys.

V8 Bloody Mary ingredients 

  • V8 Juice 
  • Vodka (we used Tito’s)
  • Horseradish (check the expiration date)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Fresh Lime Juice

Assembling the brunch cocktails

  1. Fill a Boston Shaker with ice.
  2. Add the V8 juice, vodka, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (if using) and lime juice to the shaker.
  3. Place the lid securely on the shaker and hold the shaker firmly with two hands. Shake for about 30 seconds until the outside of the shaker is ice cold.
Adding ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shaking until cold.

V8 Bloody Marys are my husband’s go-to Sunday brunch cocktail. Along with customized Bloody Mary skewers loaded with his favorite garnishes, it’s just enough to keep him going until the complete brunch reaches the table.  

Variations and Swaps:

  • If you like a spicier Bloody Mary cocktail, add freshly grated horseradish or extra hot sauce (even sriracha)
  • Another way to adhere the salt to the rim is by using honey or agave. Lightly brush the edge, or create an artistic swoop with a pastry brush and sprinkle the salt over it. It sticks like a dream and gives a sweet/salty yin/yan to the V8 Bloody Mary.
  • Add store-bought giardiniera to a skewer or a spoonful to your drink for quick and easy garnish. We like Mezzetta for its chunky, large vegetables.
  • Use lemons in place of limes for a more pronounced tanginess.
  • Add a splash of olive or pepperoncini juice to the V8 Bloody Mary for a salty tang.
pouring vodka tomato juice cocktail into a glass.


Can I make V8 Bloody Marys in advance?

Yes. And you’ll probably want to if you’re hosting a crowd. A day beforehand, assemble the bloody mary salt and mix the V8 Bloody Mary in a pitcher. Cover and keep refrigerated. On the day of, taste the Bloody Mary for seasoning and adjust if it needs more ingredients.

What’s the best vodka for Bloody Marys?

We like Tito’s, but feel free to use your favorite brand. I wouldn’t go with anything too expensive as it’s a mixed drink with more emphasis on the mixer than the booze.

Can I prepare the Bloody Mary garnish ahead of time?

It really depends on what you’re planning. For blanched vegetables, yes, blanch and shock them and keep them refrigerated. You can cut cheese into wedges or cubes ahead of time. Definitely steam shrimp in advance and keep it chilled. Spearing veggies with skewers can also be done in advance, but specific garnishes won’t hold up either. Use common sense.

Try these popular brunch items to serve with your V8 Bloodys:

garnishing the vodka tomato juice cocktail with bloody mary skewers

More Bloody Marys and brunch cocktails you might like:

overhead photo of a bloody mary with lots of garnish.

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4.30 from 17 votes

V8 Bloody Mary

Swap out traditional tomato juice for it’s softer, more balanced cousin. This V8 Bloody Mary is perfectly seasoned and spiced with a tasty Bloody Mary salt rim and a bevy of garnishes for you to choose from. Make these V8 Bloody Marys by the glass or the pitcher.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword V8 juice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1


For The Rim:

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • lime wedge

For Individual V-8 Bloody Marys:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 ounces V-8 juice can substitute tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 2-3 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce
  • squeeze lime about 1 teaspoon juice

FOR A PITCHER OF V-8 BLOODY MARYS (makes 8, 8-oz glasses) Double or triple as needed.

  • 2 cups vodka
  • 6 cups V-8 juice
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 4 teaspoons hot sauce (optional) we like Crystal’s
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed

For Optional Garnish:

  • pimento stuffed olives
  • celery stalks
  • small pickles
  • cocktail onions
  • blanched green beans
  • salami cut into bite sized chunks
  • thin pepperoni stick
  • cheddar cheese cut into bite sized chunks
  • pepperoncini peppers
  • poached shrimp
  • cooked crab claw



  • On a small flat plate, combine the salt, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper and cayenne.  Mix to until well combined.  Lightly shake the plate until the spice blend is spread out in an even layer.
  • Run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass.  Turn the glass upside down and press it into the spice mixture until the rim is coated in spices.  Set aside.


  • In a Boston Shaker, combine the vodka, V-8 juice, worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce and lime juice.  Add ice and secure with the other side of the shaker.  Shake vigorously until ingredients are well mixed and the shaker is very cold.
  • Pour the bloody mary into the prepared glass.  Add a few extra drops of hot sauce if desired and garnish with your choice of toppings. Enjoy!


  • In a 64 ounce pitcher combine the vodka, V-8 juice, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and lime juice. Stir well, cover and refrigerate until very cold.


  • Set out a Bloody Mary Bar in three separate stages by creating a natural “buffet” line. (This can be on a long table or countertop 


  •  Arrange  glasses on the left, followed by a bowl of lime wedges to wet the rim of the glass.  
    Fill a flat dish (I like a medium rectangular platter for this — that way you’ve got enough room for more than one person at a time.)  


  • Fill an ice bucket with ice (and keep it filled) (or have a cooler positioned close-by that’s filled with ice) at the end of the Bloody Mary Salt (you may need to double or triple the recipe to have enough for a crowd)
  • Have pitchers of chilled Bloody Marys at this station, along with all the ingredients for the Bloody Marys, so that individuals can customize the mix to their liking, if they want additional vodka, V-8 juice, hot sauce etc. Arrange bar spoons for stirring in a tall glass. Always keep a damp dish towel or paper towels nearby to catch spills.


  • Look at the garnishes you’ve chosen. For anything that’s tall and skinny (like celery or beef jerky sticks, arrange them in a tall glass or pitcher, so they’re easily accessible (and to provide height and drama to the table).
  • For smaller items like olives, cocktail onions, pickles, etc arrange them in separate bowls with small tongs or fork/spoon to pick them up.
  • For specialty items like shrimp, chicken wings, crab claws: Skewer the shrimp on 6-10″ skewers and add one or two shrimp per skewer that are ready to stick into the glass. For crab claws, break the end off the crab, so the meat is exposed and ready-to-eat. For chicken wings (yes, I’ve seen chicken wings in Bloody Marys before) arrange a pyramid of flats and drums along with a set of tongs for easy handling.


Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 2825mg | Potassium: 508mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1555IU | Vitamin C: 32.3mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 2.7mg

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Love a vodka tomato juice cocktail? Try a V8 Bloody Mary with Bloody Mary salt rim and assorted Bloody Mary skewers for garnish! Happy Brunching! #v8bloodymaryrecipe #bloodymaryrecipe

More Brunchy Cocktails:

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  1. Gregoria Ringgold says:

    5 stars

  2. 5 stars
    I loved your rimming salt! I use spicy hot v-8 and tequila and it’s super delish! Thanks for sharing and being so detailed!!

  3. Stacy McGrath says:

    Would you happen to have a vegan version of this? I’m on a strict diet and just can’t have any animal products for a little while.

  4. 5 stars
    Is it bad that it’s like 10:30 (on a work day) and I could go for one of these? Actually, don’t answer. These bloody Mary’s look delicious. I love all of the garnishes you’ve added!

    1. A friend of mine told me that “if you have to ask if it’s too early to drink wine… You’re an amateur and we can’t be friends.” I think the same holds true for Bloody Mary’s!

  5. 5 stars
    Loved reading your introductory first paragraph. Yes drinking vodka at 10 in the morning is absurd unless it’s in the form of Bloody Mary ?

    1. I’m glad you agree! You can be in my tribe!

  6. 5 stars
    Wow, this looks like a full meal in a glass, with the protein, fats, vitamins, and boose! Sign me up!

  7. 5 stars
    I am a huge fan of your blog and recipes Lisa. I try it often at home and each and every recipe just tastes so awesome. Thanks for such easy to understand recipes. I cook at home more often these days 🙂 I am making this one for easter & mothers day too.

    1. Thank you so much Meghna! I’m glad you enjoy my content! Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see on the blog.

  8. Beth Neels says:

    5 stars
    Yup, it’s not even 10 AM and you have me wanting a Bloody Mary! This one looks like a meal! I can’t wait to try your version! I love your salt and the shrimp additions! A true snack along with your cocktail!