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… It’s definitely not your average brunch drink.
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 8 vegetables?
Therefore, it just makes sense to swap the standard tomato juice mixer, for V8 in my favorite Bloody Mary recipe. (You can even use the low-sodium variety).
It might seem counter-intuitive to start the V8 Bloody Mary with the garnishing rim, but there’s a method to the madness.
You see, before you can pour your shaken V8 Bloody Mary into the glass/mason jar/bucket (or your receptacle of choice) — the bloody mary salt needs to be rimming the glass already. So let’s start there.
Bloody Mary Salt Ingredients
- Kosher Salt
- Chili Powder
- Onion Powder
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Lime Wedge
To Salt The Rim Of V8 Bloody Mary
- 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 so you have an even layer of the bloody mary salt. Set aside.
- Run a freshly cut lime wedge around the rim of the glass to “wet” it.
- Turn the glass upside down and place the rim in the Bloody Mary salt mixture.
- Twist the glass in the salt until the rim is evenly coated.
- Turn the glass right side up and set aside.
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. In my view, that garnish should always include a stalk of celery.
It’s part stirrer, part crunch and celery has 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 a Bloody Mary’s partner in crime. Of course the garnish doesn’t end with celery, so here’s a few ideas on how to garnish.
Thought starters for Bloody Mary skewers
- Pimento Stuffed Olives
- Cheese Stuffed Olives
- 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, just pick your favorites — or set up a Bloody Mary Bar with all the fixin’s for your friends to build it themselves.
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
- Fill a Boston Shaker with ice.
- Add the V8 juice, vodka, horseradish, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce (if using) and lime juice to the shaker.
- 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.
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 full brunch reaches the table.
Variations and Swaps:
- If you like a spicier Bloody Mary cocktail, add fresh grated horseradish or extra hot sauce (even sriracha)
- Another way to adhere the salt to the rim is using honey or agave. Just lightly brush the rim, 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.
- For quick and easy garnish, add store bought giardiniera to a skewer or just add a spoonful to your drink. We like Mezzetta for it’s chunky, large vegetables.
- Use lemons in place of limes for a more pronounced tanginess.
- Add a splash of olive juice or pepperoncini juice to the V8 Bloody Mary for a salty tang.
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 of any ingredient.
We like Tito’s, but if you have a favorite brand, feel free to use it. I just wouldn’t go with anything too expensive as it’s a mixed drink with more emphasis on the mixer than the booze.
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 certain garnishes won’t hold up as well. Use common sense.
Try these popular brunch items to serve with your V8 Bloodys:
- Hatch Chile Breakfast Strata
- Homemade Applewood Smoked Bacon
- Homemade Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
- Angel Flake Biscuits with Salty Ham
- Broccoli Cheddar Frittata
More Bloody Marys and brunch cocktails you might like:
- Clamato Bloody Mary
- Cucumber Melon Cocktail
- Milk Punch
- Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail
- Guava Tangerine Fizz
- Ruby Thyme Spritzer
Garlic & Zest is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
V8 Bloody Mary
For The Rim:
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 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
MAKE BLOODY MARY SALT
- 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.
FOR INDIVIDUAL V-8 BLOODY MARY
- 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!
FOR A PITCHER OF V-8 BLOODY MARYS
- 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.
HOW TO STAGE A BLOODY MARY BAR
- 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
STAGE 1:THE RIMMING STATION
- 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.)
STATION 2: SERVING THE COCKTAIL
- 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.
STATION 3: GARNISHES AND BLOODY MARY SKEWERS
- 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.