Brian Bartels is a big fan of the Bloody Mary. “It’s festive, celebratory, and may be the best version of beginnings and endings,” says the Beverage Director for Gabe Stulman’s restaurant group. “Some celebrate the start of the day with one. Others attempt to remember what happened the night before by sipping away.”
In his new book, The Bloody Mary—out now from Ten Speed Press—Bartels collects Bloody Mary recipes from his years behind the bar and from his industry friends. The recipes range from well-worn classics—like the first Bloody Mary recipe ever published, from the Stork Club in Manhattan—to off-the-wall variations that include everything from peanut-infused vodka to Guinness.
The versatility of the Bloody Mary is key to its staying power in the cocktail canon: says Bartels, “There are more different ways to make this cocktail than any other I have come across, and that lends so much to its appeal.” Tried-and-true variations include the Bloody Bull—with beef broth for extra umami—and the Bloody Maria—where the vodka is swapped out for tequila—but Bartels’ new book will take your Bloody game to the next level.
And just in time for outdoor brunch season, the book includes plenty of more refreshing adaptations to try as the weather gets warmer. Here are three innovative Bloody Marys that are perfect for summertime day drinking:
For summer grilling:
The spicy, beefy Barbecue Bloody Mary from famed pitmaster Chris Lilly is an excellent smoky companion for burgers, brats or ribs.
In “The Cornballer,” yellow tomatoes and sweet summer corn combine with tequila for a vegetal variation on a Bloody Maria.
For the beach:
The island-style “Pirate Mary”—supplemented with rum, coconut and pineapple juice—puts a tiki twist on the brunch classic.
Find these and more delicious recipes in The Bloody Mary by Brian Bartels. Available now from Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. List price $18.99, amazon.com.