You know what’s easier than a bloody mary bar? Preparing a big-batch mary that’s so good, your guests don’t have to do any DIY work. This crowd-pleasing mix starts with the toned-down tomato kick of V8, then gets a double smack of heat from zippy horseradish and hot sauce. Regular pickle juice adds a puckery sweet-and-sour touch, but we really love the extra heat from a jar of spicy pickles (Wickles is our current brand crush). Be sure to let the mix sit for a least a couple hours to let the flavors meld and mingle. Pints of the bloody mary mix paired with bottles of vodka make stellar gifts.
To get the richest flavor for your Bloody Mary mix, use superripe, heavy red tomatoes. If you can’t find adequate vine-ripened tomatoes, use red cherry tomatoes in their place. Slideshow: More Bloody Mary Recipes