5 Tips From Chemists for Making the Best Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary is more than just a tasty way to get a little hair of the dog. According to the American Chemical Society, it's also one of the most complex cocktails out there. That's why this group of chemists decided to spend months analyzing the drink, in the process coming up with some tips for making the best Bloody Mary.

The most surprising tip? Use cheap vodka! (Read on to find out why.)

A mix of tomato juice, vodka, horseradish, lemon or lime juice, black pepper, celery salt, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, a Bloody Mary is a cocktail with a lot of built-in complexity. Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D., a flavor chemist, says, "It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations — sweet, salty, sour and umami."

Here are his tips for making a great Bloody Mary:

Make it fresh. Chemically, the Bloody Mary is a “highly unstable” concoction, and the quality tends to deteriorate quickly.

Ice it up. Serving Bloody Marys on ice helps to slow down the chemical reactions involving acids in tomato juice and other ingredients that degrade the taste.

Mind your mixes. If you use a cocktail mix, add some fresh ingredients to enhance the flavor and aroma.

Splurge on the juice. Tomato juice makes up most of the Bloody Mary’s volume, so use high quality juice that has a deep, rich flavor.

Economize on the vodka. The intense, spicy flavor of a Bloody Mary masks the vodka, and using premium vodka makes little sense.

He also notes that the tomato juice, horseradish and citrus in the drink can have beneficial health effects, giving us another excuse to mix up a couple Bloody Marys this weekend.

Read the full article: Creating the perfect Bloody Mary - American Chemical Society

Do you have any tips for making a great Bloody Mary?

Related: A Bloody Mary, With a Twist of Pickle

(Image: Flickr member isante_magazine licensed under Creative Commons)

16 Comments