Super special guest post from SF's best bloody maryest Mr Andrew Marks:
A few key things I have dear to my heart when it comes to Bloody Marys are:
Vodka is not the only way to go, tequila, and gin are of course also other popular options. I use Absolut Peppar, I think its the best. St. Georges (makers of Hangar 1) also make a habanero vodka that is good. Anything that is going to compliment and not take away is a good way to look at it. I wouldn't go lower then Smirnoff. Its a decent neutral for the price. Belve, Gray Goose are a waste. However, Belvedere makes a bloody mary flavored vodka and its shit on its own but decent mixed up with all the accoutrements. A London dry gin I like the best like Tanqueray.
Hot sauce, by far the most important choice you'll make. Cholula is the best. Hands down. I've used em all in a bloody, its the best. A close second is the Chipotle Tabasco. Tabasco on its own its shit. Too vinegary. Crystal, Siracha, wasabi, havent gotten a good one with them yet and I barfed fucking around with wasabi.
Creamy Horsradish, not fresh or the chunky. Use it sparingly, I use like half a quarter teaspoon, otherwise you'll be drinking a root.
Very little Celery salt, large pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne, ground pepper (small pinch).
1-2 oz of olive juice, 1 oz of worcestershire, half oz lime, 1/4 oz lemon. I do 2-3 oz vodka (or spirit) per.
THEN add ice. whats left over use a decent tomato only juice. I usually use about half of the mini cans of Sacramento Tomato Juice. Give it a few shakes. I usually leave the lime from the press in there.
Garnish is up to your hearts content. I use a pickled slaw of jalapeno, fennel, garlic, asparagus, red bell pepper, cabbage, and shallot, and english cucumber. Its in pretty much every vinegar they make, with ground coriander, cumin, salt, sugar, cayenne, pepper, and olive oil. Julianne everything and mix in the spices and vinegar and you can let it set in your fridge fm 3 days to 5 months. The cabbage and bell peppers might break down before anything.
I add that on top then another dash of salt, pepper, and cayenne on top of that.
Photo: Bloody Mary at Manhattan Inn in Greenpoint