How to Make an Epic Bloody Mary Maryland Style

Most adults who have had a rough night of partying with pals are well aware of the Bloody Mary. It’s a drink that has served as a hangover cure. It’s your hair of the dog (vodka or gin), a bevy of ingredients that provide hydration and vitamin C (tomato juice, celery, etc.), and a spicy/salty kick to awaken your senses. Just what you need to get your Sunday brunch started right. But, if you want a coastal twist on the classic, it’s time to try your Bloody Mary Maryland style.

Maryland Day may be in the rearview mirror for 2022, but that doesn’t mean you have to revert to traditional beverages for the rest of the year. Instead, you can take the best of Maryland and imbue your Bloody Mary with a seaside spirit. So, what makes a Bloody Mary into something the great state of Maryland claims as its own? A special seasoning and a boatload of briny garnishes.

Prepping the Drinkware

Before mixing this perfect breakfast drink, you need the proper hardware. This includes a pitcher to mix your Bloody Mary and mason jars to pour it in. Do you have to use mason jars? No, but there are a couple of good reasons you should.

While this classic bev is typically served in a highball glass, swapping in a mason jar ensures plenty of room to add upright garnishes without worrying they’ll fall. In addition, the slight inward curve helps to hold foodstuffs in place while you sip. Plus, mason jars just add an extra dash of retro cool and southern flare.

When prepping, don’t forget to rim the glass. Traditionally, you’d run a lemon wedge around the lip and then dip it in coarse salt (kosher or sea salt). However, use Old Bay Seasoning instead of salt for a Maryland-style twist.

Start with a Thick, Saucy Base

What sets any Bloody Mary worth its sea salt apart from lighter morning beverages like the mimosa is that it’s like a meal in itself. While it could fit into the low-cal drink category, depending on garnishes, a thick base makes it incredibly filling.

Choosing the right Bloody Mary mix is a must. Don’t just throw in a can of V8 and call it a day. Find a thick, spicy base like McClure’s (with a hint of pickle brine, natch). Or make your own with a blend of spicy tomato juice and seasonings like fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, celery salt, fresh ground black pepper, garlic, a pinch of sugar, or whatever you like. You’ll also want to add a specific spice to make your Bloody Mary Maryland style: Old Bay Seasoning.

The Key to Bloody Mary Maryland Style

Hailing from Baltimore, Old Bay Seasoning is a hallmark of Maryland cuisine, with a blend of 18 herbs and spices that includes celery salt, paprika, black pepper, mustard, and more. Used primarily to season seafood dishes, Old Bay is essential if you want your Bloody Mary mix to embody the spice of this seafood-loving state. From there, you’ll add your preferred liquor and move on to the garnishes.

Garnishes Galore

Once you’ve mixed your pitcher of wake-up juice, it’s time to pour and start adding garnishes. A necessary part of making your Bloody Mary Maryland style is adding a metric ton of veggies. Seriously, your drink should look like a bouquet by the time you’re done. Celery stalks, julienned carrots and cukes, and skewers stacked with olives, cherry tomatoes, and gherkins are all apropos.

Throw in Some Seafood

Okay, you might be shaking your head here. Celery? Obvi. Carrots? Sure. Candied bacon? Even better. But seafood? Hey, Marylanders love their seafood, and they understand that anything — literally anything — is made better with a few crab legs, including a Bloody Mary. After all, what could be more epic than a crustacean claw rising up from the briny red seas of your morning constitutional?

If you love a good Bloody Mary, it’s time to try a riff on the classic with a bit of Maryland swagger. Be sure to peruse the selection of adult beverages at Festival Wine & Spirits to stock up on your faves and get everything you need for a truly epic weekend with friends.

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