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The Bloody Mary


The Bloody Mary


Photos and Words by Emily Hopkins

Gather around, dim the lights, speak softly and keep pungent foods away: It’s time to talk about hangovers.  No one likes to deal with them, and many of us pretend that we don’t get them (as if pretending they don’t exist will keep them away).  Many hangover cures exist—The Cup of Coffee Cure, the Shotgunning a Beer Method, The B-12 Morning Binge.  I’ve even heard of people who swear by downing raw eggs or oysters the morning after.

When the Hangover Fairy visits during the wee hours of the morning, the last thing I want to ingest is raw animal byproducts or anything brewed.  Plus, a quick perusal of the internet will produce myriad arguments over any and all hangover cures, and that includes the one I’m going to show you today.  But I promise, I approach this topic in earnest and with experience, so I hope you’ll take my word for it.

The Bloody Mary.  The name comes from a vulgar religious reference (the non-alcoholic version is the Virgin Mary.  I think you know where this goes).  It’s tomato-y, it’s spicy, it’s more like food than beverage, but the Bloody Mary is hands down my go to girl to help get me out of that dark and painful valley, and here’s why:

The booze.

That ounce and a half of vodka dulls your senses enough to temporarily take away the pain of last night’s sins while you wait for the next part to rehydrate you.

The fluids.

All that tomato juice isn’t just for show.  It actually brings you back to somewhat hydrated from the brink of arid humanity.

The spice.

Horseradish, pepper and Worcestershire sauce hide the presence of the vodka, which is good, because that would probably make you

So now that I’ve got you up, here are some possible plans for your morning.

Homemade Bloody Mary

For the broke and the lazy among us, the homemade Bloody Mary is certainly the way to go.  In the outside world there are people.  Cars.  The T.  The sun.  All things that are dreadfully painful.  Dr. Emily says, take one of these and call me in the evening.

(Recipe adapted from

  • 3 oz tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • celery salt
  • ground pepper
  • hot pepper sauce to taste
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce *(Vegetarians/vegans beware: Leave this out if you’re going meatless.  This sauce is made from fermented fish bits.)
  • Possible Garnishes: lime wedge, dill pickle spear, celery, green olives.  (I strongly suggest the celery, but peel it before you stick it in your drink.  No one wants to fight with that stringy skin, especially when you’re already down.  Also, lime wedge is obligatory.)

Oh, what’s that you say?  Too hard to calculate with your brain the way it is?  Try this:

Bloody Mary Mix

I’m sure the purists among you are cringing, but these are dire times!  Who has time to measure those ingredients to the perfect proportion for your travel mug that you’ll be nursing all morning at work?

I used Mr. & Mrs. T Horseradish Bloody Mary Mix (what can I say, I like the spice), which was good, albeit not as good as the home- or bar-made ones.  This is also super convenient if you want to skip the vodka part and just take advantage of the drink’s hydrating qualities.

Sorry, what?  You don’t like tomatoes?  Well, then how about…

Carrot Mary

I know several people who can’t stand Bloody Marys because of the tomato juice part.  They’ve likened the taste to drinking tomato sauce, which doesn’t sound pleasant at all.  Because I’m such a believer in this cocktails healing effects, I was desperate to find them an alternative; and I’m glad to say, I was successful.

Carrot juice (I used Naked’s orange-carrot juice cocktail) was the perfect substitute.  Use it in the same proportion as tomato juice, and add a little more spice (the juice was a little sweeter).  Drink it.  I promise you’ll feel a lot better. If you can’t bare to squint your eyes to see the measuring cup, or if you have company in your misery, I suggest you venture outside to one of these three places:

Deep Ellum: 477 Cambridge Street. Allston, MA 02135

The Regal Beagle: 308 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA 02446

 Church: 69 Kilmarnock Street, Boston, MA 02215

They are all under the same management, and therefore have the same Bloody Mary recipe.  What sets them apart (besides having the best cocktails I’ve tasted in Boston): They garnish their Marys with a pickled string bean.  It. Is. Di. Vine.

So hopefully by now you’ve finished your cocktail.  Go back to bed and sleep for a couple hours.  You’ll be right as rain when you wake up, and you’ll have Emily (and Mary) to thank.