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Cajun Bloody Mary

Jason Santos' Deviled Egg Toast + Hot Peppers + Cajun Bloody Mary +Glazed Ribs
Jason Santos' Deviled Egg Toast + Hot Peppers + Cajun Bloody Mary +Glazed RibsNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Sometimes even the best recipes need changing, adjusting and rethinking ... but not this one! I have been using this for over a decade and haven't changed it or even wanted to. This Bloody Mary is the perfect balance of spice, tomato goodness and booziness.

Swap option: Traditionally I use vodka here, but you could also use tequila, gin or whiskey as well. This is so good you can drink it without the booze in it, too! 


Okra vegetable vodka (makes 24 servings)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 pound okra
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cut
  • 1 medium-size tomato, halved
  • 1/2 cup thickly sliced Spanish onions
  • One 1.75 liter bottle vodka
  • 1/8 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
Cajun spice mix
  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/2 cup dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup file gumbo powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
Cajun Bloody Mary Mix
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice (recipe above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup okra vegetable vodka (recipe above)
  • Cajun spice, for rimming the glasses
  • Lemon wedge, to garnish (optional)
  • Celery sticks, to garnish (optional)
  • Pickled okra, to garnish (optional)
  • Shrimp (poached and peeled), to garnish (optional)
  • Olives, to garnish (optional)
  • Bacon strips, to garnish (optional)
  • Pickles, to garnish (optional)


For the okra vegetable vodka:

Preheat the broiler to high. Place the garlic, okra, celery, bell pepper, tomato and onion in a baking dish and broil until the vegetables are slightly charred with some nice color, about 5 minutes. Combine the broiled vegetables with the vodka, red pepper flakes, peppercorns and bay leaf and let sit for one week.

For the Cajun spice:

Mix the ingredients and store in an air tight container in a cool, dry place for up to a month.

For the Cajun Bloody Mary mix:

Combine the tomato juice, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, molasses, hot sauce, pickle juice, horseradish, salt, cajun spice, red pepper flakes, chili powder, ground cloves, granulated garlic, onion powder, oregano, thyme and black pepper and refrigerate for at least a few hours but preferably longer. They will keep for 2 weeks, or more, in the fridge.

For the cocktail:

In a shaker with ice, combine the vegetable vodka and 4 cups of Bloody Mary mix. Strain over fresh ice in a pint glass rimmed with Cajun spice and garnish it with a lemon wedge, celery sticks, pickled okra, poached shrimp, olives, bacon strips and pickles, if using.