I love a good bloody mary and feel that making the mix from scratch is the way to go! If you are looking for the perfect bloody mary recipe that hits all the right flavor notes you want in a your breakfast cocktail that will help you get your head on straight then you’ve come to the right place!

This recipe, which placed 3d in the Second Annual The Shed Steak Showdown Bloody Mary Competition has pickle juice and fresh dill with just the right amount of spice, making it the perfect bloody mary to serve at a bloody mary brunch or bloody mary bar. Trust me when I tell you, your friends will ask for the recipe!

 If you want to see how to make the Perfect Bloody Mary, check out the youttube video recipe below to see how to make it!


The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe: It’s All About the Pickle Juice and Fresh Dill!


The perfect bloody mary recipe


Team Grill Girl!

My dad and I competed on team GrillGirl at the Shed Steak Showdown back in 2019 and I placed 3rd for my Bloody Mary Entry so I wanted to share this winning bloody mary recipe with you!  This steak competition was hosted by the Shed at their really cool BBQ restaurant on the Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi and it was a blast!

Plus they finished the competition with a live grill off (“steak A” winner versus “steak B”) competing for the biggest prize which made this a really fun, unique steak competition and a fun way to watch the awards ceremony as the Shed Family live Emceed the awards ceremony while the live steak cook off was happening.

I’ve attached a few photos to give you an idea of what the competition was like- again, such a great time and an opportunity to see some of my BBQ family! If you ever get a chance to do a Steak Cook-Off with the Steak Cook-Off Association, I HIGHLY recommend it! It is a great time and easy to enter and much less of a time and monetary investment than a BBQ competition.

The Bloody Mary competition was an Ancillary category and the judging was based on appearance, taste, overall. As you can see from the photos, there were some really great entries with people going all out on their garnish with sliders, cheeseburgers, and an array of seafood on the top. I used a blue crab from the seafood boil the night before, as well as shrimp, sausage, pickled okra and an heirloom tomato on mine.

PICKLE JUICE – unsung hero in this recipe:

A big component of this recipe is using pickle juice. I’ve since discovered that many store bought pickles have polysorbate 80, a preservative known to cause cancer, in them. You will want to look for pickles without this toxic ingredient. Whole Food’s own organic pickles do not use Polysorbate 80 and neither does Grillo’s. These are two options when using store bought pickles.

Make Your Own Pickle Juice:

The other option is to make your own. It’s really not that hard- it involves combining these 4 basic ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

You can then add your favorite additions: Dill seed, coriander, turmeric, garlic. Amazon also sells these organic DIY pickle kits including the jar to put them in. If you love pickles as much as me, this can be a fun addition.

If you do try this recipe, don’t forget to follow and tag me on instagram so I can see your creation! And if you are looking for cocktail inspiration, don’t forget to check out my smoked cocktails page! I’ve got tons of ideas to take your cocktails to the next level! 

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award winning bloody mary recipe

The Perfect Bloody Mary Recipe

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Robyn
  • Total Time: 22 minute
  • Yield: one pitcher- 4 bloody marys 1x


For optimal results, make this Bloody Mary Mix the night before so the flavors have time to combine for maximum impact. Pulse all ingredients in the blender, making sure the garlic gets completely chopped. I believe it is the combination of Pickle juice and fresh dill that really make this Mix stand out. Customize to your preference with additional hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce at the end. **This will make a pitcher of bloody mary mix- enough for 4 bloody marys.


  • 2 cups regular v8, 2 cups v8 bloody mary
  • 8 oz vodka, or to your preference- I like to add mine to the glasses not the mix, then pour the bloody mary mix on top and stir so people can make theirs as strong or not as they prefer.
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice- I recommend GRILLO's or any pickle juice made without Polysorbate 80. You can also make your own (recipe below) OR do a DIY Pickle Kit like this one.
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 heaping tbsp horseradish
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp Crystal, Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp fresh dill
  • bbq rub- optional- for rimming glasses
  • Garnishes- see notes below

IF you want to make your own pickle brine, here are the ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


Combine all ingredients and pulse in a blender making sure the garlic is fully chopped and pulverized. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight before serving. This recipe will make one pitcher of mix, about 4 bloody marys/.

How to make the pickle brine:

Stir together 1 cup water and all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Pour over vegetables or fruits. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; chill 2 days. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 2 months.


Make a “Bloody Mary Bar” and pull out your favorite condiments so people can customize to their preferences, here are a few ideas: Lemon/Lime wedges- use these to wet the top of glasses and put out your favorite BBQ rub to rim the glasses with; Bacon- great as a swizzle stick; Shrimp; Sausage; Pickles; Pickled Okra; Celery, Cucumbers, Tomatoes (the small ones to put on skewers)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: none
  • Category: cocktails
  • Cuisine: American


If you are looking for a great brunch recipe to go with Bloody Marys, check out my Grilled Shrimp and Grits– this is a fan favorite!

Also, check out these related posts perfect for homegating and tailgating!

Colombian Style Hot Dogs

Barbecued Bloody Mary

Sous Vide and Grilled Steaks