The virgin Mary is nothing more than a non-alcoholic version of the bloody Mary. It really is that simple! If you have a favorite bloody Mary recipe, simply skip the vodka and you have the virgin Mary. It has all of the same great flavors, but none of the booze!
The beauty of the virgin Mary is that anyone can enjoy this drink anytime of the day. Families can get a boost of energy during breakfast, it makes a great brunch drink, it's a nutritious hangover cure, and it is simply a great drink.
Making a virgin Mary from scratch could not be easier. Once you pour the tomato and lemon juices, the other ingredients are simply there to ramp up the taste. You can make it as spicy or mild as you like and add other spices to bring in a different flare.
- Build the liquid ingredients into a highball glass over ice cubes.
- Mix well.
- Add the seasonings to taste.
- Garnish with the celery stalk, pickle spear or your favorite bloody Mary garnish.
Note: Measurements are not given for the seasonings because they should be added to taste. Begin with a dash of each, stir the drink and give it a taste. Adjust as you see fit.
A Bloody Mary Base Mix
Also, if you love to drink a good bloody (or virgin) Mary often, mix up a big batch using this recipe, store it in the refrigerator and your favorite drink is just a pour away!
Additional Spices to Consider
The recipe above is just the foundation for a great virgin Mary mix. Additional spices can be added to suit your individual taste and, just like a bloody Mary, everyone will have their own 'perfect' Virgin Mary recipe.
A few additions you may want to try:
- Ginger (muddled fresh or ground)
- Cayenne pepper
- Smoked salt
- Garlic powder
- Nutmeg (similar to a Reindeer Caesar)
- Your favorite 'all-purpose seasoning' mix
Tips for Buying Tomato Juice
The majority of drinkers will choose to buy tomato juice at the store. When doing this for a virgin Mary (or any bloody Mary for that matter), I recommend choosing the best tomato juice you can find.
There are many cheap tomato juices available and the majority of these have unnatural ingredients and preservatives to increase their shelf-life. Opt for an organic tomato juice instead or, at least, be sure that you can pronounce all of the juice's ingredients.
Tips on Reading the Labels: Salt is a natural preservative and many tomato juices include it. Most tomato juices are also 'from concentrate' and will be made with a mixture of water and tomato paste. This is not a bad thing, it is those other 'unnatural' ingredients like red dyes that you want to look for.
If you think about it, tomato juice is the virgin Mary and choosing the right tomato juice will make a superior drink.
Give your tomato juice the consideration you would a whiskey when it comes to quality!
If you like, you might consider a tomato juice blend. V-8 is one of the best-known, but there are other options that I have personally enjoyed more.
Many tomato juices are sold in cans and are difficult to reseal. To prolong your juice's freshness, pour it into a container that does seal or consider buying smaller cans. Producers like Sacramento Tomato Juice (aka Red Gold) sell packs of 5-6 ounce cans, which is perfect for a single virgin Mary serving for one or two people.
Fresh From the Garden
Fresh tomatoes will make a superior virgin Mary over one made with bottled tomato juice. During the summer months when your garden is filled with too many tomatoes, bring a few in and juice them for the freshest drink possible.
Juicing a tomato is relatively easy, especially if you choose one of the juicier varieties of tomato.
- Many large tomato varieties are perfect for juicing.
- Most Roma tomatoes do not yield much juice.
- Cherry tomatoes are easily muddled by hand.
There are a few ways to juice tomatoes:
- The easiest is to remove the stems and use your electric juicer.
- Chop tomatoes into quarters and muddle them by hand.
- Use this canning method for storing fresh tomato juice for a long period of time.
You may need to strain out seeds after using any of these methods.