Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix (with canning instructions)

When tomatoes are is season, or growing on my vines if I’m lucky, I preserve them in any way I can think of.  I make sauce, tomato soup base and just plain old puree and stack them up in ziptop bags in the freezer.  Sometimes I can whole tomatoes, but now I’ve learned you can freeze them whole for later cooking.  This year, I’ve been looking for a new and different idea, and I set my mind on Bloody Mary mix.  I know many people are very happy with, even prefer, the standard bottled mixes.  But I think once you give a real, homemade version a try, you’ll be hooked.  Packed with fresh, in season tomatoes and lots of flavorful vegetables, it’s a very special treat.  A little warmth from the banana peppers and ginger set this blend apart.

I made a few adjustments to my standard recipe to make it suitable for canning, so a few lucky folks on my list will be getting some for Christmas (let the competition begin).  And how much of treat will fresh tomato Bloody Marys be at a holiday brunch? You can also make this for serving as soon as it’s chilled, or pack it into ziptop bags or freezer jars to store.

Stick with the basic quantity of vegetables, sugar and lemon juice for storage, but feel free to add more hot sauce, Worcestershire, or stir in a spoonful of prepared horseradish.  Remember, you can always add a dash of hot sauce when you’re mixing the drink. To make a Bloody Mary, fill a tall glass with ice, add vodka, top with the mix and stir. Pepper or lemon vodka add a nice twist if you are so inclined.  After storage, the mix may get a bit thick, just thin it out with a little water, it can handle it. I like to garnish a good Bloody Mary with Pickled Asparagus or Dilly Beans, but the traditional celery beautifully complements this mix.

I used these canning bottles in the picture above.

Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

After storage, the mix may be a bit thick. Just thin it with a bit of water, and of course, vodka.

8 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered

3 green peppers, seeds and ribs removed chopped

3 carrots, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, torn

1 –inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

3 small or 1 large banana peppers, seeds removed, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Generous grinds of black pepper to taste

½ Tablespoon hot sauce (I like Crystal)

1 tablespoon Worcestershiresauce

Place all the chopped vegetables in large Dutch oven.  Add a splash of water, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are mushy, 30 – 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally, breaking up the vegetables with the back of a spoon.  When everything is mushy, leave to cool for a few minutes.

Working in batches, carefully puree the vegetables in a blender.  Fill the blender half full, vent the top and hold it tight covered with a tea towel.  When each batch is done, press it through a fine sieve, extracting as much liquid as possible.  Discard the pulp left behind. If you have a food mill, this is a great time to use it. Return all the extracted liquid to the pot.  Add the sugar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Bring the mix to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.

You can now cool the mix, pour it into a pitcher, chill it and use it right away, or can it in quart jars for long term storage. You can also cool it, pour it into ziptop freezer bags or freezer jars and freeze it for up to six months.

To can the mix, clean and sterilize the 3 (like to have an extra, just in case) quart jars.  I do this in the dishwasher, timing it so the jars are still warm when I am ready to pour the mix in. While your Bloody Mary mix is cooking, get a boiling water canner or big stockpot of water going.  Here are step-by step instructions for processing in a canner. When the mix is almost ready, pour some boiling water over the lids to your jars to soften the seals and set aside.

I like to ladle the hot mix into a large measuring jug for easy pouring. Fill each of your warm, cleaned jars with the hot mix, leaving a ½ inch head space.  Dry the lids with a clean paper towel and place on the jars.  Screw on the bands, then process the jars for 40 minutes in a boiling water bath.  If you have a bit of extra mix, pour it into a refrigerator container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Makes 2 quarts (plus a little extra)

To make a Bloody Mary, fill a tall glass with ice, add 2 ounces vodka (or as much as you like) and top with Bloody Mary Mix and stir. If the mix is thick, add a bit of water to thin it out.


60 comments to Homemade Bloody Mary Mix (with canning instructions)

  • Reliable

    REALY GOOD – make a bunch because it goes quickly. Next time, I am going to make plenty to keep on the bar.

  • Sherry Keogh

    This kicked ass! I did modify a bit – omitted the bell peppers (hate them), omitted the celery (I just forgot it) and used 2 serrano peppers and one jalapeno pepper instead of the banana peppers (wanted it spicier). And used a variety of heirloom tomatoes from the garden. Amazing!! Thank you for posting the recipe WITH the canning instructions!

  • Tamara Gruschke

    I love this recipe!!! I searched high and low for a bloody mary recipe with canning instructions. The wait was totally worth it. I did also modifiy my bloody mary mix. I used the stock from simmering the vegetables to water down my bloody mary mix because it was very thick once I pureed the vegetables. I also didn’t extract the pulp so this may have been why it was so thick. Regardless the outcome was the best I have ever made, and I have plenty. Since I added the stock back into the pulp portion of the mix, and keeping in mind that I tripled the recipe, I got 12 quart size jars out of it!! I couldn’t be happier. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Julie Hansen

    I canned this a few weeks ago and we finally tried it this past weekend. I made it exactly as posted on your blog and I must say, this is the BEST Bloody Mary mix I have ever had! I used a couple cups in my hamburger soup yesterday instead of tomato juice, the flavor it gave the soup was fabulous!!! I cannot thank you enough . . I just wish the tomato season for me was not over as I would LOVE to can more!!!

  • Xinger

    Can I can this WITH the vodka already in it? Would be fun on a picnic or as a housewarming gift! Small size jars with a pickled bean and an olive? Just wondering if there’s a reason not to…

  • No, it can’t be canned with the vodka. The mixture needs to be hot when it goes in the jars and heated vodka will evaporate. It will also dillute the mix, so it wouldn’t be safe. You could can in smaller jars, but don’t add olives or beans to it. As a gift idea though, how about a jar of bloody mary mix and a small bottle of flavored vodka? You could even do a couple of airplane bottle vodkas of different flavors. I gave for christmas with jars of Dilly Beans.

  • Jennie

    Where did you find those great canning bottles in your picture? I am really excited to try this recipe and can some for gift!

  • Katie

    Hi, what about canning the bloody mary base without the tomatoes? Mine contains, lemon juice, lime juice, worchestershire, siriacha, horseradish, dijon, and various brine juice. I’d love to make a big batch and give little jars that fresh or other tomato juice could be added to. But the canning/acidity thing freaks me out. Any tips on what to look out for?

  • I don’t think canning without the tomatoes would work. I have had good luck with canning this, just follow the recipe precisely. Check for canning tips.

  • […] Homemade Bloody Mary Mix – We’re gonna have a gajillion tomatoes coming ripe in the next few weeks. I need some tomato ideas. […]

  • I love Bloody Marys. Our garden is beginning to produce a ton of tomatoes, so I will make this soon. Though I will probably go through it too fast to bother with canning.

  • Mona

    Love the recipe idea, can’t wait to try it. Where did you purchase your funky canning jar? I have been looking for unique canning jars and would love to find a source. Thanks!

  • It’s Bormioli Rocco. Check amazon or container store.

  • Lynn

    this turned out great! except it made 4 quarts and 2 cups… maybe my tomatoes are really juicy? i welcomed the additional bounty 🙂

  • How long would I have to process it if I put them in pint jars? I don’t love bloody mary’s but my husband does.

  • I would process for 25 minutes for pint jars.

  • My husband is just going nuts over this. I never even liked bloody marys but this is delicious. Even have dilly beans to garnish. This will become a staple in our kitchen.

  • Darrin

    I made this today. I doubled the recipe and it turned out great. I use jalapeños and a cayenne pepper instead of the banana pepper. It’s fantastic. I strained mine to remove the pulp and heated that up to thicken and made an awesome spicy tomato sauce with it. Gonna try pressure canning it.

  • Jeff

    I think I added too much water to the vegetables to start with and it came out rather thin and runny, when you say a splash what is that? about a cup or so? I think i added enough to fill half the pot. 🙁

  • Just a couple of Tablespoons should get it going. Try cooking your mixture a little longer to let the liquid evaporate out.

  • Jori

    This is delicious! I’ve never used fresh Ginger and this totally made the recipe. I’m going back to the store to get more so I can make some more! Wonderful, awesome, fantastic! I used fresh ingredients from my garden. WOW!

  • AnnaMae

    I am totally excited to try this over the weekend, I just have one stupid question, Do I take the skins off my tomatoes before they get quarted ? Otherwise how does the skin come off, Can I use a juicer?

  • No need to skin. When you press the mix through the strainer, it will take care of all that. Enjoy!

  • Morgan

    Great recipe with perfect consistency! I doubled the batch due to 18lbs of tomatoes from our garden that needed to be used. I omitted banana peppers and used 4 jalapenos, 4tbs horse radish & Aardvark Sauce for heat. Next round I will use less sugar & banana peppers. I believe my heirlooms, being so ripe, added a lot of sweetness and the pepper would offer more acidity. Looking forward to sharing with friends!

  • AnnaMae

    What is pressed Ginger ? I never heard of it and where in the grocery store is this found ?

  • The recipe calls for fresh ginger, peeled and chopped. You can find fresh ginger in the produce section of the grocery store.

  • This is the second time that I’ve made your bloody mary mix! The first time was a trial run and it was delicious! So today, dear husband and I quadrupled the recipe and will be packaging it with a bottle of vodka and a lemon for Christmas gifts! 🙂 so excited! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • […] Almost as much time as I do eating them.  Ziptop bags full of sauce and soup base.  Salsa, bloody mary mix and chutney in jars.  And this, my favorite tomato condiment.  I discovered recipes for tomato […]

  • Jenna2191

    I have a ton of canned tomatoes from this summer; do you think I’d be able to use those in place of fresh, then add to the cooked vegetable mixture?

  • I really don’t think so – I worry about the acid levels of already canned tomatoes being safe for canning again. If you just wnat to use them to mix up a batch not canned, that would be fine.

  • Carlotta

    Could you can this mix with canned tomatoe juice or clamato juice? Since I dont have fresh garden tomatoes.

  • I wouldn’t. Fiddling around with the acid content can be dangerous.

  • Do you think I could ad horseradish to the recipe before canning?

  • I would be nervous about adding it as the acidic balance when canning tomatoes is a tricky thing. You could always add a little when you open and serve it.

  • […] from a variety of really great canning recipes for inspiration, like this fantastic and thorough one from The Runaway Spoon or this one from SB […]

  • Betsy

    This is so yummy!! I want to make some for Christmas gifts- what is the shelf life of this recipe, after canning is completed?

  • Kept in a cool dark place, this will keep for a year. If it ever becomes discolored, the seal on the jar is compromised or it smells off when opened, discard.

  • Lana

    This sounds really good. I have my own Bloody Mary recipe that I make. It does use store bought tomato/veg. juice. Can this be canned as well with the store bought tomato juice?? Thank you!!!

  • I wouldn’t risk it. The acidity in tomatoes varies and I am sure the juice producers account for that, so I don’t know that you can be sure how to maintain a safe level with a product you haven’t had complete control over.

  • glenna

    no lemon juice on hand, can i use Clamato juice instead (is this still safe for the hot water canner method)?

  • No. You must have the lemon to provide the right amount of acid to make the mix suitable for canning.

  • Kathie

    Trying to find a recipe and canning instructions for clamato juice. Can you help?

  • Stephanie

    This was awesome!!! Do NOT toss away the pulp! I used the pulp and made bruchetta, salsa and just ate it with toast. I used a colander to drain the liquid. Thank you so much for this

  • So glad you liked it! Great idea of the pulp!

  • Tim Sanders

    Just made this. Used 2 dried chilies from New Mexico for replacement of hot sauce. Turned out awesome.(extra hot) Also used fine wire sieve and scraped sides forcing pulp out. Very nice thick Bloody Mary mix. Made almost one gallon for me. Thank you for sharing recipe.

  • I love horseradish so I added about two or 3 tablespoons of horseradish to this recipe along with the other spices. I also love thicker bloody Mary’s, and the strained version into the fine mesh sieve was too watery for me… So after a couple of tries on my second batch, I used a hand immersion blender to purée everything right in the Dutch oven. They only took a couple of ladels full out and strained that and returned the juice to the preblended Dutch oven, and used that. It was the perfect texture.

  • Kaylee

    What is the shelf life?

  • Up to one year in a cool, dark place.

  • Bee

    Would I be able to add horseradish to the mixture with increased amount of lemon juice to balance the acidity? Also do you use bottle or fresh lemons (is there even a difference)?

  • Sean

    This recipe is great.I modified it though. I omitted the banana peppers and added 3 Serrano chilies and 2 tablespoons of prepared horseradish because we love heat! Can’t wait to share with family and friends.

  • Ruth

    Do you actually ‘can’ in those jars as in it seals and preserves it for a year?

  • Yes, the bottles in the picture are suitable for waterbacth canning. You can use standard ball quart jars as well.

  • Thanks for posting with canning instructions. Just one question as I am new to canning, if I made it tonight can I bag it or store in fridge and can it later like in two days??

  • No. It is not safe to reheat a tomato based recipe for canning later.

  • Margaret

    I just tried this and it tastes great. However my mix has separated in both my fresh batch I kept in my fridge and the ones I canned. Is that normal or did I do something wrong?

  • It’s completely fine. Just give it a good stir or shake before using.

  • Cinful Canning

    I made this one but used cilantro rather than parsley and hot peppers instead of banana peppers instead of banana peppers. Spicy and good!

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