If anyone knows Bloody Mary’s it’s us.

But we do hear people ask: Can you make a bloody mary with gin?

The Answer: YES!

Before you get all traditional, yes we know that a classic Bloody Mary packs its punch with Vodka. And while we’re all for tradition, the ultimate goal of Stu’s is to help you to create the perfect Bloody Mary. Period.

So that means that we experiment with all ingredients in order to offer you opportunities to make your cocktail exactly to your own liking.

Some people don’t actually like the combination of vodka and tomato juice.

Some folks even claim that vodka adds only two things to a drink: volume and alcohol. In other words, because vodka is flavorless, it doesn’t add any flavor to your cocktail. But the same time because vodka adds volume, it’s diluting the flavor of all of the other bloody mary ingredients.

If only there was a spirit that does has flavors that can actually complement the spiciness of the other ingredients. Behold…

Bloody Mary With Gin

Also known as The Red Snapper, this is gin’s version of the Bloody Mary.

While vodka is traditionally the spirit of choice for this classic drink, gin brings its own distinct set of flavors and characteristics that can complement the ingredients in a Bloody Mary.

Here’s four great reasons why you should consider to swap gin for vodka in your next bloody mary.

  1. Aromatic Complexity: One of the defining features of gin is its complex botanical profile. Gins are infused with a variety of botanicals, including juniper berries, herbs, spices, and citrus peels. These botanicals impart a wide range of aromatic notes to the spirit, such as pine, floral, herbal, and citrus. When combined with the other components of a Bloody Mary, these additional layers of flavor can enhance the overall drinking experience.
  2. Herbal and Spiced Notes: Many gins have a pronounced herbal and spiced character that can harmonize with the savory elements of a Bloody Mary. The herbs and spices found in gin, such as coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, or licorice, can complement the Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and other seasonings commonly used in the cocktail. The result is a more intricate flavor profile, with an added depth that can intrigue and engage the palate.
  3. Citrus Infusion: Citrus is an essential component of a well-made Bloody Mary, providing a bright and refreshing element to balance the rich tomato base. Gin, with its usual inclusion of citrus peels during distillation, contributes an extra citrusy dimension to the cocktail. The citrus notes in gin can amplify the tanginess and zestiness of the tomato juice, creating a harmonious interplay between the two.
  4. Personal Preference: Ultimately, taste preferences play a significant role in the enjoyment of a bloody mary, so a Bloody Mary with Gin is the same way. Some individuals may simply prefer the taste of gin over vodka and find it more appealing when combined with the flavors of a Bloody Mary. The choice of gin allows for customization and experimentation, enabling enthusiasts to explore a variety of flavor profiles and find their preferred balance.

It’s worth noting that making a Bloody Mary with Gin might not appeal to purists who prefer the classic vodka-based version. However, for those who enjoy a twist on tradition and are open to novel flavor combinations, gin can provide a captivating alternative that adds complexity and depth to this beloved brunch cocktail.

Next time you’re feeling the fatigue wrought by too much fun from the night before, order up a Bloody Mary with Gin, Red Snapper and be sure to cast aspersions at the Bloody Mary crew.

Just like the Bloody Mary, the Red Snapper is a very personal drink. It can be adapted and molded to your specific taste.

Bloody Mary with Gin – Red Snapper Primary Ingredients

  • Gin
  • Tomato Juice
  • Spices / Mix
  • Highball glass

We prefer to use STUs as the spices / mix. But if you’re into making it DIY, use these ingredients.

  • Gin: Opt for a quality gin that complements the other ingredients without overpowering them. London dry gins or ones with citrus-forward profiles work exceptionally well in this cocktail.
  • Tomato Juice: Use freshly squeezed tomato juice or opt for high-quality store-bought alternatives. Look for options that are not overly seasoned or spiced since we will be adding our own blend of flavors.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Add depth and umami flavor by incorporating Worcestershire sauce into your Red Snapper. Its tangy and savory elements enhance the overall taste profile.
  • Hot Sauce: For those who enjoy a bit of spicy heat, hot sauce is an essential ingredient in any good Bloody Mary variation. Choose one that suits your spice tolerance level, whether it’s mild or fiery hot. The most common being Tabasco.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens the cocktail and complements the other flavors. Its citrusy tang adds a refreshing note to the Red Snapper.
  • Celery Salt: Celery salt adds a unique twist to this cocktail, enhancing both the flavor and aroma. It brings out the natural earthiness of the ingredients while providing a subtle savory kick.
  • Ground Black Pepper: A sprinkle of ground black pepper adds depth and complexity to the Red Snapper, rounding out the flavor profile with its subtle spiciness.
  • Garnishes: No Bloody Mary or Red Snapper is complete without a garnish. Traditional options include celery sticks, lemon wedges, slice of a lime, olives, or even bacon or cheese for an indulgent touch.

The History of the Bloody Mary with Gin

The Red Snapper’s origins start in a bar called The New Yorker sometime during the 1920s when French barman extraordinaire Fernand “Pete” Petiot left Harry’s New York Bar in Paris for the King Cole Room at the St. Regis Hotel in NYC.

At Harry’s in Paris, Petiot was famed for a tomato juice and vodka drink that was named the Bloody Mary after a customer.

When Petiot came to NYC he brought the drink recipe with him, but was forced to swap out the vodka for Gin. (At that time vodka was hard to come by in the U.S.)

His new employer, then the Astor family, which owned the St. Regis, was way too fancy for a drink named the Bloody Mary…So the Red Snapper was born.

One of the first noting’s of the Red Snapper comes from Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion (1941), but this recipe still uses vodka as its liquor.

It wasn’t until the start of the 1960s, in The London Magazine (Volume 2, 1962 edition). that the recipe for a Red Snapper, the Bloody Mary made with gin version was first published.

Note: The St Regis King Cole Bar’s signature cocktail remains The Bloody Mary to this very day, it’s name changed back to the original moniker given to it by Petiot.

The Red Snapper, by this point, had been carving its own name with gin at the helm and so a name divide stuck – a Bloody Mary for vodka fans and a Red Snapper is a Bloody Mary with Gin for all the gin drinkers.

Bloody Mary With Gin Recipes

Obviously if the breakfast joint you are at has a bar, just ask your waiter/waitress to have the bar swap out vodka for a dry gin such as Beefeater in your Bloody Mary. Presto, it’s a Red Snapper.

But if you’re reading this post, or a stu’s customer then you’re a social butterfly who enjoys making good drinks at home or in need of a hangover cure.

Here are some Bloody Mary with Gin recipes for you that are jaw-droppingly good.

How we like to make a Red Snapper:

If you’re skipping the STUs you’ll want

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Your preferred hot sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper.

Use celery salt and pepper to rim your cocktail glass (preferably a Collins).

The Preparation

Now that we have all our ingredients ready let’s dive into how to prepare this tantalizing cocktail:

  1. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add 2 ounces of gin to the glass.
  3. Pour in 4 ounces of tomato juice.
  4. Squeeze in half a lemon’s worth of juice.
  5. Add 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce and your preferred amount of hot sauce (to taste).
  6. Sprinkle in a pinch of celery salt and ground black pepper. (Make it easy by skipping Steps 5 and 6 and use one or two Oz of STUs.)
  7. Stir well using a bar spoon to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
  8. Taste and adjust any seasonings if needed.
  9. Celery Salt rimmer for the win.
  10. Garnish with your choice of celery stick, lemon wedge or slice of lime, olives, or any other desired accompaniments.

Serving Suggestions

The Red Snapper pairs exceptionally well with brunch or an afternoon gathering with friends. Consider serving it alongside classic brunch dishes such as eggs benedict, smoked salmon bagels, or avocado toast for an elevated dining experience at home.

For those who enjoy experimenting further, you can also customize your Red Snapper by adding additional garnishes such as pickled vegetables, shrimp, or even a dash of horseradish for an extra kick.

The Red Snapper cocktail offers a refreshing twist on the beloved Bloody Mary by incorporating gin into the mix. With its harmonious blend of flavors from tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce, this libation provides an elevated drinking experience that will impress both yourself and your guests. So why not shake up your cocktail routine and give the Red Snapper recipe a try? Cheers to delicious twists!

Gin is absolutely pure class-in-a-glass, and hey, so are you so enjoy.