The Bloody Mary Ordering Mistake That's Easy To Overlook

For over a century, the Bloody Mary has been a beloved favorite among alcohol drinkers for its flavor and garnish versatility. Whether you're clinking glasses with a couple of friends at brunch or asking the bartender for a stronger mix after hours, this veggie-infused concoction is a tomato lover's happy place. If you're feeling fancy or have the extra cash to spend, you may request that your Bloody Mary be mixed with premium vodka instead of your go-to mid-shelfer. Maybe you make that choice because you want to have a better-tasting experience overall, regardless of how pricey your bar tab will be. If that's the case, then you should know that this isn't exactly the improvement that you might think it is.

While choosing to sip on a more premium vodka does have its benefits, such as lessening the effects of a potential hangover and enjoying higher-quality ingredients, there really is no point in mixing it into a Bloody Mary. According to Colorado-based bartender, Zanny Steffgen, "Getting premium vodka in your Bloody Mary is probably the easiest way to waste money" (via Insider). Aside from turning a decently priced drink into an expensive one, whatever elevated flavor you're trying to achieve by choosing a finer vodka will just be masked by the tomatoes and spices anyways. Likewise, if you've fallen for the vodka myth that one with a higher distillation number will improve the taste of your Bloody Mary, that is, unfortunately, not the case either.

Bloody Mary ingredients overpower vodka's taste

Regardless of how deluxe your vodka of choice may be, unless it's flavored, it won't have a "taste." After being distilled around five times, it becomes a little redundant to pick one with an even higher count, since anything more than that causes no changes in vodka's distinct taste whatsoever. If you truly want it to make an impact, go with a flavored vodka that matches the drink's inherent savoriness. However, using premium vodka in your Bloody Mary might be the better option if you plan on drinking more than one chilled glass or two. So unless you'd prefer to lessen the potential hangover, just go with an average spirit. 

Simply put, the Bloody Mary has way too much going on in the flavor department for a premium vodka to be noticeable. Both the acidity and sweetness of the tomato mix will cut through the typical burn that comes with taking a swig of vodka. And then there are all the zesty ingredients you can get creative with, like horseradish, Old Bay, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce. When you blend all that with other spices, like celery salt and pepper — not to mention the plethora of toppings you can throw into a Bloody Mary — everything else takes center stage. At that point, you just need the spirit's kick to come through for it to be legendary. Although, we understand if you have your own favorite high-end vodka that you might love using in a classic Bloody Mary recipe at home.