The Bloody Mary


The Bloody Mary

Hardy, Layered, Filling

On any Sunday here in the Pacific Northwest, hoards of bleary-eyed brunch goers reach for one of the most popular "hangover cures"; the Bloody Mary. This drink breaks pretty much every cocktail convention we know. To start, it's unapologetically savory, typically spicy, and is often accompanied wish a garnish that would make a salad bar blush. But it's all these unusual qualities that make the Bloody Mary justly distinguished, and a staple on brunch menus across the US.

For home bartenders, the Bloody Mary can be an intimidating cocktail at first. Recipes for the perfect Bloody mix are shrouded in mystery, with many bars keeping it a tightly guarded secret. Pre-made mixes are readily available at most grocery stores but they’re never as satisfying as the freshly made real deal. While these mixes truly simplify the process of making a Bloody Mary–just add vodka–they limit your ability to make a drink that fits your unique tastes and cravings.

The history of the Blood Mary dates back to prohibition times...go figure, like almost every other classic cocktail. While Americans were coping with forced sobriety, fun loving Parisians and their expat companions were blending cultures and copious amounts of spirits to push the cocktail world forward. The Bloody brought together Russian vodka, a new spirit on the scene after the Russian Revolution, and canned tomato juice "cocktail" from America. It didn't take long for this combo to gain popularity for its hair-of-the-dog qualities; staying on the cusp of inebriation while consuming your vegetables and vitamins. In the hands of American bartenders nearly a decade after its inception, the Bloody Mary was refined with the addition of fresh citrus, savory Worcestershire sauce, and a heavy dose of spices. Not much has changed since.

Bringing it back home, the basic Bloody Mary recipe is easy to whip up with minimal prep. We recommend making a large batch of the mix to keep in your fridge. The building blocks for a great mix are basic; good tomato juice, fresh lime and lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and a simple spice mix.

Here's how to make the perfect Bloody Mary.


  • Portland Potato Vodka

  • 32 oz Organic Tomato Juice

  • 2 oz fresh lime juice

  • 2 oz fresh lemon juice

  • 2 oz Worcestershire sauce

  • 2 tsp hot sauce (we like local Secret Aardvark, but Tabasco brings a nice vinegar quality)

  • Spices

    • 1 Tbsp celery salt

    • 1 Tbsp black pepper

    • 1 tsp salt

    • 1 tsp cayenne

  • Celery stalk for garnish

To make the mix, add tomato juice, citrus juices, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and spice mix to a large pitcher. For best results, make the mix the night before and let the flavors combine in the fridge overnight. When you're ready to make a Bloody Mary, pour 2 oz of Portland Potato Vodka into a chilled collins glass filled with ice. Top with your mix, and give it a couple stirs. Garnish with a celery stalk and enjoy!

Once you've mastered this basic Bloody Mary recipe, the real fun comes in developing your own unique mix that's perfect for your taste and occasion! Want something a little more complex and savory? Try adding in a large scoop of pickled horseradish and an ounce or two of your favorite pickle juice. Sweet and smoked paprika are also great additions to your spice mix, and can really help round out the acidity from the citrus.

Another fun variation to play around with is infusing your own vodka. A couple tablespoons of whole black peppercorns added to your bottle of Portland Potato Vodka will create a delicious peppery vodka after infusing for two to three days. Same goes for garlic cloves, habanero or jalapeno peppers, fresh dill, grated ginger, etc. Better yet, save yourself the infusion time and pick up a bottle of our Hot Potato Vodka. Don't be afraid to get creative, experiment, and develop your own secret Bloody Mary recipe!

The Vodka Martini


The Vodka Martini

Bracing, Clean, and Smooth

When it comes to martinis, there seems to be a perpetual debate about which base spirit to use – vodka or gin? We believe there are merits for both, but they create two very distinct cocktails. As opposed to the more savory and herbaceous Classic Martini made with gin, the Vodka Martini is elegant, clean, and just a little sweet. Made correctly, it's a true celebration of vodka; the most consumed spirit on Earth.  

Vodka is legally defined as being a neutral spirit, "without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color." However, anyone who has tasted different types of vodka knows that there are many different tastes and characteristics to each brand. They're subtle, but they're real. Vodka distilled from potatoes, like our Portland Potato Vodka, is incredibly crisp, smooth, and a bit cleaner tasting than a corn or wheat based vodka. It all starts in the ferment but we’re not going down that rabbit hole in this post.

To highlight the purity of a good quality vodka, it's paramount to use a good quality vermouth. Like all simple 2 or 3 ingredient cocktails, it's nearly impossible to cover up the taste of a bad ingredient. While a traditionalist approach to choosing vermouth would be to stick with a bone dry vermouth like Noilly Prat Extra Dry, we've enjoyed variations that use a slightly sweeter vermouth like Dolin Blanc, Lillet Blanc, or Cocchi Americano. The sweetness of these fortified wines plays off the softness of potato vodka, and is best with a bit of lemon oil expressed over the top.

Here's how to make the perfect vodka martini.


*This drink is best served in an ice cold coupe glass, place a couple cubes of ice into your glass before you start to make the drink to pre-chill.

Add vodka and vermouth to a mixing glass with a scoop of fresh ice. Stir gently with a bar spoon for 25-30 seconds (only secret agents are allowed to shake their martinis). Strain into your empty, chilled coupe glass and squeeze the lemon peel over your glass to express the oils into your cocktail. Garnish the rim with your lemon peel.