How To Make (and Drink) Hemingway's Prized Bloody Mary Recipe

Ernest Hemingway was a man of many talents and hobbies. He loved hunting for sport, writing for fun, and drinking like his life depended on it. Among the many drinks that passed through his mustachioed lips was his prized Bloody Mary. Of course, there are plenty of ways to make a tasty Bloody and most stick to the basic ingredients of tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and so on and so forth.

However, it is Hemingway's recipe that we are drawn to because of its simplicity, straightforwardness, and no-frills list of ingredients. Presented to you by way of Papa Hem himself is the best Bloody Mary you'll ever drink. 

Ernest Hemingway's Bloody Mary


  • 1 liter of Russian vodka
  • 1 bottle of tomato juice
  • 1 bottle of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 limes
  • Celery salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Ice

Step one

Dump your jar of tomato juice in a pitcher filled halfway with ice. Hem specifies that a full pitcher is needed, because "any smaller amount is worthless."

Step two 

Mix in a pint of good Russian vodka. We used Stolichnaya, because it's as Russian as a bear in a track suit. 

Step three

Add a small amount of black pepper. Just enough to get the heat train running. 

Step four

Toss in a smidgen of celery salt. 

Step five

Add as much cayenne pepper as your puny tongue can handle. Also, please make sure to wash your hands before touching anyone's genitals. Heard from a friend that it burns like the Dickens! 

Step six

Add a tablespoon full of Worcestershire Sauce. Note: this is only one of two ingredients that Ernest Hemingway was specific about, regarding measurement. Some people just have serious feelings towards Worcestershire sauce. 

Step seven

Add a jigger of fresh squeezed lime juice. If your hands aren't strong enough to squeeze a full jigger's worth of juice, you can ask a friend or neighbor's infant child to do it for you. 

Step eight

Taste it. Be sure to follow Big Papa's most important pearl of wisdom: "If it lacks authority add more vodka." Because if it's not strong enough, you will be visited by the ghost of Ernest Hemingway in the middle of the night and we cannot guarantee he won't try to get you to box him right then and there.

Jeremy Glass is a staff writer for Supercompressor, but moonlights at Olive Garden in Times Square every evening.

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