Fall Harvest Bloody Mary’s are bolstered with warm fall spices, brightened with lemon juice, and slightly sweetened with apple cider to create a bracing fall beverage that delivers on all fronts. Happy Sunday, friends! I hope you’re enjoying a relaxing day filled with good food, football, and hopefully a tall glass of something rich in lycopene and spiked with vodka. 😉
I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a fall-inspired Bloody Mary (my beloved cocktail!) since Labor Day, so I looked to Instagram for the input of my followers.
The original concept was a pumpkin bloody, which was inspired by classic Moroccan-style recipes that combine winter squash with tomatoes and warm spices. I think it makes some culinary sense, however most of the ‘gram folks who responded to the concept gawked over the idea. (Hey, you can’t win ’em all!)
I was still determined to create something of the essence, so I went in a slightly different direction with this Fall Harvest Bloody Mary and I am not the least bit disappointed.This recipe starts with a classic tomato juice base which gets a slightly sweet upgrade from unfiltered apple cider. If you live in the northeast, you can probably find fresh apple cider at your local farmers market this time of year, but otherwise, I usually luck out at Fresh Market. The addition of cider also helps thin out the tomato juice, so the drink is all the more sippable.
Also in the mix are the classic contenders—lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, pepper—plus a few curveballs like pumpkin pie spice and freshly grated ginger (in place of horseradish). The warm spices play off the tomato juice for the perfect balance of acid, heat, and sweetness. Bread & butter pickle juice add a briny, umami kick. In terms of hot sauce, I’m loyal to Cholula. It bursts with round flavor and balanced heat from arbol and pequin chiles.
Now let’s talk garnishes. We’ve seen them all: everything from shrimp and sliders to a full summer garden on a 12-inch skewer. Sometimes simple is best, however I do love the smoky accent that applewood smoked bacon adds to the drink. Beautiful, bold, bracing, and guaranteed to cure whatever happened last night. Now that’s a bloody good Bloody Mary.
- 2 cups quality tomato juice
- ¾ cup unfiltered apple cider or juice
- 4 oz. vodka
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. bread & butter pickle juice
- 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 to 2 tsp. hot sauce (such as Cholula), depending on desired level of heat
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Optional garnishes: applewood smoked bacon, apple slices, cherry tomatoes, olives, lemon wedges
- Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher; stir with a whisk. Divide evenly into four highball glasses filled with ice. Add garnishes of choice.