The Bloody Mary is an acquired taste, and by that, we mean it’s a taste we wish everyone would acquire. Punchy and complex, the classic cocktail works double-duty as a brunch mainstay and a bracing hangover boon. But this drink deserves to transcend the glass, and we’ve found a way to bring its savory, spiked influence to the grill and beyond this summer: Bloody Mary butter.

Among butter’s many merits, it’s a spreadable vehicle for just about any flavor you can imagine. That’s why compound butter (which is simply butter that’s been combined with herbs, spices, or whatever else you can whip or mix into it) is one of the easiest tricks for impressing guests, upping your kitchen game, or even taking cocktails to the next level through fat washing. In this case, we’re taking all the ingredients that make the Bloody Mary great — think tomato, horseradish, lemon, and yes, even vodka — and transforming them into a do-it-all spread. Vodka, just like the cocktail we’re riffing on, performs multiple functions in this recipe: The spirit ups the butter’s spreadability and provides a subtle astringent kick that stands up to the dairy’s richness. (Creator and author of cookbook “Pass the Plate” Caroline Gelen’s viral vodka butter was an Instagram phenomenon for a reason.)

Bloody Mary butter is, first and foremost, a grilling workhorse: Sizzle a few pats over scallops, asparagus, or zucchini before you take them off the flat-top, or scoop a quenelle onto swordfish or steaks the moment they hit the picnic table. It’s a foolproof vehicle for perfecting seafood poolside, too: Place seasoned shrimp or salmon and your aromatics of choice on a double layer of tin foil, and top it all with a few spoonfuls of the butter. Fold the foil into a packet, seal it, and toss it on the grill. When you open it, you’ll be met with steamy seafare bathed in its own rich sauce. The stuff is also an obvious breakfast powerhouse. Slather it on toasted sourdough or into an English muffin’s nooks and crannies; drop a dollop into your frying pan before scrambling a few eggs. You can even swap it for ketchup or mayo (or both) on a breakfast sandwich if a drinkable hair of the dog isn’t doing the trick. To make it, simply blend the ingredients until smooth and serve.

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Just like most bars that crank out Bloodies, we’ve formulated our own Bloody mix. We opted for jarred Calabrian chilis to up the butter’s heat, hue, and depth of flavor, but classic hot sauce works here, too. And while you’ll find most of the ingredients in your pantry (and on your bar cart), they can easily be omitted or substituted. Out of Worcestershire? Drop it or swap it for a dash of soy sauce. No celery salt? Good old flaky sea salt works just fine. Go harder on the chilis or hot sauce to crank up the heat, or leave them out altogether.

This butter also keeps well in the fridge and freezer, making it ideal for weekly meal-prepping or getting ahead before a picnic or backyard barbecue. That’s the beauty of Bloody Mary butter: It can be as high-low as the cocktail itself.

Bloody Mary Butter Recipe


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 8 ounces cold unsalted butter (preferably Kerrygold)
  • 4 tablespoons canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons grated horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons chopped Calabrian chilis (or 4 dashes hot sauce)
  • 1.5 teaspoons celery salt or kosher salt
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire
  • Zest of one lemon plus more for serving
  • Flaky salt for serving


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Serve on a plate topped with lemon zest and more flaky sea salt, or store in a sealable container in the fridge for up to a week or rolled into a log and wrapped in wax paper in the freezer for up to a month.