The Liquor Cabinet

Bloody Mary gets a whisky makeover in this Bloody Scotsman cocktail recipe

Any time of the year is the right time for a Bloody Mary, but winter calls for a heartier Bloody Scotsman made with whisky, not vodka.

bloddy scotsman first choice liquor market

Brunch lovers know the Bloody Mary is an essential addition to the table. This cocktail may be on the spicier side, but that’s exactly how we like it – with the extra kick that comes from shakes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, blending perfectly with its base partnership of tomato juice and vodka. It’s a great way to wake up your palate, so we love it as a pre-dinner drink too, complete with snack-friendly garnish including pickles, olives and even anchovies. But when winter hits you may want to switch the Bloody Mary for her more robust cousin instead. The full-bodied Bloody Scotsman adds extra oomph to the drink with a decent splash of blended Scotch whisky – hence the name. Just don’t forget the celery stick garnish – it’s a non-negotiable for any drink in the Bloody family.

How to make a Bloody Scotsman cocktail

Ingredients (serves 4)


  1. Fill 4 tall serving glasses with ice. Divide the Scotch, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce among the glasses. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide the tomato juice among the glasses and stir to combine. Add a celery stick to each glass. Thread olives and pickles onto cocktail skewers. Arrange on the glasses to serve.

A bit of bloody cocktail history

As its name suggests, the Bloody Scotsman is based on the Bloody Mary – it just swaps the original vodka for the fiery flavour of Scotch whisky. The Bloody Mary has been credited to young bartender Fernand Petiot, who stirred the drink in the 1920s. But there are those who say he just spiced up the existing power couple of vodka and tomato juice, a drink favoured by Hollywood (and its stars) at the time. It’s believed to be named after Mary Queen of Scots (who earned the nickname Bloody Mary thanks to her cut-throat political tactics). Regardless of its origins, all agree a Bloody Mary is incomplete without a garnish. The original garnish of choice was simply celery, allegedly born in a bar in Chicago when a bartender forgot the all-important swizzle stick. To mix the drink, his resourceful customer grabbed a nearby celery stick instead.

Here’s what you’ll need for your growing whisky cocktail collection

If you like fiery flavours you’ll find a friend in the Bloody Scotsman, a cocktail that leans into the smoky palate of Scotch whisky. If you’re not familiar, Scotch whisky can only be called that if it’s produced entirely within the tartan-loving nation of Scotland, and contains nothing except for water, barley, yeast, and the odd caramel. Among the historic Scotch whisky houses is Chivas Whisky, the oldest continuously operating Highland distillery with an impressive 237 years up its sleeve. The Chivas Regal Extra 13YO Bourbon Cask Scotch Whisky makes for a mean cocktail base, an extra smooth twist on the iconic Chivas style, thanks to a portion of its blend being finished in Bourbon casks.

Want more cocktail ideas? Here’s where to go next

Whether you prefer your Bloody cocktail made with vodka or whisky (or even beer) it has the potential to be a zero-waste wonder if you raid the fridge for any overripe tomatoes and celery you have handy – plus, we have plenty more sustainable cocktail ideas for you to experiment with. Whisky fans, you’re in luck – there’s no shortage of seasonal whisky based cocktails out there, including the citrus-celebrating whisky smash, the ideal drink to warm your cockles this winter.

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