This take on a classic Bloody Mary is made even better with insanely delicious bourbon maple candied bacon, and a super flavorful salty rim! They’re such a crowd pleaser at brunch, and they’re great to entertain with too!
(This post is sponsored by Pomi. Thank you so so much for reading and supporting the brands that I love!)
So guess what. I’ve never been a huge fan of bloody marys until somewhat recently. And until I started making my own! And until things like bourbon maple candied bacon were involved. I mean, how can you go wrong?!
I don’t love sweet drinks, so naturally, a more savory cocktail is something I should love, right? I never used to, but in recent years, I am ALL about them.
I’m such a sucker for garnishes and making things super “extra”, which is why I love these even more. I’m so obsessed with the crazy bloody marys you see on brunch menus these days.
As in, bloody marys actually garnished with mini cheeseburgers, grilled cheeses, and other ridiculous things. I mean how fun is that?!
As much as I love those things, I knew I needed to make candied bacon. This version is super simple, and it’s done almost completely in the oven. You just cook brown sugar, pure maple syrup, and bourbon together over the stove, brunch the bacon with the mixture, and bake it in the oven on a wire rack for 30 minutes or so!
Just be prepared to eat the whole pan. Not even kidding.
When the lovely people at Pomi reached out to me about creating a cocktail recipe using their tomato juice, I was like OMG yes. And immediately thought of a bloody mary recipe to make, especially with game day season coming up and cozy brunches!
Sidenote – is it weird that I associate brunch with fall and winter more than summer? I just feel like it’s a more indulgent time of year, you know? Anyone else feel the same?
I love Pomi’s tomato juice, because it’s such great quality, and they use purely Italian tomatoes. And this Italian girl loves her authentic Italian tomatoes. They’re just the best!
The bourbon candied bacon in these is AMAZING and so addicting, you may want to double the batch. So you have extra bacon for snacking while you drink your bloodys. You know? Completely necessary.
In order to weave some Maryland into this cocktail, I made a salty old bay rim! If you’ve never had old bay, It’s a delicious seasoning blend that is typically used on seafood. I can’t really describe the flavor, but it does have paprika, celery salt, and a ton of other seasonings in it. Since I grew up eating it on steamed shrimp, steamed crabs, and crab dip growing up in Maryland, it just tastes like old bay to me! It’s so, so good though, everyone loves it!
And it’s amazingly good with these bloodys.
As for the other garnishes, that’s the fun part! Feel free to get crazy with it. I used celery, lemon wedges, pepperoncinis, and pickled jalapeños. Pickle spears would also be great, cucumber spears, cocktail onions, pickled carrots, or even some shrimp! That would be amazing with the old bay rim too!
The possibilities are truly endless.
Also – Pomi has a $1 off coupon that you can use to purchase their tomato juice and/or other products if you’re interested! They also have canned tomatoes and marinara which I will be sharing a recipe with soon!
The best way to brunch!
Bloody Marys with Bourbon Maple Candied Bacon
This take on a classic Bloody Mary is made even better with insanely delicious bourbon maple candied bacon, and a super flavorful salty rim! They're such a crowd pleaser at brunch, and they're great to entertain with too!
For the bourbon maple candied bacon
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons bourbon
- 8 slices bacon
For the old bay salt rim
- 2 tablespoons margarita salt or coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
For the bloody mary
- 2 1/2 ounces Pomi tomato juice
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- a dash of celery seed
- a pinch of salt and pepper
- celery stalks for garnish
- the bacon for garnish
- lemon wedges for garnish
- pickled jalapeños for garnish
- pepperoncinis for garnish
- pickles or anything pickled for garnish!
bourbon maple candied bacon
Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the slices of bacon on the rack.
In a medium saucepan, combine the brown sugar, bourbon, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture has reduced in volume and become more syrupy. Brush the bacon slices on both sides with the mixture, then bake for 10 minutes, brush one side again, bake for another 10 minutes, flip, brush the other side, and bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat this process until bacon is crispy and to your desired doneness - it should take about 30-35 minutes total depending on your oven and the thickness/fat content of your bacon. Watch super carefully, as it can burn very quickly!
salty old bay rim
Combine the margarita salt, old bay, and celery seed on a small plate. Mix together with your fingers to combine.
Moisten the edges of your glass with a lemon wedge and rim in the old bay salt. Fill your glass with crushed ice. Add the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, hot sauce, celery seed, salt, and pepper. Stir vigorously to combine. Garnish with a celery stalk, the bourbon maple candied bacon, a lemon wedge, a pepperoncini, a few pickled jalapeños, and whatever other garnishes you desire! Serve!