Food & Drink

Cooking from the Bar Cart: Bloody Marys…on a Plate

The classic brunch sipper gets the Jell-O treatment in these flavorful mini aspics

A tray of bloody mary jell-os


For whatever reason, aspic is polarizing and Jell-O shots unifying. So if you’re one of the aspic averse, may this spirited recipe for congealed Bloody Marys be your gateway to enjoyment. The standard Bloody Mary follows a 3:1 ratio of mix to vodka, and the same holds true for these individually portioned versions that are refreshingly tangy and loaded with the umami-rich flavor you expect in a great Bloody Mary. Only these give you something to chew on, ponder, and savor. Making the aspics in mini bundt molds offers a pretty presentation, and the hollow centers are perfect for cradling your preferred garnishes.

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The recipe is infinitely versatile as long as you stick to the ratio of liquid to gelatin. I prefer the bite of a little finely grated white onion to horseradish in my Bloody Marys, but use what you like—cocktail onion juice or wasabi paste would be other good bets for adding zing. And if you have a favorite prepared mix, feel free to use it instead. The aspics make a fanciful starter for Sunday brunch, or an unexpected offering at a backyard barbecue—just keep them out of reach of any congealed salad–curious children.

See other recipes in our Cooking from the Bar Cart series.


  • Mini Bloody Mary Aspics Yield: 8 servings

    • 5 cups chilled picante Clamato juice, divided

    • 4 tbsp. (4 packets) unflavored gelatin

    • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

    • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

    • 2 tsp. hot sauce or to taste

    • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

    • 2 tbsp. finely grated white onion

    • 2 tsp. Tajín seasoning

    • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    • 1½ tsp. celery salt

    • 2 cups vodka, (I like Elizabeth or Tito’s)

    • Desired garnishes (such as pickled okra, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus, cocktail onions, olives, caper berries, peperoncini, crisp bacon, cooked small shrimp, celery stalks)


  1. Coat 8 mini (1-cup) bundt molds with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. Pour 1 cup chilled Clamato juice in a large glass measuring cup. Sprinkle all the gelatin on the surface, and let stand 1 minute. Bring another 1 cup Clamato juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk the gelatin into the cold liquid and then slowly whisk in the boiling tomato juice until the gelatin is fully dissolved.

  3. Combine the remaining 3 cups chilled Clamato juice and the gelatin mixture in a large pitcher. Stir in the lime and lemon juices, hot sauce, Worcestershire, grated onion, Tajín seasoning, black pepper, celery salt, and vodka. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared bundt molds and refrigerate until fully set, about 6 hours.

  4. Unmold the aspics. Garnish the centers as desired, and serve the chilled aspics on individual plates.

  5. Note: 1 tbsp. (1 packet) unflavored powdered gelatin will gel 2 cups liquid. 


Katherine Cobbs is a cookbook author and editor. Her most recent books are Pantry Cocktails (2021) and Tequila & Tacos (2020) published by Simon & Schuster. She also developed recipes for Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook – Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories.