Gravel Gertie Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Gravel Gertie Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Gravel Gertie is a concoction that harks back to the days of speakeasies and clandestine cocktail gatherings. Its name is rumored to have been inspired by a comic strip character, which adds a touch of whimsy to its otherwise robust profile.

  • Origin
    • The precise origins of the Gravel Gertie are murky, but it's believed to have been a favorite among patrons who enjoyed bolder, savory cocktails.
  • Popularity
    • This drink has found favor with those who appreciate a cocktail that's not afraid to pack a punch and deliver a complex array of flavors.
  • Characteristics
    • It's a drink that's often enjoyed during colder months or as a bracing aperitif before a hearty meal.

How Gravel Gertie Tastes?

The Gravel Gertie is a briny, savory cocktail with a spicy kick from the Tabasco. The combination of vodka, clam juice, and tomato juice creates a rich, umami-laden sip that's both invigorating and bold.

Interesting facts about Gravel Gertie

  • The cocktail's name, Gravel Gertie, is shared with a character from the Dick Tracy comic strip universe.
  • It's a lesser-known cousin of the Bloody Mary, favored by those who seek a more oceanic twist to their tomato-based cocktails.
  • The addition of clam juice is what sets this cocktail apart, giving it a distinctive maritime flavor.


A few good options for Gravel Gertie are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


The 1 oz of Vodka is the spirit base of the Gravel Gertie, providing a clean, neutral punch that doesn't overpower the other flavors. If you bump it up too much, you risk overshadowing the delicate balance of tomato and clam juices. Too little, and the drink may become a spicy tomato soup. Alternatives: Swap out for gin if you're feeling botanical or tequila for a seaside twist.

Alex Green

Clam Juice

0.67 oz of Clam Juice adds a subtle seafood essence, salinity, and depth to the cocktail, playing off the tomato's sweetness. Removing the clam juice takes away the Gravel Gertie's unique character. Alternatives: Fish sauce in a pinch can give a similar umami hit but use sparingly!

Emma Rose

Tomato Juice

The 1 oz of Tomato Juice gives body, vitamin C, and tangy-sweetness, pairing well with the savory clam juice. Removing it would make a much harsher drink. Alternatives: V8 or even carrot juice could give a distinct veggie-based sweetness and complexity.

Mary Mitkina

Tabasco Sauce

Lastly, 0.33 oz of Tabasco Sauce brings the heat. Too much can cause a fire drill in your mouth, and too little may leave it somewhat bland. Alternatives: Any hot sauce can work, but each brings its own level of heat and flavor—experiment to find your perfect match.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Gravel Gertie Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Pour in the vodka, clam juice, tomato juice, and Tabasco sauce.
  3. Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
  4. Strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass.
  5. Garnish with a celery stick or a lime wedge if desired.

Pro Tips

  • Always use freshly opened clam juice to ensure the best flavor.
  • Chill the glass before serving to keep the cocktail cold longer.
  • Adjust the amount of Tabasco to suit your heat preference, and don't be afraid to add a personal touch with your favorite garnishes.

Perfect Pairings


Pairing a Gravel Gertie cocktail with seafood is a natural choice, especially shellfish like oysters, clams, or shrimp. The briny notes from the clam juice complement the sea flavors, while the spicy kick from the Tabasco sauce can enhance the overall dining experience.

Savory Brunch Dishes

A Gravel Gertie goes well with savory brunch options such as eggs benedict, especially when paired with a piece of crispy bacon or ham. The cocktail's tomato juice base is reminiscent of a Bloody Mary, making it a perfect morning pick-me-up.


A charcuterie board featuring an array of cured meats, cheeses, and pickles can balance out the spiciness of the cocktail with rich and tangy flavors.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Gravel Gertie

  • Vodka: A high-quality vodka will make a difference. Consider using Grey Goose or Ketel One for a smoother taste.
  • Clam Juice: If clam juice is too strong, you can substitute it with a milder fish stock or even vegetable broth for a less briny flavor.
  • Tabasco Sauce: Feel free to experiment with other hot sauces like Sriracha or a milder hot sauce if Tabasco is too intense.

Explore all drinks starting with G here

And of course - twists🍹

Gravel Gertie Goes Green

Ingredients: Substitute vodka with cucumber-flavored vodka, and add a splash of pickle juice. Recipe: The same method as the original, but with the new ingredients. It will taste fresher, with a pickle-y punch that could take you back to a summer garden party.

The Smoky Gertie

Ingredients: Replace vodka with mezcal and add a pinch of smoked paprika. Recipe: Follow the original recipe, but expect a bold, smoky dimension that plays very well with the clam juice's maritime flavors. Ideal for those who like a bit of smoke in their glass.

Sweet Gertie

Ingredients: Add a teaspoon of honey and swap Tabasco for sriracha. Recipe: Just like the original, but the addition of honey balances the heat with sweet, and sriracha brings a different kind of chili warmth. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth craving a spicy kick.

In case you forgot basics how to make Gravel Gertie

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Gravel Gertie

Can the Gravel Gertie be served as a non-alcoholic drink?

Yes, you can create a non-alcoholic version by omitting the vodka and possibly adding more tomato juice or a non-alcoholic spirit alternative to maintain the flavor balance.

What type of glass is best used for serving a Gravel Gertie?

An old-fashioned glass is traditionally used for serving a Gravel Gertie, as it allows for ample room for ice and garnishes, providing the perfect sipping experience.

Is it essential to use ice when shaking the Gravel Gertie?

Yes, ice is crucial when shaking the Gravel Gertie as it chills the drink, dilutes it slightly to meld the flavors, and provides the desired texture.

How can I garnish a Gravel Gertie if I don't have celery or lime?

Alternative garnishes for a Gravel Gertie can include a skewer of cocktail olives, a pickled onion, or even a sprig of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary for an aromatic touch.

Is the Gravel Gertie suitable for vegetarians?

While the main ingredients are vegetable-based, the clam juice in a Gravel Gertie is not vegetarian. A vegetarian alternative can be made by using a vegetable broth instead of clam juice.

How can I adjust the Gravel Gertie for someone who prefers a sweeter cocktail?

For a sweeter variation of the Gravel Gertie, consider adding a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice or a small amount of simple syrup.

More similar recipes to Gravel Gertie!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe