Red Snapper Cocktail Recipe

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Red Snapper 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 Red Snapper cocktail is considered the predecessor of the famous Bloody Mary cocktail. It was created in the 1920s by bartender Fernand Petiot at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. The drink was originally called a Bloody Mary, but the name was changed to Red Snapper to make it more palatable to the hotel's clientele. The Red Snapper is a classic brunch cocktail, often enjoyed by those looking for a savory and refreshing drink to accompany their meal.

How Red Snapper Tastes?

The Red Snapper is a savory, tangy, and slightly spicy cocktail. It has a rich tomato flavor, balanced by the sharpness of the lemon juice and the heat of the hot sauce. The Worcestershire sauce adds a touch of umami, while the gin provides a subtle herbal note.

Interesting facts about Red Snapper

  • The Red Snapper is considered the original Bloody Mary, as it was created before vodka became the standard spirit for the drink.
  • The name 'Red Snapper' was chosen to make the drink more appealing to the upscale clientele of the St. Regis Hotel.
  • The Red Snapper is a popular brunch cocktail, often served alongside dishes like eggs Benedict and smoked salmon.


A few good options for Red Snapper are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


  • Gin is the base spirit of the Red Snapper, contributing a clean and botanical foundation. If you skimp on the gin or go overboard, you could either end up with a glorified tomato juice or an overwhelmingly boozy punch - balance is key.

Mary Mitkina

Tomato Juice

  • Tomato Juice provides the body and tang and acts as the canvas for other flavors. Too much and your drink becomes a soup; too little and it loses its characteristic profile.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

  • The Lemon Juice adds a zesty freshness, cutting through the heavy flavors - think of it as your cocktail's personal trainer, keeping everything tight and bright. Forget it, and the cocktail might feel a bit too weighty.

Emma Rose

Worcestershire Sauce

  • A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce give that umami depth. It's like that friend who doesn't say much but has serious depth. Leave it out, and you'll miss the complexity.

Mary Mitkina

Hot Sauce

  • Hot Sauce brings the heat which you can tailor to your bravery. Without it, the drink lacks a certain spice of life.

Alex Green


  • Horseradish is the bold kick that makes your tastebuds stand to attention. Without it, the cocktail's sassiness greatly diminishes.

Emma Rose

Ground Black Pepper

  • A pinch of Black Pepper marries the ingredients like a well-arranged marriage - spice, warmth, and just a bit of excitement.

Mary Mitkina

Ground Smoked Paprika

  • The Smoked Paprika whispers 'smoky mystery' into the mix, adding a subtle layer like a secretive smile. Skip it, and the cocktail loses some character.

Alex Green

Celery Salt

  • Celery Salt is the unassuming but essential backbone, giving that savoury edge. Get it wrong, and the drink just feels incomplete.

Emma Rose


  • Ice is not just to cool things down. It dilutes the mix slightly, softening sharp edges and bringing everything together smoothly.

Mary Mitkina

Celery Stalk, Lemon Wedge, Green Olives

  • Finally, the garnishes - Celery Stalk, Lemon Wedge, and Green Olives aren't just for show. They offer a crunchy, zesty, and briny taste of decorum. Without garnishes, it's like going out without pants.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Red Snapper Drink

  1. Fill a shaker with ice.
  2. Add gin, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, black pepper, smoked paprika, and celery salt to the shaker.
  3. Shake well to combine and chill the ingredients.
  4. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with fresh ice.
  5. Garnish with a celery stalk, lemon wedge, and green olives.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh ingredients for the best taste.
  • Shake well to properly mix all the ingredients.
  • Garnish with a celery stalk, lemon wedge, and green olives for an authentic experience.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: The rich, savory flavors of the Red Snapper pair excellently with the gooey, melted cheese of a classic grilled cheese.
  • BBQ Ribs: The tang and spice from the cocktail complement the smoky sweetness of barbecue sauce glazed ribs.
  • Fried Calamari: The zesty tastes of the cocktail cut through the oiliness of fried calamari, providing a balance to the palate.
  • Caesar Salad: A salad with a punchy dressing will go hand in hand with the Red Snapper's bold flavors.

Drink Pairings

  • Cold Beer: A light pilsner or lager can cleanse the palate between sips of this rich and spicy cocktail.
  • Iced Tea: For a non-alcoholic option, the tannins in black iced tea can complement the savory notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Red Snapper

  • Gin: Can be replaced with vodka for a traditional Bloody Mary.
  • Tomato Juice: Can be replaced with Clamato juice for a Caesar cocktail.
  • Hot Sauce: Adjust the amount to taste, or use a different type of hot sauce for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with R here

And of course - twists🍹

Red Snapper Mexicano

  • Ingredients: Use Tequila instead of Gin, add a pinch of ground cumin.
  • Recipe: Follow the original recipe, swapping in Tequila and adding cumin.
  • Description: The Tequila will add a rustic kick and the cumin a warm earthiness distinct from the original, which will make you feel like you've taken a trip south of the border.

Green Snapper

  • Ingredients: Use tomatillo juice instead of tomato juice, cucumber-infused gin, and add a sliver of jalapeño.
  • Recipe: Same as the original, with the stated substitutions.
  • Description: This version is fresher, cooler, with an understated heat and a vegetal twist that's perfect for garden parties or 'green' your mood.

Smoky Snapper

  • Ingredients: Use mezcal instead of gin, and add a small spoon of BBQ sauce.
  • Recipe: Substitute mezcal for gin and add the BBQ sauce along with the other ingredients.
  • Description: The mezcal adds a deep smokiness, complemented by the BBQ sauce, creating a cocktail with a complex, campfire-like savoriness that's almost a meal in a glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Red Snapper

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

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Frequently Asked Questions on Red Snapper

Can I use homemade tomato juice in the Red Snapper cocktail?

Yes, homemade tomato juice can be used in a Red Snapper. However, it's worth noting that the flavor might be less consistent than store-bought tomato juice.

What's the difference between a Bloody Mary and a Red Snapper?

The key difference is the spirit used. A Bloody Mary typically uses vodka, while the Red Snapper uses gin.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of Red Snapper?

Yes, for a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the gin. You can replace it with a little more tomato juice or even some tonic water for a bit of bite.

Can I make the Red Snapper cocktail in batches for a party?

Most definitely. Just multiply the recipe by the number of servings needed. However, it's recommended to add the ice just before serving to prevent dilution.

Why is it necessary to shake the cocktail?

Shaking a cocktail helps to mix all ingredients well, slightly dilute it, and chill it down. It's especially important for cocktails like the Red Snapper, which have many ingredients with different densities.

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