Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Smoky Mary

Recipe from Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke (Workman, 2016)


  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Smoking with a handheld smoker
  • Equipment: A pitcher; handheld smoker; bar spoon
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  • 3 cups tomato juice (I like the Sacramento brand)
  • 1 cup vodka, or for an even smokier flavor, use mezcal
  • Grazed zest and juice of 1 lemon (or to taste), plus 1 cut lemon for moistening the glass rims
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • Salt (kosher or sea) to taste
  • 4 strips beef jerky or celery stalks (preferably from the heart with leaves still attached)
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue rub in a shallow dish

Step 1: Place the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, horseradish, sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, and salt in a glass pitcher and stir well to mix.

Step 2: Cover the top of the pitcher with plastic wrap, leaving one edge open for the rubber tube from the handheld smoker. Insert the tube and fire the Smoking Gun to fill the shaker with smoke as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Quickly remove the hose and seal the top of the shaker with plastic wrap. Let stand for 4 minutes, then uncover and stir in the smoke with a bar spoon. Repeat once or twice more or until the desired degree of smokiness is achieved. (Note: If you don’t own a handheld smoker, simply pour the tomato juice in a shallow nonreactive baking dish and smoke on your smoker or grill, stirring occasionally.)

Step 3: Meanwhile, moisten the rim of 4 highball glasses with cut lemon. Dip in the barbecue rub to coat the rim. Place 4 ice cubes in each glass, taking care not to dislodge the rub. Add the Smoky Mary and stir to mix. Garnish with the beef jerky or celery stick.