Home Sea Fare Bull’s-Eye!


by James O. Fraioli
Bull's Eye Cocktail
Photo by Jessica Nicosia-Nadler Photography

Savory with beef bouillon, Worcestershire, and black pepper, balanced by a smack of vodka and lemon, this classic sipper is sure to hit the spot.

By James O. Fraioli / Photo by Jessica Nicosia-Nadler Photography

The Bull Shot is considered more of a vintage cocktail these days and one you may not have ordered in quite some time. It’s a savory concoction of vodka mixed with beef bouillon, lemon, black pepper, and Worcestershire. Originating in the mid-20th century, its exact inception remains debated, but it soon gained popularity as a hearty alternative to traditional cocktails. The drink, featured in my cocktail book The Bloody Mary: More than 75 Classics, Riffs & Contemporary Recipes for the Bar, which I created with celebrity bartender Vincenzo Marianella, offers a bold, meaty flavor profile, bringing to mind a liquid version of beef consommé. Its unique blend of ingredients appeals to adventurous drinkers seeking a departure from sweeter or fruitier cocktails.

While the Bull Shot is not inherently maritime, the cocktail does carry symbolic ties to sailors and the sea. Its robust flavors mirror the hearty sustenance required by mariners during long voyages, reminiscent of the meals prepared aboard ships. With its base of vodka, the Bull Shot embodies resilience and maritime tradition. Make one the next time you set sail. You’ll discover this classic sipper is a flavorful tribute to the boundless depths of the ocean—all contained within a cocktail glass.

The Bull Shot

Serves 1

2 ounces premium vodka

2 ounces beef bouillon

½ ounce fresh lemon juice

1 large pinch fresh cracked black pepper

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce, or to taste

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the vodka, beef bouillon, lemon juice, pepper, and Worcestershire. Shake well and pour all the contents into a cocktail or rocks glass.

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