The American Chemical Society has posted on their website a fairly fluffy but entertaining piece on the chemistry of the Bloody Mary.
“It’s a very complicated drink,” said Neil C. Da Costa, Ph.D., a expert on the chemical analysis of flavors at International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., Union Beach, N.J. “The Bloody Mary has been called the world’s most complex cocktail, and from the standpoint of flavor chemistry, you’ve got a blend of hundreds of flavor compounds that act on the taste senses. It covers almost the entire range of human taste sensations — sweet, salty, sour and umami or savory— but not bitter.”
They’ve even helpfully included several tips for concocting the perfect highly unstable mixture Bloody Mary. Chemists will not be surprised at the most important ones: don’t make it ahead of time, and keep it cold!