How to Make a Bloody Mary Bar

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Want to throw the perfect brunch party? Surprise your guests with a DIY Bloody Mary Bar! With some good vodka or gin, the right fixings, and some pretty colors you can create a Bloody Mary bar worthy of any over-priced brunch spot.

When designing the bar, think of the Bloody Mary as five separate parts: the base, the rim, the veggies, the protein, and the spice/flavor. Here's some inspiration to get started.

Bloody Mary Bar
Bloody Mary Bar (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

THE BASE

There are lots of different recipes claiming to be the best Bloody Mary mix around, but the options are really endless. For this bar, I used the recipe below for the classic mix and then divided it into two. I left one as is for guests who don't like spice, and then added extra Tabasco, Sriracha, and jalapeño juice to the other for a spicier option.

Mix up the following ingredients and pour over ice:

  • 3 cups V8 Juice
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
    and most importantly...
  • VODKA
Include a spicy and classic variation.
Include a spicy and classic variation. (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

THE RIM

Choose a couple flavored salts to rim your glass. I make my own by combining kosher salt with different flavors, like garlic and chipotle. Put the salt in small dishes that will fit the rim of the cup. Keep lemons or limes close by so guests can wet the rim before dipping their glasses in the salt.

Here are a few salt ideas:

  • Celery Salt: 1 tablespoon celery salt + 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Chipotle Salt: 1 tablespoon chipotle powder + 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Spicy Garlic Salt: ½ tablespoon garlic powder + ½ tablespoon paprika + 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Lemon Pepper: 2 tablespoons lemon pepper
A little salt makes the flavors really pop!
A little salt makes the flavors really pop! (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

THE GREENERY

Garnishes are one of the best parts of the Bloody Mary. Pickled veggies, lemons, celery sticks, and jalapeños are classic, but you can include anything you like.

Make sure to include skewers on your spread so guests can load up on all the yummy greens!

Here are a few ideas for your bar. Bonus points for using the pickling them beforehand:

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Green olives
  • Jalapeños
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pearl onions
  • Pepperoncini
  • Pickles
  • Pickled asparagus
  • Picked carrots
  • Pickled cauliflower
Celery sticks are an iconic Bloody Mary garnish - perfect for added flair and to stir flavors together.
Celery sticks are an iconic Bloody Mary garnish - perfect for added flair and to stir flavors together. (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

PROTEINS

Whether you're drinking for a hangover or just enjoying a Bloody Mary before a day of partying, you don't want to miss out on the protein. Anything, and I mean anything, goes here, but a few of my favorites include:

  • Bacon
  • Beef jerky
  • Cheddar squares
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Mozzarella balls
  • Shrimp
  • Mini sliders
  • Tofu
Make skewers of your favorite fixings for guests to select and enjoy.
Make skewers of your favorite fixings for guests to select and enjoy. (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

SHAKES & FLAVOR

The perfect Bloody Mary almost requires tasting as you go, which makes a bar spread perfect for all guests. Pull out all pantry for this one, and allow guests to add and stir in whatever their hearts desire!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Celery salt
  • Cholula
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Frank's Red Hot
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Pickle juice
  • Seasoned salts
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Sriracha
  • Worcestershire sauce
Ever joked about wanting to drink BBQ sauce? Now you can.
Ever joked about wanting to drink BBQ sauce? Now you can. (Image: Elizabeth Biscevic)

References

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