What’s better than a cocktail with brunch? A cocktail and snacks, of course! That’s where a bloody mary bar comes in. You can add small garnishes like celery and bacon, or go all out by topping your bloody mary with appetizers like pizza bites or sliders.
Bloody marys are fitting for a variety of events, whether you’re hosting a girls brunch or throwing the big game on. Our bloody mary bar ideas and tips will show you how to create the ultimate bloody mary bar complete with seasonings, garnishes and fun props.
How to Make a Bloody Mary
If you’re making your bloody mary mix from scratch, make sure you blend it together the night before your event so the flavors have time to set. The recipe below makes around six large bloody marys. We recommend providing both mild bloody mary mix and a spicy bloody mary mix for your guests.
- 6 cups tomato juice
- 2 tablespoon horseradish
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 teaspoon pepper
- Hot sauce to taste
- Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.
- Before serving, whisk the mixture again. Pour into a pitcher to make serving easy.
Bloody Mary Recipe Ratio
Typically, bloody mary’s are made with one part vodka to three parts bloody mary mix. For example, you should combine 6 ounces of bloody mary mix with 2 ounces of vodka. If you or your guests prefer a weaker drink, start with a four to one ratio and add vodka to taste.
Placing the bloody mary mix and vodka out separately allows your guests to decide what strength is right for them.
For a more flavorful bloody mary, try infusing your vodka with jalapeños, bacon or pickles.
Bloody Mary Bar Ideas
Half the fun of creating a bloody mary bar is decorating it! These tips and tricks will help you put together a bloody mary bar that your guests won’t forget.
Make ice cubes out of bloody mary mix.
Bloody mary’s are known for their strong flavor, but ice tends to melt and dilute the taste. To combat this, freeze bloody mary mix into ice cubes and use those instead.
Infuse your vodka
Try flavors like pickle, bacon or jalapeno. It takes about three days to infuse vodka, so if you are going to make flavored vodka for your bloody mary bar, make sure to prepare it days ahead of the party!
Group your table by type of garnish to make it easy to navigate.
At a bloody mary bar, it’s hard to tell where to look first! Group your items by vegetables and meats so that your guests can easily find what they’re looking for. Don’t forget to label each section!
Optimize your table space with crates or shelves.
Since you’ll have so many items on your table, make more room by using crates. Items can go both inside of them and on top of them. Crates also allow you to elevate the important elements on the table, like the bloody mary mix and vodka.
Provide both small and large skewers.
Large skewers are great for big items like pizza bites or hard boiled eggs. Small skewers or toothpicks allow you to rest additional garnishes on the rim of your glass, making them easier to snack on and giving your bloody mary a filled out look for the perfect photo op!
Pre-make a variety of garnished skewers.
For those who are unfamiliar with bloody mary’s, it can be hard to decide what flavors will work well with their drink. Set out a handful of premade skewers to give your guests examples and get their creativity flowing!
Bloody Mary Seasoning Ideas
Setup different kinds of salt in wide, shallow dishes so that guests can rim their glasses. Don’t forget to provide a dish of water to help the salt stick! Even better, encourage guests to dip their glasses in barbecue sauce, hot sauce or lemon juice before dipping them in salt.
Put out the extra seasonings in their spice jars or a spice tray, so your guests can sprinkle them into their bloody marys!
Bloody Mary Condiments
Guests can perzonlize their bloody marys by adding additional condiments. Multiple types of hot sauce are a must if your crowd likes spice!
- Barbeque sauce
- Hot sauce
- Lemon or lime juice
- Pickle juice
- Worcestershire sauce
Bloody Mary Garnishes
Bloody mary garnishes are where you get to have all the fun! You can create premade skewers that people can quickly add to their drinks, or provide plain wooden skewers to encourage guests to build their own. If you’re using short glasses or want the skewers to rest on the rims of the glasses, cut them to size or provide toothpicks in addition to skewers.
Fruits and Vegetables
- Artichoke hearts
- Baby corn
- Celery sticks
- Cherry tomatoes
- Dill pickles
- Grilled mushrooms
- Lemon wedges
- Lime wedges
- Pickled okra
Meats and Cheeses
- Beef jerky
- Cheese cubes
- Chicken wings
- Hot dogs
- Steak bites
- Chicken nuggets
- Hard boiled eggs
- Jalapeño poppers
- Mac n’ cheese bites
- Mini grilled cheese
- Onion rings
- Pizza bites
- Tater tots
- Waffle cut fries
Bloody Mary Recipes
Once you’ve set up your bloody mary bar, it’s time to get creative! When building the ultimate bloody mary, it’s helpful to think of a theme for your drink so that everything tastes good together. Here are a few ideas for inspiration.
What would be in your perfect bloody mary? The possibilities are endless!
Theme your bloody mary bar based on the event. Chicken wings and pizza bites may be fitting for football parties, while crab legs would elevate a more refined event like a bridal party. Don’t forget to use fun barware to make your guests smile and add personalization to your party!