If you want to go the extra mile as a host, setting up a Bloody Mary Bar for a morning or mid-day kick-off is the way to go! It will impress your friends & family immensely and make for some super cute pictures of the event.
It’s acceptable to drink a Bloody Mary before noon, and so it has become most folks’ go to brunch beverage. On top of that, it’s also super easy to prep ahead of time, so you can get all the hard work out of the way the night before, so you can enjoy a Bloody or two (…or three) before kick-off with your guests ????
Read along for a step-by-step guide to create the Perfect Bloody Mary Bar.
The first thing every guest will need, a glass for their Bloody Mary. To make the set-up look A+, I’d suggest having consistent glasses available for all guests. The cutest option, in my opinion, are mason jars. You can find mason jars at a variety of retailers – Costco, Target, etc. or online at Amazon. Here are some links to mason jars if this is of interest:
Amazon Pack of 12oz Mason Jars (pack of 5), linked here.
Target 12 pack – for all in ~$12 these are a steal, linked here!
If you’re not into the mason jar look, any glass will work. But I’d recommend a slightly taller and wider glass, so the celery sticks or pickles aren’t falling out of your guests’ glass and there is room for lots of ice and toppings.
Bloody Mary Mix
The most important component of this drink is the actual Bloody Mary Mix itself! If you don’t have a great base, this drink isn’t going to be the hit you’re hoping for.
One thing I love about creating your own Bloody Mary Mix is that the flavor seems to improve with time. Of course, you can drink it immediately after you make it (because you have to make sure it is good). But as the spices have time to mix and mingle, the flavor becomes more robust. We recommend making the mix at least the evening before and allowing the flavors to develop overnight. This also makes for one less thing you need to prep before your guests arrive on gameday.
Here are all the Bloody Mary mix ingredients you will need for FOUR cocktails (please multiply the below based upon the number of beverages you’re planning to serve):
- 4 cups clamato (or tomato juice)
- 6 ounces vodka and/or tequila
- 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (your favorite brand)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
The instructions are simple, measure out and mix all the items above together. You can certainly tweak to make it perfect for your tastes. Maybe add a little extra hot sauce for your spicy friends.
My new favorite hot sauce is Slap Ya Mama. It adds a great kick without being overly spicy.
You can pick it up this duo on Amazon by clicking here. I like using the sauce in the mix and the seasoning around the rim of the glass.
Once made, be sure to put it in the fridge in a container with a lid. No need for ice until it’s time to serve since it will just water down the base.
When it comes to liquor quality for a Bloody Mary, the thing you should recognize here, is the mix has a lot of flavor going on already. So while, you don’t want to go super cheap with your liquor selection, especially if you’re planning to have a few since you’ll have a tough next morning. You also don’t have to be reaching for the top shelf either.
Some good middle of the road options I’d recommend:
Vodka – Tito’s or Costco’s Kirkland Label
Tequila – Espolon or Milagro (silver)
Bloody Mary’s with Tequila are actually called Bloody Marias! However, you’re not limited to these two liquors, we’d also recommend using Mezcal or Bourbon to get a smokier flavor.
Bloody Mary Bar ‘Toppings’ – the fun part!
This is where you can get creative!
To start off, you want to have extras of everything you put into your Bloody Mary Mix so guests can adjust to their taste preferences. There’s always those who like more of a spicy or peppery kick than others.
After that, we’d be sure to have the following staples:
- Lemons or Limes
- Olives – Pitted and/or stuffed
- Pickles – Slices or Mini Pickles
- Celery Stalks
- Peppers – Jalapenos, Habaneros, Mini Bell Peppers, Pepperocini… Roasted, Grilled or Pickled
And if you want to step it up a notch, add some of these options to your Bloody Mary Bar:
- Crispy Bacon Strips – make them extra seasoned!
- Fresh Herbs
- Cooked Shrimp Skewers
- Pickled Veggies – asparagus, green beans
- Cocktail Onions
- Chunks of Cheese on toothpicks
- Carrots or Cucumber Spears
Now you have your glasses, mix, garnishes, now you just need to set it all up! I’d recommend leveraging Pinterest (linked here!) to pull everything together.
If you already have a favorite Bloody Mary mix recipe, we’d love to try it. And if you send the recipe along with a picture of you enjoying your drink, we can feature you on our Instagram page!
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the team at [email protected]!