So, you would consider yourself quite the amateur bartender, eh? Or a swell party hoster? Or maybe just a bloody mary fan? Well, no matter what you are, as long as you like bloody marys, we like you. And we want your guests to like you too. So we put together this little reminder with tips from us on how to make a bad ass bloody mary bar. Take our advice and people will be talking about it for days, serve Stu’s Bloody Mary mix at your bar, and people will be talking about it next year. Come on...would we ever lead you astray? Here are our bloody mary bar ideas for you to eat up (sorry for the cheesiness, it was just too easy).
Spacing and Organization
You’ll want the bar to be in a spot where all of your guests can access it. Seems like an obvious tip right? Well...it is. But you’ll want your bloody mary bar to be a focal point. So don’t cram it in some corner, leaving it unseen and hard to get to. When guests go over to the bloody mary bar don’t make them stand on top of each other trying to garnish their drink. Space it out nicely. If you need two tables, then get two tables. It’d look nice to have two tables set up on two different walls, where the corner of each wall meets up. Make sense? Not only is that option visually appealing, but it also gives your guests two stations. One table could have the cups, napkins, alcohol and mixes and the next table can have the garnishes and food if you have it.
How you space and organize your bar will depend on the party size. If it is a small gathering, you can keep everything contained to a small area. If it is a larger one, you will have to get a little creative. Everything should be easily accessible without having your guests stepping all over each other. Also, it is important that your bar is organized in sequential order..so don’t put the alcohol at the end.
It’s fun if you give your bloody mary bar some sort of a theme. Perhaps it goes with the type of event you are putting on. If your party is centered around a sports event, then put mini jerseys, numbers, logos and team colors around the bar. You could even incorporate these into the garnishes or drinks themselves. If you want to get cute use mason jars for your glassware...people love those things. No matter what the theme is, you can find cool ideas and inspiration everywhere. Pinterest is a good resource for different themes.
The holidays are coming up, you can go as simple as setting a poinsettia on a table. But we don’t really recommend doing that, although it would be kind of funny. At least get some garland and wrap it around your tables and doorways. Tinsel can hang from the ceiling. It’s alright to go a little cheesy, people actually like it. Careful with the glitter...it gets everywhere. But hey, it’s the holidays, so whatever. Confetti, spices, veggies, you name it, you can put it on the table and it'll probably look good. This is literally spices and tomatoes, boom, looks good. Decor pro.
If you don’t want a theme, that’s cool too. You can use your fancy serve ware and have a reason to show it off to your guests. And if you could care less about decorations, then that’s fine too.
Bloody mary bars are aesthetically pleasing and the bar itself can serve as your only decor, just make it the focal point of the space….and that doesn’t mean placing a table in a middle of your living room awkwardly in everyone’s way. Just make it noticeable. The two table option is a good bloody mary bar idea if you don’t want any other decorations.
Diversify Your Flavors.
Alcohol. Garnishes. Tomato Juice.
When putting together the perfect bloody mary bar, you want to keep everyone in mind. Like many things, everyone is going to have different tastes.
Your liquor choices should be different. Yes, you may like your bloody mary with one type of vodka, but others might hate your Barton’s choice :) Two vodka choices is probably mindful enough. Don’t go insane.
There are plenty of different hot sauces you can buy for cheap that will give guests more options. Sriracha won the Huffington Post’s taste test for best hot sauces that go with bloody marys.
Want some personality? A meat straw is a little, bizarre, delicious thing that goes a long way.
Pickle juice and pickles are a staple in the bloody mary community that often gets overlooked by the casual drinker..so don’t overlook them.
Olives, onions, bacon, toast, asparagus, shrimp, beets, green beans, mushrooms, lemons, limes, cilantro, blue cheese, paprika, havarti cheese, oregano, lettuce or spinach, jalapenos… are all great options to have for your guests.
You can get creative with these and make fun things, like wrap a piece of ham and havarti cheese around an asparagus for people to grab and throw in their drink. Or kabob shrimp, mushrooms and onions together. Yum.
Sometimes people can get overwhelmed and want everything in their drink. So if you place different foods together that complement each other then people don’t have to think about what to add together. It’s already done for them and then they just choose whatever their taste buds are feeling in that moment. For round two, they choose a different food option.
You really want to give your guests the creative freedom to create their own bloody masterpiece.
Everything and anything goes with bloody marys. Bloody marys aren’t just for the morning. If you are throwing a brunch then have more brunchy foods. We know….a mind blowing tip.
But seriously...everything goes with bloody marys. Bacon always. Toast...most of the time. Shrimp, cheese, asparagus in the afternoon/evening. Cheese always. Cilantro always. Lemons and limes always. If you have those options then people can make themselves full and not whine about whatever food you are or aren’t serving. If you do have main dishes that people are getting themselves then place the food on a different table so people know what the difference between the garnishes and the food is..although there’s not much of one. Imagine any type of food, you can probably place it somehow in a bloody mary. That’s part of the reason we love them so much.
Bloody Mary Rimmers
Plenty of drinks can be improved with the addition of a salted rim. However, unlike a margarita which is usually plain salt or sugar, bloody marys are different. If you get yourself a Stu’s Kitchen Mixology Kit, you will get our very own Key Lime and Sweet Corn Rimmers. If you want other options, we recommend Celery Salt, Smoked Paprika and Lemon Pepper salts to put on the rim. Little options like this will give guests some variety, and who knows, maybe they have never had anything like that before and fall in love.
Have fun. Imagine something, and then create it. Boom. Done. You can’t really mess it up. Unless you completely nix out all of these bloody mary bar ideas :) then s*** can hit the fan. Literally. Have you ever had someone get drunk and throw shrimp on your ceiling fan? Yea.. you’ve been warned. Happy creating, concocting, mixing and partying. Share with us your photos of your bloody mary bars!