The Ultimate Test: How Well Can You Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar?
You’re a badass. You are the brunch host with the most. Now it’s time to prove it with a top notch bloody mary bar.
You can make your own bloody mary bar, and if you make sure it has these elements it will always be rockin’.
New to the bloody mary bar game?
It’s nothing major.
It’s like a buffet for bloody mary lovers! Set out all the key ingredients and let folks build their own beverage.
Good garnishes, solid condiments, a selection of spirits and fantastic tomato juice--those are the key elements to a top notch bloody mary bar.
Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar: Garnish, Don't Tarnish
You know from our list of insanely delicious bloody mary garnishes that the garnishes on a bloody can be over the top (no pun intended). These toppings have their place in the world, and the bloody mary bar isn’t one of them.
Garnishes on the bloody mary bar should be tasteful, simple but with lots of flare.
A savory slice in every glass will do just fine. As if the bloody mary didn’t have enough sodium already right?
This is where the “flare” comes in. Nothing says "badass bloody mary bar" quite like a straw you can eat.
Benny's is a popular brand for these chewy puppies.
Fried Jalapeño poppers
All you need is cream cheese, breading and jalapeños. Cut each Jalapeño in half, fill with cream cheese, add breading and drop in a skillet with hot oil.
Stack these hot puppies on your bloody with a long skewer.
You're going to make your own bloody mary bar, so why not make your own bloody mary ice cubes? These will chill the bloody marys without watering them down.
Take an ice cube tray or two, fill the tray(s) with mary instead of water and pop in the freezer.
Now you have chilled cubes that will keep your drink cool without changing the flavor.
Hot Soft Pretzel
Salted or unsalted this is a delicious addition to the bloody mary bar--and simple, too. Drop the pretzel into your drink to soak up some delicious mary, or keep it on top with a skewer.
The good fat. Here is a more basic flavor that allows the mary to do the talking. Avocado gives you texture more than anything, and the savory notes in the beverage really make this fruit come alive. (Did you know it's actually a fruit? Fun tip for ya.)
Bloody Mary Bar Condiments
Garnishes are important to keep it interesting, but there are some more basic condiments that play an integral role in the bloody mary bar experience.
Here is a good range of ideas to start with--you don’t have to include all of these.
Pickled green beans
Cubes of cheese
Skewers (very important unless you want all these snacks sinking to the bottom of your drink)
There are many variations of the bloody mary. Feel free to stock only vodka if it suits you, but keep in mind to truly make your own bloody mary bar the spirits should reflect the varied nature of the beverage.
Milagro is the top choice for tequila when you make your own bloody mary bar. It’s a blanco tequila which means it’s much more subtle and great for mixing. It’s also a great bargain at 27 dollars.
This vodka tops the list when it comes to great vodkas under 20 bucks. so let’s save where we can ;)
Bulleit Bourbon Whiskey
Bulleit is high in rye content and has a very nice sugar balance. With the added rye you will really know you made your bloody with whiskey.
Aria Portland Dry Gin
This is a dry gin so almost no sugar is added. Aria Portland Dry Gin comes from American Samoa and is commonly used for martinis or jasmine cocktails.
It has a silky, fruity body and with the lack of sugar there is plenty of room for your bloody mary flavors.
Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar: A Truce With Juice
If you're going to make your own bloody mary bar you can't fall short on this one.
Aside from the juice and spirit of choice, Stu’s THIS IS BLOODY MARY Mix already has your ingredients taken care of. That means it’s up to you to pick some kickass tomato juice to seal the deal.
Here are a few top picks to keep on hand:
Yes that’s right. You don’t have to purchase tomato juice--it’s not hard to make. Urban Farmer keeps it real here with these step-by-step instructions.
Wash 5-20 pounds of ripe red tomatoes and then core and quarter them. To "core" the tomato, just dig out the stem. Make sure to get the harder, non-flesh part.
Use a large stainless steel pot so it doesn’t react to the acidity of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in the pot. For flavor add small halved red onion, one celery rib with leaves, lemon juice and carrots for flavor. These ingredients are optional. Try experimenting with different amounts to find what works best for you.
Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring often. Cook for about 30 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
Discard the optional ingredients. Pass the tomatoes through a food mill, which is a mechanical device that forces the tomatoes through a sieve. Discard the solids. Use the smaller holed-insert for your food mill.
Measure the juice. Rinse the pot. Return the juice to the pot. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and up to 1 teaspoon of salt for each 4 cups of tomato juice. Add pepper to taste.
Stir as you bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce the heat to boil gently for 5 minutes.
Allow juice to cool, then chill it in the refrigerator. If desired, you can pour the juice through a sieve to filter out any thick areas or seeds that may have passed through the food mill. May be refrigerated for up to three days.
People want options. If you take the time to make your own bloody mary bar you give them just that.
There is no cheap way to host brunch, and a well stocked bar doesn’t come cheap--but each guest getting to make their own drink just how they like it? You seal your hall of fame status for brunch hosting, and that is priceless.