Bloody Marys are a great way to kick off any party. They're also a great way to end a party or just have a nice drink on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
To set up your Bloody Mary bar, you'll need to ensure you have all the fixings. The best Bloody Mary garnishes are the ones that are made from fresh ingredients and add a burst of flavor to your drink.
- Make a Bloody Mary Bar
- Bloody Mary Bar Ideas and Tips
- The Best Bloody Mary Garnishes
- Garden Veggies
- Seasonal Fruit
- Fresh Herbs
- Pickled Veggies
- Salts & Seasonings
- Other Garnish Ideas
- Seasonal Garnishes
- Summer Bloody Mary Garnishes
- Fall Bloody Mary Garnishes
- Winter Bloody Mary Garnishes
- More Drink Recipes to Enjoy
Make a Bloody Mary Bar
A DIY Bloody Mary bar is easy to set up and can be customized to fit your group's tastes and needs. For example, add some breakfast-themed garnishes like bacon or pancetta if you're having a brunch or breakfast party.
If you're hosting an Italian-themed dinner party, add some Italian ingredients like pepperoncini or olive salad. And if your crowd is more traditional, stick with the basics!
A Bloody Mary bar is the perfect way to get your guests into the party mood. It's also a great way to ensure that everyone gets a drink they'll love.
Bloody Mary Bar Ideas and Tips
The best thing about a Bloody Mary bar is that you can make it your own—it can be as essential (some mix, veggies, and bacon strips) or as elaborate (a multi-course spread) as you want. Here are some tips for building your own bloody mary bar that matches your style and tastes:
Choose Your Base Liquor
Most people use top-shelf vodka or gin as their base liquor, but don't worry if that's not what you have on hand! You can also use white rum, tequila, or whiskey. The flavor of the base liquor depends on what kind of flavor profile you're looking for in your drink. If you like smooth flavors with a bit of spice, try using vodka or gin; if you prefer bolder flavors with more heat and sauce, try tequila or whiskey.
Add Flavorings and Fresh Ingredients
The best part about offering your Bloody Mary bar is that it gives guests the freedom to customize their drinks however they like! Try adding some fresh lemon juice or lime juice (or both!) to provide it with a tart tanginess—you could even go for a little bit of fresh orange juice if you like citrusy flavors. If you want to get a little more creative, try adding Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce for a spicy kick. Some people also like to add beef consommé or clam juice (or both!) for extra umami flavor.
Don't Forget the Garnishes
Top your brunch beverage with pepper or celery salt for flavor and presentation. You've made it! Now go sit down and enjoy your drink.
The Best Bloody Mary Garnishes
But what are the best garnishes for Bloody Marys? Let's take a look at some of our favorite ideas:
My personal favorite is options for fresh veggies or a garden fresh salsa with peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers.
- green olives
- green beans
- baby corn
- brussels sprouts
- cherry peppers
- celery stick: it's one of those classic garnishes, but the savory crunch with the perfect bloody mary is a combination that can't be beat
- celery stalks, carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, cucumber rounds
Seasonal fruit on your Bloody Mary!
- Lime wedges: A classic, no-nonsense way to brighten up your Bloody Mary.
- Chili-lime mangos: If you're looking for a little heat, try this pickled mango. It packs a punch!
- Pickled mango: This is the kind of garnish that will make your drink so much better than it already was.
- Lemon slices: You can never go wrong with lemon slices—they add just enough sweetness without taking away from the flavors of the cocktail itself.
Fresh herbs are the secret weapon for a perfect Bloody Mary, adding an flavor burst to your drink without overpowering it.
- Fennel Fronds
- Chives, whole or finely chopped (or both!)
- Rosemary Sprigs
Pickled veggies are another easy way to add flavor without overpowering your drink. If you've got pickles lying around, throw them in there too! Pickles are one of my favorite bloody mary toppings because they add a little crunch and tangy flavor.
- dill pickle spears
- Pickled okra - The crunchy texture, saltiness and vinegar make these pickled okra slices an excellent garnish for any Bloody Mary.
- Pickled carrots - These sliced carrots are sweet, savory and spicy all at once. They're perfect for those who love the spicier side of life.
- Pickled cauliflower florets - These cauliflower florets have a crisp texture that will add texture to your Bloody Mary without overpowering it.
- Pickled dilly beans - If you're looking for something with a little less crunch than okra or cauliflower but still want to add some color and flavor to your drink, these pickled green beans are the perfect choice!
A traditional Bloody is made with vodka and tomato juice, but there are so many ways to make it more interesting. Some super sized drinks are garnished with chicken wings, mini cheese burgers and even hot dogs! While I may not be making a whole meal to my beverage, here are some ways add a little extra protein to your Bloody Mary:
- pepperoni straws
- candied bacon strips
- beef jerky
- beef sticks
- Pork rinds: Pork rinds are essentially fried pork skin — just like bacon bits but with less fat and calories! They're a great way to add crunch to any Bloody Mary.
- shrimp cocktail is always a great choice (mainly if you serve it on ice)
Snacking on blue cheese is one of my favorites because it adds a salty bite that balances out all the flavors in this savory drink. Get some cocktail skewers, and sneak in some cheese into your garnish game!
- Squeeky Wisconsin cheese curds
- Cheese cubes
- Blue cheese olives
- Cheese crisps are a great way to add texture to your Bloody Mary. They’re also easy to make at home if you have a dehydrator or oven. Just cut cheese into thin slices, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and dehydrate at 115°F for 24 hours. Then, store the cheese in an airtight container until you're ready to use it!
Salts & Seasonings
Garnishes add something extra but they can also bring out the flavor of this classic drink. Add a dash of salt or chili powder to your next Bloody Mary to spice it up, or sprinkle on some paprika or cayenne pepper for a kick.
There are plenty of options for adding 1-2 options for salt rims for that added pop of color and flavor.
- Celery Salt: The classic celery salt adds a lovely savory flavor to your drink. It's the perfect way to add a little bit of texture and crunch to your Bloody Mary.
- Smoked Salt: If you're looking for something with a little more flavor, smoked salt is a great option. It adds a smoky taste that pairs perfectly with the tomato juice in your drink.
- Red Pepper Flakes: smoked red pepper flakes are another great way to give your drink some heat and spice!
- Sesame seeds
- Lemon zest
- Black pepper
Other Garnish Ideas
There are so many more ways to garnish a Bloody Mary! It's easy to add some color and texture without being too distracting from the rest of the drink.
- try adding some bacon bits or croutons to your drink—the crunchy texture will be perfect for sipping down with your cocktail.
- Crispy tater tots
- An nestled shot glass of pickle juice
The Bloody Mary is a drink for all seasons—and your toppings can reflect that! Check out these tips for changing up your brunch time drink throughout the year.
Spring Bloody Mary Garnishes
Spring is all about bright colors and fresh flavors—and that's precisely what makes springtime perfect for garnishing your Bloody Marys with fresh ingredients like green onions, capers, or radishes (all great additions if you're looking for something light).
- Asparagus Spears
- Balsamic Pickled Onions with Garlic Mustard Seeds
- Easy Pickled Radishes with Serrano Peppers
Summer Bloody Mary Garnishes
It's full fresh garnish season! Time for tomatoes, plants bursting with basil,
Summer is here, and with it comes the perfect time to enjoy a refreshing cocktail. But what's the best way to garnish your Bloody Mary?
Here are our five favorite summer Bloody Mary garnishes:
- Cherry tomatoes: Bursting with flavor and color, these tomatoes add a pop of red that really makes your drink stand out.
- Basil Vodka
- Cucumber slices: The coolness of cucumber will help soothe your throat, and you can even use them as straws!
- Celery: The crunchy texture of celery adds interest to the drink without overpowering it—and the taste will remind you of those childhood days spent eating peanut butter and celery.
- Lemon wedges: Not only do these add another layer of flavor, but they also make for a great drink stirrer if you're feeling fancy.
- Pickled okra: Okra is a vegetable that is often overlooked when it comes to cooking, but it's actually super versatile—and it tastes great as a garnish in cocktails too!
Fall Bloody Mary Garnishes
Crispy bacon, pickled okra, cornichons, and olives are the perfect garnish for a fall bloody mary.
- Lacto-Fermented Brussels Sprouts
- Sun Dried Tomatoes
- A sprig of rosemary and a few black peppercorns
- Bacon, fried and crumbled
Winter Bloody Mary Garnishes
Some garnishes are just as classic as the season itself.