Entertaining Idea: How to Make a Bloody Mary Bar

Those closest to us know that Hubby and I are crazy about Bloody Marys.  They are almost religious to us.  One of our favorite dates is to hop around town on a sunny Saturday trying out different Bloody Marys in Chicago.  We even considered having a full Bloody Mary bar at our wedding.

During this year’s Easter celebration, we were put in charge of bringing appetizers.  When you have a Mom like mine – who typically serves 3 meats, homemade lasagna and an array of sides & salads at holiday gatherings-  you have to think carefully about such an assignment.  I also know that my cousins, aunts & uncles and friends love a good time.  So rather than make a ton of heavy snacks that would waste calories and spoil appetites, we (naturally) decided to start the party with a Bloody Mary Bar instead.

Our Bloody Mary bar was easy to do and a bit hit among our family and friends!  Next time you’re thinking of having people over but may not be up for providing a full dinner, I’d highly recommend trying to build your own Bloody Mary Bar.

In addition to your favorite Bloody Mary mix and your choice of Holy Water (aka Vodka), you’ll also need:

Meats & Cheeses

I recommend cubed cheese, hard salami, sausage and, my favorite, prosciutto.  We also put skewers out so people could make their own combo of deliciousness.

Pickles, Olives & Peppers

I recommend serving an assortment of these three items.  For olives, definitely do black, green and those yummy hot green european olives. I love Vlassic’s Kosher Dills but I’m sure you all have your own favorite pickle.  Go for spears instead of sliced or whole pickles so people can put their pickle in their glass and use it to add flavor to their brew.  I also recommend serving peperoncini peppers, artichoke hearts and any pickled vegetables too.  We did pickled asparagus and they were to die for!

Sauces & Spices

I’d definitely include Cholula and Tabasco sauces in your spread, but what really makes a Bloody Mary have flavor is SIRACHA! Don’t forget the celery salt (rimming the glass in this is GREAT!), seasoned salt and pepper. We typically add A1 Steak Sauce to even the best of Bloody Mary mixes too to give it more flavor.

Garnishes: Celery, Lemons & Limes

Leave out tall stalks of celery that people can stir their drinks with.  If your mix didn’t turn out right, a little secret is adding lots of lemons and it always seems to get the mix just right.  Lemons AND limes are even better!

 Other Bloody Mary Bar Options

  • Cute straws
  • Bacon!
  • Cucumber Vodka (I love Effen!)
  • Mini Beef Tenderloin pieces
  • Shrimp
  • Tortelini



Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.