How To Create A Classic Bloody Mary
What’s in a Bloody Mary anyway? There are hundreds of recipes out there, but the classic, key takeaways are:
- Tomato juice
- Vodka (unless you’re making a Bloody Maria with tequila…)
- A bit of spice (horseradish AND tobasco hot sauce, please and thank you!)
- Added acidity from fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- A kick from Worcestershire sauce
- A boatload of Bloody Mary garnishes to please each and every guest — more on this below
Why A Bloody Mary Bar Is The Easiest Brunch Cocktail
Okay, let’s be honest. Mixing up a pitcher of bloody marys takes approximately no effort. And everything else both in terms of mixers and garnish is store bought or pre-made except for the fresh lemon juice. Nothing beats fresh citrus!
The best part is that everyone gets to create their ideal cocktail by adding the bloody mary toppings and garnishes they love best. Personally, I like to drink my brunch, so topping it with Old Bay shrimp and bacon is my go-to.
Feeling fancy? Garnish the rim of each glass with a mix of salt and finely chopped celery leaves. I love this idea! The extra zippy flavor is perfect alongside the tangy bloody mary mix. For a spicier bloody mary, you could coat the rim with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper or smoked paprika!
Fresh Tomatoes Or Canned Tomato Juice
Girl, please. Buy that juice in a can. Nobody’s got time to be juicing a bunch of fresh tomatoes on a lazy Sunday morning. Or stock up on Clamato (or clamato juice), which is a mix of tomato sauce and clam juice. While it’s definitely got a briny flavor compared to straight up tomato juice, it also has a sweetness to it that a lot of people love!
But I Don’t Like Vodka…
Then a Bloody Maria is the cocktail for you! Instead of traditional Bloody Mary’s made with vodka, use tequila instead!
Bloody Mary Toppings
GO CRAZY! These are my top suggestions for bloody mary garnish ideas, but the sky’s the limit!
- Celery (the celery stalks and all!)
- Fresh dill or your other favorite fresh herbs
- Pimento or blue cheese stuffed olives
- Lemon wedges
Want to add some veggies? Every once in a while you’ll find a bloody mary bar stocked with green beans, asparagus, carrots, or those little cocktail onions. It’s not our jam, but you do you!
Just make sure to follow these simple tips:
- Have skewers or toothpicks on hand for guests to assemble their own garnishes. (I’m telling you, placing the toppings on skewers makes all the difference!)
- Keep the bloody marys on ice until serving — no one wants a warm bloody!
- Leave a jar of tobasco on the side so guests can add more if they like it extra spicy!
- Don’t run out.
- Sit back, relax, refill that glass.
Okay, so we’re good to go, right? Yes! Game on. I’m telling you, this is the best bloody mary recipe! Your new family favorite!
If you use this guide to create your own Bloody Mary bar at home, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More brunch recipes to try!
- How to create an epic bagel board
- Whole wheat morning glory muffins
- Chicken and waffles
- Cheddar and sage biscuits
- Smoked salmon breakfast tacos
- Breakfast Polenta with Pesto
How to Create a Bloody Mary Bar
For celery salt:
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp celery leaves finely chopped
- juice from 1 lemon
- For bloody marys:
- 8 oz vodka
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 oz Dijon mustard
- 1 oz prepared grated horseradish slightly less if using fresh grated
- 10 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 10 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 12 oz tomato juice
- Optional garnishes:
- Green olives with pimento
- Roasted shrimp
- Fresh dill
- Combine kosher salt and chopped celery in a small bowl. Place lemon juice in a separate bowl, then dip the tops of each glass into the lemon juice. Immediately dip each glass in the celery salt. Set aside.
- Pour all bloody mary ingredients in a large pitcher, then stir to combine. Fill glasses with ice, then evenly distribute mix between glasses. Top with as many optional garnishes as desired. Enjoy!
This post was originally posted in September 2019. It has since been updated with additional information to make it easier for you to recreate at home!