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Easy Party Ideas: Build a Bloody Mary Bar

Perfect for New Year's Eve, watching all of those bowl games, or for New Year's Day brunch, this DIY Bloody Mary Bar is a hit every time!

Part salad bar, part drink bar, the Bloody Mary bar is becoming a popular interactive addition to parties and restaurant bars everywhere. Since everyone has their own idea of the perfect Bloody Mary, each drink can be individually crafted to get the seasoning just right.  It's not only fun but efficient to let guests mix up their own custom blend. Each region of the country has local add-ins and flavorings but one thing is consistent; everyone thinks their version is the best. As a Southerner, I would lose my membership card if I didn’t know how to make a good Bloody Mary. Southerners like a Bloody Mary to be spicy, heavy on the horseradish and loaded with fresh vegetables —a garden in a glass. To set up your own Bloody Mary bar, a cleared kitchen counter works well. You’ll need to keep your veggies chilled so put them in glasses, place in a low container or bowl and fill around the glasses with ice.

Use large glasses for serving since it will be packed with veggies and mix-ins until the flavor is just right. Long teaspoons are best to mix up the goodies—a plastic stirrer just won’t cut it. Have lots of wipes or towels on hand for spills and don’t use a white tablecloth for this one.


VODKA:  Use your favorite vodka. Sometimes I use Absolut Peppar and rim glasses with a pepper and sea salt mixture before adding liquids and mix-ins.

MIX: Get one or two types of bottled mix or good organic tomato juice for the base

Major Peter’s (recommended)


Tomato Juice


Lea & Perrin Worcestershire

Celery salt

Old Bay Seasoning (look at the fish counter if you can’t find it with the seasonings)

Cocktail Sauce

Rim glasses with a mixture of Old Bay, Kosher salt, and a dash of pepperHEAT

Tabasco Original

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Tabasco Green

Fresh ground pepper

Red pepper flakes

Fresh ground horseradish


Celery stalks

Lemon wedges

Lime slices


Pickled okra

String beans

Cocktail onions

Cherry tomatoes

Pickled asparagus



Raw oysters

Clam juice

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