Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary Essentials

Sure to be the biggest hit at your next brunch


By Allison Beck, Editor at The Daily Meal
This article originally appeared at The Daily Meal

Bacon Bloody Marys? If you missed them at Chicago’s BaconFest, don’t worry, this is one cocktail you can definitely try at home. Bartenders around the country have been taking the brunch regular up few notches, infusing Bloody Marys with greenmarket herbs and produce and even adding lobster to them, like Brant Point Grill in Nantucket.

Others are ditching tomato juice altogether, instead pureeing fresh heirloom tomatoes of all colors to create their own base. If that’s too ambitious, you can still get creative with your brunch beverage by setting up a Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary bar.

All you need are a couple foundation ingredients, along with a spread of different flavorings, spices, and garnishes. Make it super spicy, add a little curry powder and a dollop of yogurt or squeeze a good amount of lime juice and add some salt around the rim, margarita-style. Or just mix up a classic batch with Worcestershire and celery — anyway you make it, each time you come out with a signature Bloody.
New to the Bloody Mary? It’s downright easy: The foundation is a 2:1 rations of tomato juice, Clamato (which has clam juice) or a tomato-vegetable mix like V-8 and, of course, vodka. Pour over ice cubes in a tall glass and season with a variety of flavorings and spice. Here’s where you get to add a truly imaginative flourish – finish with a garnish, from the classic celery stalk to olives, green beans, pickles or maybe shrimp.

Credit: Photo courtesy of flickr/stuartwebster

A Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar Checklist:

The Basics:
    Vodka (you can also try gin, bourbon or tequila)
    Tomato juice or Bloody Mary mix (chilled, preferably)
    Ice cubes, for serving
    Lots of tall glasses
    Cocktail picks (for skewering garnishes)

Classic Spices:
    Prepared horseradish
    Worcestershire sauce
    Hot sauce (go with your favorite)

Classic Flavor Infusions:
    Lemon juice
    Olive and/or pickle juice
    Celery salt
    Old Bay seasoning
    Salt and pepper

Classic Garnishes:
    Lemon wedges
    Lime wedges
    Celery stalks

Go Wild Garnishes and Infusions:
    Bacon bits or pieces of cooked bacon
    Cucumber wedges & watercress
    Pickled antipasti vegetables & sliced salami or sopressata
    Cubed ham & swiss cheese
    Blanched asparagus stalks
    Edamame & bonito flakes
    Chipotle peppers & tomatillo sauce

Looking to add a special, homemade touch to your Bloody Mary bar? Try making your own infused vodka, or homemade Bloody Mary mix.

What would you include in your own Bloody Mary bar? Who do you think serves up the Bloody Mary around? Please share them with us below!

Mentioned in this article


  • Lots of people I know on both coasts favor Clamato instead of tomato--with cilantro, lime juice and shrimp garnish. Also popular is the bloody oyster shooter--usually V8, lots of the hot stuff, lemon, etc.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:17 PM

  • We've been making them with chilli pepper and bacon infused vodka, adding a few pieces of bacon and hot yellow peppers to the bottle and letting it sit, then using pickle juice, worchestershire, srircha, chilli pepper juice, olive juice, and some sort of tomato juice blend. Their amazing, garnish with jalapeño olives, green beans, pickle, lime wedge and Chilli pepper.

    May 11, 2011 at 7:56 AM

  • Snooth User: pierpont
    728340 1

    Chive Flowers cut on a long stem are a perfect garnish at this time of year. The flower stem is sturdier than a regular chive so it sits up nicely. They are even edible. Small fronds of dill are the next herb to arrive after the chive flowers are gone. Make it pretty!

    May 11, 2011 at 8:07 AM

  • If you're looking for a fabulous tomatoe puree-based Bloody Mary mix, with hints of wasabi and hungarian paprika, please try my product, BUDAPEST BLONDE COCKTAIL MIXES - HOT BLONDE BLOODY MARY. Cheers!

    May 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM

  • Snooth User: Hana Choi
    Hand of Snooth
    803609 935

    Wow, these all sound amazing - I am really excited for brunch this weekend, ha! You're all opening up my BM world...

    @GriffinPayne - would you mind sharing your chili/bacon-infused vodka recipe??
    @pierpont - I am loving the 'elegant' touches - you're right, chive flowers are really stunning.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM

  • Looking for the BEST Bloody Mary in America! check out

    May 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM

  • You need to use Namida Wasabi Spirit instead of the vodka. that really makes you perk up and gives a great flavour to the mix. Can be found at There are a number of recipes to be found on the same website or at Great stuff - multi competition medal winner too! This is truly Wasabi in a bottle!

    May 12, 2011 at 2:48 AM

  • If you live in the southwest, especially New Mexico, take about 5 green chilies and, after roasting them, put them in a 1/2 gal of vodka. This has become so popular with people at home that they're making it commercially now. This vodka makes the Best Bloody Mary imaginable.

    Jun 03, 2011 at 7:25 AM

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