I am a major fan of brunch. It is one of my favorite things about the weekend, and I love to check out new brunch spots or cook big, late morning meals and host our friends at our house. Bagels and lox, pancakes and bacon, eggs, roasted potatoes, breakfast tacos, Benedict, and, of course, mimosas. Aubrey, the kids, and I went to a new restaurant for brunch recently and they had a Bloody Mary bar—genius if you ask me, and something that I will incorporate at all future morning get-togethers at home.

The secret to a great bloody mary bar is having many, many options to choose from. It all starts with the tomato juice/mixer. We had a mix with clam juice, a spicy mix, and my personal favorite, ZingZang’s— it’s award-winning. You can also make your own from this recipe.


For our bar, we collected all of the pickled and marinated things we could find: marinated artichoke hearts, beets, asparagus, cocktail onions, baby pickles, and okra. We also had a small carafe of pickle juice on the bar to add a little extra pucker to our drinks.


We had two types of olives: bleu cheese-stuffed and regular green with pimentos.


We chopped up some fresh, raw veggies and fruit to “add a salad” to our drinks: cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, lemons, and limes.


To add some fire and extra flavor: Sriracha, Cholula, horseradish, wasabi paste (so good!), pepperocinis, and cherry peppers.


For a little southern flair, we baked up some maple bacon!


We set out various seasoning salts to rim the glasses. Just set out a plate with some water on it to allow guests to wet the edge of their glass and dip into the salt of their choice.


The above are my personal favorite fixings, but you can get very creative when building Bloody Marys. Some like to include little blocks of cheese, oysters, shrimp, boiled eggs, fried chicken, and even mini grilled cheese sandwiches. Kinda weird, but it’s okay!

When it comes down to vodka choices, we like Tito’s because it’s gluten-free, but you can pick your own poison. Kettle One is also very good. Display your garnishes in mini bowls with toothpicks or skewers to build the perfect loaded drink. Have plenty of ice ready on hand, as the drink is best served ice-cold.

To make: Add a handful of ice to glass. Pour 1-2 shots of vodka into your glass, followed by the tomato mix of your choice, to taste. Add a splash of pickle juice, if desired, and stir well. Next, add a stalk of celery and then begin building toothpicks (or skewers) of favorite garnishes and enjoy.

Your Bloody Mary bar is sure to be a hit. Cheers!



  • Jenn

    Oh my I want a Bloody Mary right now with some clam chowder!
    There is a cafe in San Francisco called Pier 23 and they serve some of the best clam chowder with the best bloody marys around …with big fat pearl onions and spicy pickled green beans!

  • Miranda

    OMGGGGG. I want 12 bloody marts, at my desk, asap.

  • Bonnie

    Try candied bacon next time! It’s super easy and holds up better in a cocktail.

  • Lou et Swann

    I want to taste yours !


  • Nicole

    Yes please! Okra sounds so summery and delicious in a bloody mary. Tito’s is my go-to as well, although Hangar 1 is becoming a close second. Yum!


  • Ashlee

    Yumm, I can go for one of these right now!

  • Liz

    that seems so good right now

  • Cassandra

    Next time you’ll have to try it like we do in Milwaukee, with a small beer chaser! A nice crisp beer makes a bloody that much better. :)

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  • Tessa P

    We are in Nashville too. Where was this Bloody Mary Bar?
    We love Pinewood Social for brunch – add that to your list if you haven’t already been.

  • beth-ann

    my favorite! love the idea of a bar. recipe for brunch to last all day. call me over anytime ;)

  • Annalise

    Okay, I’ve done the mimosa bar, but this is genius!! Can I just have it set up all the time?

  • eleni

    This is such a brilliant idea! We host many small gatherings especially during the summer by the pool and i am always on the lookout for bar ideas like this one. Thank you!

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  • Nawana

    A Bloody Mary made with ‘Clamato’, as we Canucks call it, is called a Ceaser, and it is so tasty!!! Whenever we travel stateside I find it hard to find tomato with clam juice. It was actually invented in my hometown of Calgary, and it’s the first thing I have to drink when I come home. Like a boozy salad, so yummy.

  • Cindy

    Wow, this looks absolutely AMAZING! I could definitely go for one right now. I need to remember to have a Bloody Mary bar for any future event I host.

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  • Morgan

    If vodka isn’t your thing, try a Bloody Maria made with tequila! Might even be better than a Bloody Mary. Oh, and don’t forget the Worcestershire!

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