2023 is only days away!

We all know that January 1 is the time for New Year’s celebrations, but did you know that it also happens to be National Bloody Mary Day? If you needed a shot of extra inspiration, it’s the perfect reason to raise a glass to the New Year.

Now I firmly believe there are two types of people: those who love Bloody Marys and those who do but simply don’t know it yet. (Psst. Great garnishes are the gateway.) From spicy spins on Caesars to deliciously different skewers, here are some of our favorite ways to make a Bloody Mary bar or brunch that everybody will love!

How to Make the Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar or Brunch

1. Stock the bar with basics. For any boozy DIY bloody bar, make sure you have the essential supplies:

– Cocktail glasses or mason jars
– Chilled tomato juice
– Vodka
– Wooden skewers and cocktail picks
– Lots of ice

I love to offer three types of tomato juice: traditional, spicy-hot vegetable juice (a.k.a. V-8®) and Clamato® juice for mixing Caesars (my personal favorite). Oh, and if you have time, chill your glasses or jars in the freezer in advance. It will help everyone’s cocktails stay extra-cold!

2. Spice up your rimmers. Spicy. Savory. Salty. Not only do rimmers add a beautiful finishing touch to any cocktail, the different flavors can complement your Bloody Marys perfectly. Simply rub the edges of your glasses with lime or lemon wedges, and then dip the rims in your favorite seasonings like:

Seasoned Salt
Ultimate Steak Seasoning
Everything Bagel Seasoning
– ¼ teaspoon Seasoned Pepper mixed with 1 teaspoon celery salt

3. Grab your secret sauce. With peppery spices, garlic and a bright splash of lemon, Tastefully Simple’s Bloody Mary Mixer couldn’t be any easier. Just mix 2 tablespoons into 1 cup tomato juice and 2 tablespoons vodka. That’s it! (Oh, and it’s on sale right now, too.)

So zippy and fresh, it’s perfect with any weekend brunch or charcuterie board.

4. Grab basic stirrers and sauces. Even if you have a “go big or go home” attitude with garnishes, don’t overlook the basics. Consider:

– Dill pickle spears
– Olives
– Celery ribs
– Tabasco® or sriracha sauce for extra kick
– Meat sticks
– Cheese cubes or sticks

Bloody Mary garnishes on skewers

5. Vary your vodka. Choose a clean, brisk and good-quality vodka for classic bloody Marys and Caesars.

Bloody Mary Caesar with garnishes

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can also offer other varieties for anyone who’d like to add a splash of something different, like:

– Jalapeño, chile or habanero-infused vodka (my personal pick: Stolichnaya Hot Jalapeno!)
– Tequila for making Bloody Marias
– Gin for making Red Snappers

6. Think in pairings. Keep flavor combinations in mind. For example, if you rim your glasses with Everything Bagel Seasoning, spread a few everything bagels with cream cheese and then cut them into quarters for garnishes, too.

Bloody Mary Caeser with Everything Bagel on the Rim

So fun, simple and unexpected!

7. Go extra with garnishes. Again, you can’t miss with the classics. But if you really want everyone to rave about your boozy bar or brunch, think about adding a few extra or over-the-top garnishes.

Bloody Mary with Shrimp garnish skewer

– Cooked jumbo shrimp
– Thick-cut peppered bacon
– Blue cheese-stuffed olives
– Prosciutto and salami
– Fresh veggies, like sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and mini peppers
– Pickled green beans
– Warm-from-the-oven pizza rolls (I know it sounds crazy, but they pair perfectly!)
– “Pub fare” like mini cheeseburgers, soft pretzels and onion rings

8. Make it a build-your-own-bar. And last but not least, relax – you don’t have to do all the work!

Set out everything as a self-serve station, so your guests can help themselves to their favorites and grab extra refills or garnishes as they go. Besides keeping everything cool and casual, it will give you more time to mingle, too.

Now that’s a bloody good idea.

Cheers and happy New Year, my friends!

– Jen