The ultimate cocktail for brunch can also be the ultimate do-it-yourself cocktail at your brunch wedding!

From hot and spicy pickled things to onion rings, the ingredients and garnishes are endless. To keep it budget-friendly you can set out a jug of tomato and clamato juice with a bunch of garnishes and call it a day, but then we like to tease you with all the endless possibilities for the ultimate bloody mary bar. Header image

Make-Ahead Bloody Mary Base Recipe

Forget everything you know about Bloody Marys. This recipe will change your life!

  • 3 cups Tomato Juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Lime Juice (I know, trust me)
  • 3 Tbsp. Pickle Juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Horseradish
  • ¾ tsp. Tabasco
  • 2 Tbsp. A-1 sauce (I know, but trust me)
  • ¾ tsp. Celery Salt
  • ½ tsp. Coarse Black Pepper

Mix it all up in a jug and set it out on the table for guest. If you want something a little fiery suggest a chili pepper vodka on your bloody mary menu, or spice your mix up with ¾ tsp. Cayenne Pepper or muddled chocolate habaneros. For a Bloody Caesar swap out the tomato juice for clamato juice!

Bloody Mary Bar - DIY Idea


For a grab and go mix, check out this comprehensive list from Time Out Chicago: 19 Bottled Bloody Mary Mixes

Bar Tools:

  • Pint glasses
  • Long Spoons
  • Long skewers for the garnishes
  • Tongs (for ice and pepper slices so your guests don’t go burning their eyes)
  • Muddler (for smashing peppers in the glass)
  • Salt for rimming

This bar set might be helpful.

Beautiful Bloody MaryThe Booze:

  • Vodka
  • Citrus Vodka
  • Chili Vodka
  • Peppered Vodka
  • Gin

The Garnishes:

  • Lemon and lime slices
  • Celery stalks
  • Pickled stuff (think: olives, gherkins, dill pickles, sweet pickles, banana peppers, smokra, spicy asparagus or green beans, cocktail onions, eggs–what? they’re tasty)
  • Peppers (think: regular red and green peppers, jalapenos, serrano, scotch bonnets, chocolate habaneros, and ghost peppers if you’re brave)
  • Fried stuff (think onion rings, oysters, shrimp…raw lobster claws–I mean, if it’s really in your budget. *wink, wink
  • Meats (think: bacon strips, jerky sticks)

The Seasonings:

  • Hot sauces (think: Cholula, Sriracha, Chipotle)
  • Worcestershire
  • Old Bay
  • Pepper mill
  • Celery salt
  • Sea salt (for rimming)

If you’re feeling frisky, and have a small dinner party, make things super simple and infuse ice cubes with different seasonings so your guests can just ‘pick’ their ice!

Recipe Sign

Simply put a sign out telling your guests what to do like the one above. Here, you can also tell them to pick their poison–2 ounces for every glass! bloody mary image source

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