How do you get an entire neighborhood to agree on having an egg hunt during the coldest of cold springs? Just include, “….and we will have a Bloody Mary bar.” Boom—–14 responses in 15 minutes. I set a Bloody Mary bar up for a small soiree to test out this hot, new trend in cocktailitis. Not only was it crazy-fun to throw together, but we learned some tasty new tricks while mixing this old 1920s favorite.
Take the basic ingredients for a Bloody Mary: tomato juice, vodka, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, Tabasco sauce, beef bouillon, celery salt and/or celery stalks and put your own spin on them. Using a base such as V-8 eliminates the need for most salty additives but a hint of bacon salt will prove once again that bacon = love. I dug through my fridge and pulled out loads of hot sauces, hit the Montclair Farmer’s Market (some vendors are still there every weekend) for some sausage from the kielbasa stand and some fantastic horseradish pickles from Picklelicious, picked up a giant horseradish root, celeriac (knobby celery root), olives and other produce from the 46 Farmer’s Market and started to throw it all together.
Set your bar up with wooden skewers and let your guests fill a skewer with their favorite nibbles to stick it in their drink. The result — a tasty cocktail/delicious snack without trying to balance a ridiculous little plate. I love progress.
- Wooden skewers
- Pickles (flavored spicy pickles or cornichons work well)
- Pepperoni ( I used the large deli slices and rolled them up tightly)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Feta cheese
- Grated horseradish
- Grated celery root
- Pearl onions
- Worcestershire sauce
- Bacon salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- A variety of hot sauces
- Tomato juice and or Clamato juice
No need to purchase flavored vodkas as the flavors you offer will flavor the drink. The great thing? You don’t have to spend a small fortune creating this kind of bar. Just route through your crisper and condiment shelf, see what you have, then get wacky. Offer gin or tequila, if you want to really go-crazy-go-nuts.
How do you like your Bloody Marys? Hot and spicy or with a little more bloody and not as much Mary?