Perfect for Sunday Brunch, game day, bowl games, or Super Bowl Sunday, or even for New Year's Day, this Build-it-Yourself Bloody Mary Bar is a hit every time! The best Bloody Mary I have ever had was in New Orleans at the Super Bowl. Since then, I've always kicked off Super Bowl Sunday with a Bloody Mary.

how to build a bloody mary bar for the Super Bowl

Part salad bar, part drink bar, the Bloody Mary bar is becoming a popular interactive addition to parties and restaurant bars everywhere. Every region has their own mix-ins and flavorings but one thing is consistent; everyone thinks their version is the best.

Let your guests build their own Bloody Mary with garden fresh veggies, swimmers like shrimp or oysters and a variety of different ways to add heat- from hot sauce to peppers.

Let your guests build their own Bloody Mary with garden fresh veggies, swimmers like shrimp or oysters and a variety of different ways to add heat- from hot sauce to peppers.

As a Southerner, I would lose my membership card if I didn’t know how to make a good Bloody Mary. Southerners like a Bloody Mary to be spicy, heavy on the horseradish and loaded with fresh vegetables —a garden in a glass. To set up your own Bloody Mary bar, a cleared kitchen counter works well. You’ll need to keep your veggies chilled so put them in glasses, place in a low container or bowl and fill around the glasses with ice. Use large glasses for serving since it will be packed with veggies and mix-ins until the flavor is just right. Long teaspoons are best to mix up the goodies—a plastic stirrer just won’t cut it. Have lots of wipes or towels on hand for spills and don’t use a white tablecloth for this one. I often get a painter's drop cloth at the hardware store; they are usually made of a taupe material and have a stitched hem so once pressed, they work very nicely. Get my Bloody Mary recipe... 

If you don't want to make your own Bloody Mary mix like I do, my go-to favorite is Zing-Zang. You can find it at most grocery stores. 

Set up a rimming station and let guests rim glasses with a mixture of Old Bay seasoning, Kosher salt, and a dash of pepper.


VODKA:  Use your favorite vodka. Sometimes I use Absolut Peppar and rim glasses with a pepper and sea salt mixture before adding liquids and mix-ins.

MIX: Get one or two types of bottled mix or good organic tomato juice for the base or you can make your own Bloody Mary base using my recipe.

FLAVOR AND SPICE: Almost anything can add extra flavor to the base. These are some of the traditional flavorings.

Lea & Perrin Worcestershire

Celery salt

Old Bay Seasoning (look at the fish counter if you can’t find it with the seasonings)

Cocktail Sauce

HEAT: Offer guests several types of hot sauce, everyone has a favorite.

Tabasco Original

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Fresh ground pepper

Red pepper flakes

Fresh ground horseradish

CONDIMENTS: Pick and choose several of these. Celery and lemon and most traditional but a squeeze of lime and pickled okra are other favorites.

Celery stalks

Lemon wedges

Lime slices


Pickled okra

String beans

Cocktail onions

Cherry tomatoes

Pickled asparagus

SWIMMERS: Take it up a notch by adding fresh chilled seafood.

Boiled shrimp

Raw oysters

Clam juice

Having a DIY Bloody Mary Bar for Easter Brunch or Mother's Day will become a tradition your guests will love year after year and because you can set it and forget it, it makes very easy work of bartending duties.

FOOD SAFETY TIP: Remember to keep cold foods and seafood chilled to 140 degrees or colder for the length of the party.

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