Are you planning to host a brunch party or day drink with friends? If so, a build-your-own bloody mary bar is sure to be a hit! Bloody marys are the quintessential cocktail for weekend mornings. The zesty, savory drink is like a meal in a glass. But what food goes with bloody marys? The good news is you have tons of delicious options to create a bloody mary bar spread your guests will love.
From classic brunch foods to fun, unique small plates, your bloody mary bar food ideas are endless. The key is picking crowd-pleasing snacks that complement the bold flavors of a bloody mary. In this article, you’ll learn all about foods that pair perfectly with bloody marys. I’ll also share how to set up an epic DIY bloody mary bar for your next gathering. Let’s dive in!
Why Are Bloody Marys So Popular For Brunch?
Before covering bloody mary pairings, let’s quickly discuss why the cocktail is such a brunch staple. Bloody marys have a few qualities that make them ideal for weekend morning drinking:
- Savory profile – With key ingredients like tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and celery salt, a bloody mary has an umami, savory taste. This flavor profile pairs better with brunch foods than sweeter cocktails like mimosas.
- Alcohol content – Bloody marys aren’t super boozy, usually containing around 1 oz of vodka. They offer a light, sippable buzz that’s enjoyable but not overpowering early in the day.
- Customization – Bloody marys are endlessly adaptable to individual tastes. You can adjust the level of spice, saltiness, and other flavorings.
With all these perks, it’s no wonder bloody mary bars are so popular for casual weekend gatherings! Now let’s cover the best food pairings.
Classic Bloody Mary Brunch Pairings
Some brunch foods are natural fits with a bloody mary’s savory profile. When planning your bar setup, make sure to include these classic snacks:
Eggs are a brunch staple, so they’re a must for your bloody mary spread! Hard boiled eggs, deviled eggs, and bite-sized egg muffins are all easy options. The rich, creamy yolk complements the drink’s texture.
Crispy, salty bacon is another perfect match with a bloody mary. It provides crunch and complementary savory flavors. Choose thick cut bacon and cook until very crispy. Serve the strips whole or chop them into bits to top other snacks.
Like bacon, sausage offers meaty umami flavors that pair flawlessly with tomato juice. Pick spicy options like chorizo or andouille for extra depth. Cut sausages into slices or halves and skewer for easy serving.
From melty mozzarella to aged cheddar, cheese is a versatile bloody mary pairing. Opt for bites like cheese cubes, cheese straws, or cheesy bread. The creamy texture and salty hit balances the cocktail’s spices.
Fresh vegetables help cut the richness and acidity of bloody marys. Try serving crunchy veggie crudités, roasted potatoes, or pickles. Chopped olives, peppers, and carrots also make great bloody mary bar toppings.
Fun Bloody Mary Bar Snacks
While traditional brunch foods are a sure bet, feel free to get creative with your bloody mary bar spread! Here are some fun, unique serving ideas:
Spicy buffalo wings pack tons of zesty flavor to match a bloody mary’s heat. Offer a variety of sauces so guests can customize. Ranch dip on the side is a must.
Who says tacos are just for Tuesdays? Mini tacos with spicy meat fillings are amazing with bloody marys. Set up a DIY taco bar with tons of hot sauce options.
Crispy tater tots piled high with melty cheese, bacon, green onions, and other fixings are bloody mary perfection. Use mini tots to make one-bite handheld snacks.
Savory loaded mini burgers or breakfast sandwiches are a satisfying bloody mary pairing. Opt for spicy fillings like chorizo or hot chicken.
Bite-sized pieces of cheesy flatbread pizza add some carb-loading fuel to your brunch cocktailing. Try creative toppings like eggs, sausage, or avocado.
For a lighter, crunchy snack, try spiced up popcorn options. Jalapeño cheddar and chipotle caramel flavors work well.
The possibilities are endless for unique small plates at your bloody mary bar!
How To Set Up An Epic Bloody Mary Bar
Once you’ve selected your savory food options, it’s time to pull together your DIY bloody mary station. Follow these tips for awesome presentation:
- Get a large table or bar area. You need ample space for the entire spread – glasses, mixers, garnishes, ice, etc.
- Include bottled juices and seasonings. Allow guests to build their own custom bloody mary recipe with options like regular/spicy tomato juice, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire, hot sauces, horseradish, celery salt, pepper, etc.
- Offer creative garnishes. Let guests garnish their drink with olives, pickles, cheese, bacon, shrimp, peppers – anything that fits in the glass! Provide toothpicks or skewers.
- Chill glasses ahead. Keep glasses in the freezer until just before guests arrive so bloody marys stay cold. Consider chilling the tomato juice too.
- Make big batches of simple syrup. This lets guests sweeten their bloody marys to taste without a messy tableside simple syrup dispenser.
- Include plenty of ice, citrus, and cocktail sticks. These bar essentials make for easy mixing and garnishing.
- Don’t forget napkins! Bloody marys tend to get messy and slippery from juices and greasy snacks. Supply plenty of napkins.
With the right setup and menu, your DIY bloody mary bar will keep guests fueled up and entertained for hours. Now it’s time to party!
Frequently Asked Questions About Bloody Mary Bar Food Pairings
What is the best alcohol to use for bloody marys?
Vodka is the traditional spirit used for bloody marys. Opt for a mid-range quality vodka without a lot of flavoring – you want the savory tomato, spice, and seasoning flavors to shine.
Are bloody marys spicy?
Bloody mary spice level can vary depending on your ingredients. Many commercial mixes and bar recipes include chili peppers or hot sauce to add a kick. Adjust the amounts to suit your preferences.
Can you make bloody marys without alcohol?
Yes, you can make delicious no-alcohol “virgin” bloody marys by omitting the vodka. Top with all the same garnishes to let guests customize their mocktail.
What is the best time of day to drink bloody marys?
Bloody marys are considered a breakfast, brunch, or early afternoon cocktail. Their lighter alcohol content makes them ideal for weekend day drinking.
How long do bloody marys take to make?
If you’re using a prepared mix, bloody marys only take about 5 minutes to make. From scratch recipes require 10-15 minutes of prep and mixing time before they’re ready to serve.
Final Tips for an Epic Bloody Mary Bar
Hosting a build your own bloody mary bar is an amazing way to kick off a fun weekend gathering. Just follow these final tips:
- Make it an interactive experience by allowing guests to DIY their drinks.
- Set up the bar area with plenty of space to mix and customize.
- Keep classic brunch pairings like eggs, bacon, and sausage handy.
- Get creative with fun, unique small plates like loaded tater tots or spicy wings.
- Chill glasses, garnishes, and juices ahead of time for optimal flavor.
- Offer a big variety of hot sauces, seasoning blends, and garnishes so each guest can create their perfect bloody mary.
Now you’re ready to host the ultimate bloody mary brunch bash! Your friends are sure to rave about the awesome drinks and delicious food pairings. With this guide, you can create a foolproof spread everyone will enjoy. Just don’t forget the napkins – things are about to get messy!