Grow-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar

Pile on homegrown garnishes, then invite friends to belly up to a Bloody Mary bar.

The most recent tomato batch has been sliced for sandwiches, canned for winter and given to neighbors, but mounds of them and other unused veggies still linger on your kitchen countertop. Instead of tossing another salad together, treat your friends to a Bloody Mary bar brunch featuring fresh fixin’s from the garden. (Read More! Top 10 Tomato-Growing Tips)

Whip up refreshing tomato juice, and lay out an array of garnishes so guests can create their own customized Bloody Marys. The best part is that you won’t need to serve food, because these delicious drinks are breakfast in a glass. (Read More! 7 Ways to Grow the Ultimate Tomato Crop)

Setting the Bar: What You Need

Tomato Juice

Pluck a whole slew of sun-ripened tomatoes to make your own Bloody Mary mix: It’s a smart way to pump your drink full of nutrients. Your favorite tomato juice recipe will work, but we suggest making both a spicy and a mild version to satisfy your guests’ palates.

Vodka

Infuse vodka with fresh veggies, fruit or herbs. Try tossing in jalapeno, cucumber, or lemon and lime. Or, take a tip from blogger Rachel Beyer of Adventures in Making. She created a Bloody Mary vodka concoction with sliced tomatoes, crushed garlic, bell peppers, cilantro, olives and dill. Fill a jar one-third of the way with the goods and top it off with vodka. Leave it in the fridge four to seven days.

Glass Rim Options and Seasonings

  • Salt and pepper
  • Celery and garlic salt
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Smoked paprika
  • Lemon pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly grated horseradish
  • Tabasco sauce

Fresh Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs

  • Lemon and lime wedges
  • Celery stalks
  • Cucumber slices
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Jalapenos
  • Peppers (sweet or hot)
  • Green onions
  • Cilantro (chives or dill)

Other Garnishes

  • Cheese-stuffed olives
  • Pickled okra, green beans, asparagus, or mushrooms
  • Pickle spears
  • Cooked bacon
  • Cooked shrimp
  • Beef jerky or beef sticks
  • Hard-cooked eggs
  • Cocktail onions
  • Gourmet cheeses

Crystal Rennicke
Crystal Rennicke is a writer from Wisconsin. She is fascinated by the journey of the monarch and her bucket list includes a trip to their wintering grounds in Mexico.