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No cocktail is better suited for Halloween than the Bloody Mary. I mean, the name alone makes it perfect for parties…or just a night of watching your favorite slasher flicks!
You might be familiar with the Bloody Mary legend – in a dimly lit room with a mirror, call her name three times to see your future – but, unfortunately for us Halloween lovers, the cocktail’s origins are much less sinister than this.
While accounts vary, it seems the most common story is that the Bloody Mary cocktail was created on a whim by Fernand Petiot, an American bartender working in Paris at a bar called Harry’s New York Bar. (Did you follow all that geography hopping? 😳) He mixed a glass of half vodka (eek!), half tomato juice and a patron named the concoction.
Today, it’s a favorite brunch cocktail. And, in my case, it’s also a brilliant idea for a Halloween party.
I like a Halloween party with a good theme. I also like a Halloween party with fun activities. Creating a Bloody Mary bar for your guests provides both, whether you’re inviting over 3 people or 30!
How to make a killer Bloody Mary bar:
Before starting this project, I called up my resident Bloody Mary expert, Katie, and asked her to come down to Houston to make some killer Bloody Mary’s with me. You know you have good friends when they cross state lines to help you with crazy blog post ideas! (Well, and spend a long weekend with you!)
Here are your Bloody Mary mad scientists! That, of course, is me on the left, and Katie is on the right. And no, I know those are not Bloody Mary’s in our hands. Those our are fancy mimosas the next morning when we went out to brunch. What can I say? We like ALL the boozy breakfast drinks!
(We also had SO much fun with our Bloody Marys that apparently we never took a photo with them…)
Anyway…back to our bar!
From the start, we decided this wasn’t going to be any old Bloody Mary bar. Oh no. We were going to go ALL out buying every last appealing drink garnish we could think of.
We started by hitting up a few grocery stores, including Central Market, a local gourmet grocery store, which was a gold mine for Bloody Mary accouterments.
From classic additions like celery and olives to more offbeat picks, like our purple asparagus and steamed shrimp, we had a bit of everything on our menu! Keep reading to the end of the post to download our shopping list to create your own killer Bloody Mary bar.
Here’s a look at the complete set-up. I used my highly coveted spirit board serving tray from Target as the base for our display. (It’s not available, but you can grab this slate serving tray instead.)
Then, using a variety of glass containers like shot, juice and martini glasses, mason jars and even apothecary jars, we set up our display.
So pretty, right?
Additional elixirs to add to the mix included Worcestershire sauce and olive juice. We even grabbed a dill pickle Bloody Mary mix just for fun. (And because Katie is obsessed with all things pickle-flavored.)
Once our killer Bloody Mary bar was built, we went to work building our drinks. I’m pretty sure we both gave them names, but I don’t remember either one anymore. (The Bloody Marys were just that good!)
Katie went super green with hers, loading up with pickles (gherkins and spears), pickled okra, celery and jalapeno slices. We rimmed her glass with black lava salt, which we found in the bulk section of Central Market (but you get it on Amazon). And I don’t even remember all the goodies we threw into her glass, but it was delicious!
I mean, who wouldn’t want to drink that?
It got even MORE fun when we added dry ice to the mix.
For mine, I loaded up on all the dark goodies I could find.
That included cocktail onions, purple asparagus spears, a bit of black peppered salami and plenty of olive juice mixed into my cocktail. 😋
The fun thing about a Bloody Mary bar is your friends will have a blast making their drinks their own. You can always mix up the tomato juice and vodka ahead of time and serve them in a pitcher or drink dispenser (this one would be perfect!) to ensure your friends don’t overserve themselves. And building their drink is a fun activity to add to the party.
You could even take instant photos of each concoction (like I did with my friends’ villain costumes last Halloween), hang them up and have your friends name them, then vote for their favorites! I love a good Halloween party contest.
Or you could post them on a social media platform, like Instagram, and see who gets the most likes over the course of the party to decide the winner. (What a fun excuse to create your own hashtag!) The possibilities are seriously endless with this idea.
Not to be outdone by each other, Katie and I made one final Bloody Mary for this blog post. We literally jammed everything we could into this cup to create the ultimate killer Bloody Mary!
Ready to create your own killer Bloody Mary bar?
You’re in luck! I’ve created a free guide for you. It includes a shopping list so you won’t miss an item for your bar. Plus, I’ve also included a page of top-secret Bloody Mary ingredient labels you can print out to label all your items on your bar.
What would you put in your killer Bloody Mary?
Leave your best concoction in the comments! And don’t forget to grab my free shopping list and bar labels.
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