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This brunch drink already involves numerous components, from the drink itself to the garnishes. Still, if you want to try variations, you can accessorize it with the 34 best Bloody Mary accessories.
From must-have condiments to essential glassware, we've got you covered. So what are you waiting for? Check out our list of the best bloody mary accessories and get started planning your perfect brunch today!
How to Build a Bloody Mary Bar
When it comes to hosting a party, there's nothing quite like having a bloody mary bar set up for your guests. Not only is it a great way to let everyone customize their own drink to their liking, but it also makes for a fun and festive atmosphere. Plus, it's a great way to use up some of that leftover tomato juice from last night's dinner!
So what are the best bloody mary accessories to build your own bloody mary bar? You can choose many ingredients—from vegetables & herbs, meat/protein, seasonings for rims, and sauces to glassware and straws.
Our Top Picks
Best Vegetable - Pickled Beets
• Delightful sweet and sour flavor profile
Best Protein - Bacon
• Salty and savory taste
Best Rim - Gourmet Salt
• Adds great depth to the drink's flavor
Best Seasoning - Teriyaki Sauce
•Sweet and salty
Best Non-Food Item - Cocktail Picks
• Various designs
The Best Bloody Mary Accessories
Vegetables / Herbs
Olives are a great pairing with vodka, the base alcohol of Bloody Mary, because they have some salty characteristics. The flavors of green olives are even more emphasized because of the brine, which greatly populates your palette with new stimulating and satisfying sensations.
Furthermore, the rich oil content in olives allows them to blend with other Bloody Mary ingredients easily. You can also experiment with blue cheese stuffed olives for more flavor complexities!
Carrots are known for their bright orange color and crunch texture. Its slightly sweet and earthy flavor is a great accompaniment to the umami and tangy taste of the tomato juice. Its also easy to carve, allowing you to create fun shapes that you like to enhance the aesthetics of the drink.
Tabasco sauce is usually added to a traditional Bloody Mary cocktail, and if you want to keep the spice theme, you can always add chili peppers as garnish.
However, some Bloody Mary enthusiasts want to dial down the spiciness, so they use water-packed roasted chili peppers or pickled peppers instead, which provide a subtle sweetness. The roasted chili peppers could also be pureed and added to the cocktail.
There are two reasons why pickles would go well in a Bloody Mary cocktail. First, pickles have a unique saltiness that is not overbearing, thus adding depth of flavor. Second, they also add an interesting tart flavor to the drink. You can use slices of pickles or whole pickles for your drink.
Asparagus is a rich-tasting vegetable that adds savoriness to every dish or drink it is involved with. Its savory factor is owed to its earthy flavor, and it makes sense why it complements a nice and rich-tasting concoction of Bloody Mary.
You can even wrap it with bacon for a better presentation—it would be an exciting change from celery stalks!
Mushrooms in a cocktail, in general, don't seem real, but with a Bloody Mary—it definitely works. As long as you know how complementary and contrasting flavors work, you can add just about anything to a Bloody Mary! Mushrooms work greatly in this drink due to their rich umami flavors that support the Worcestershire sauce.
Like savory dishes, rosemary, lemon, and pepper complement each other well; since lemon and pepper are Bloody Mary ingredients—you just need to throw in a bit of rosemary action.
The flavor of rosemary is both pronounced and versatile. Its piney aroma and sharpness are accented by the lemon's acidity and tangy characteristics. The result is nothing short of a fresh garden burst!
8. Baby Corn
Baby corns don't carry much complexity, but it wouldn't hurt to have them in your own Bloody Mary drink. It's a light vegetable with a slight sweetness and earthy undertones. Its pale yellow color also makes the color of the red drink pop more, and its snappy texture makes the whole drink better!
Don’t miss trying pickled green beans as a Bloody Mary accessory! They are closely similar to cucumber pickles but have a crunchiness that people find delicious and better.
Adding these beans to your Bloody Mary cocktail will also add an interesting sour flavor that is just enough to make the blend attractively complex. If you can't find them, use Kosher dills instead!
Dill has long been used in the area of medicine and culinary arts. Not long after, it's already used in the world of cocktails. The use of dill in beverages not only adds to its delicious taste and unique aroma but also provides health benefits.
To give your Bloody Mary some essence of dill, you can use it as a garnish or add dill to the pickled veggies you'll be using in your best Bloody Mary recipe.
11. Pickled Baby Beets - Best Vegetable
Pickled beets aren't really a recently discovered addition in a Bloody Mary cocktail. Adding beets gives it a bright, crisp red color, making the drink even more interesting.
Additionally, pickled beets also add sweetness and sourness to the cocktail and serve as a great equalizer for the vodka, horseradish, and hot sauce. You could also use roasted beets to add earthiness.
Seeing shrimp in a cocktail, and not as a side pairing, may seem weird until you actually drink it. You don't have to think so differently about shrimp in a Bloody Mary; think of it as a level-up shrimp cocktail!
Garnish the drink with boiled, peeled shrimps, and munch on between sips. You can also incorporate a bit of shrimp broth in your Bloody Mary for saltiness and subtle sweetness.
Pepperoni is another must-have if you want a Bloody Mary that leans on the smoky side. Pepperoni will bring an extra kick to your cocktail because it naturally has a salty, spicy, tangy, and slightly smoky flavor, making the drink even more savory!
If you're aiming for uniqueness, you can use pepperoni straws. These chewy treats are loaded with flavors and textures to bring excitement to the drink.
Adding a hint of cheese to a vodka-based cocktail is an excellent move. Cheese skewers may not be your first choice, but in this case, the subtleties are what make it so enjoyable.
There are many types of cheeses, but the best ones for Bloody Mary are blue cheese, cheddar cheese, and cheese curds. You can also try a brie-blackberries duo to give the Bloody Mary a sweet yet savory taste.
Oysters may not look pretty, but their taste makes up for it. The brininess of these fresh sea creatures and the spicy bite in a Bloody Mary mix is a fantastic fit. This combination also gives a strong scent that'll quickly engulf your olfactory senses, just like wasabi.
Furthermore, the oysters will contribute nutty and creamy notes. It is best to use fresh oysters, but if you don't have access to them, you can opt for canned ones.
16. Beef Jerky
You can make a glass of Bloody Mary more brunch-worthy by adding beef jerky to the mix. With many variations of Bloody Marys nowadays, beef jerky is actually already less bizarre. It's just like another bacon, but more convenient since it doesn't need to be cooked.
This snack's sharp, salty flavors are an excellent addition to the drink's typical spice and alcohol taste while also adding some much-needed crunchiness.
17. Hard-Boiled Eggs
A Bloody Mary is famously known to be the go-to hangover drink because tomato juice is said to have electrolytes which are minerals that help rehydrate and balance the water in our bodies.
You can even elevate the hangover relief factor by adding hard-boiled eggs and Bloody Mary garnishes! The reason behind this effect is the amino acid cysteine which is present in eggs. You can choose chicken eggs or quail eggs if you want something smaller.
Bloody Marys taste salty, savory, and spicy. Do you know what else has a similar flavor profile? Sausages! Shake up your drink with some smoked sausages for that perfect salty and savory factor on a tasty drink!
You can pick up your favorite sausage links from your butcher or make your own! Before making them as garnishes, you may need to slice them up a bit to make room for other components of the drink.
19. Bacon - Best Meat
There's nothing like the perfect balance of salty and savory to make your day better. That is why adding bacon into a tall Bloody Mary is a great choice!
Not only does it make the drink look unique and tasty, but it also helps cut the tanginess of the tomato juice and goes well with the horseradish. Make sure you crisp the bacon to add texture and make it upright in your drink!
Rim / Seasonings
Old Bay Seasoning is believed to be a mixture of 18 flavorful herbs and spices, including paprika, black pepper, celery salt, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, etc.
These components explain why it's a go-to ingredient for rimming cocktails because you don't need to find and mix herbs yourself—it already comes in a single product! Old Bay Seasoning tastes peppery, savory, and smoky—perfect for a Bloody Mary.
21. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika is a common rimmer for smoky cocktails, such as a smoky Margarita or Bloody Mary. That's why you need to stock up your Bloody Mary bar with this, too.
This ground spice is often mixed with lemon zest and celery salt or kosher salt. If you're making a Bloody Mary with barbecue sauce, this is the ideal rimmer for it, as it will do a better job at enhancing the smoky accents than regular paprika.
22. Lemon Pepper
Lemon pepper seasoning is a Bloody Mary's best friend, so you don't want it to be absent in your Bloody Mary bar. The reason is that it simply matches the flavors of pepper and lemon or lime juice in traditional versions of the drink.
Your cocktail will have a tangy zing from the lemon juice that the sour citrus notes and sharpness will elevate from the lemon pepper seasoning.
Red pepper flakes would also make a good Bloody Mary rimmer or toppings because they match the cocktail's color and the overall presentation of the drink. The red pepper flakes' heat and spice will also add more excitement to the spicy brunch cocktail. For complexity, you can make a mixture of flakes and kosher salt.
24. Gourmet Salt - Best Rim
Branch out from the usual celery salt and kosher salt by using gourmet salts! The range of these elite salts is as diverse and imaginative as the foods and drinks they enhance.
You can step up your Bloody Mary game by stocking your own bloody mary bar with various gourmet salts such as Pink Himalayan Salt, Fleur de Sel, Celtic Sea Salt, Black Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Black Garlic Salt, etc.
Sauces / Liquid Flavorings
25. Barbecue Sauce
Some people like to spice up their Bloody Mary with barbecue sauce to add extra flavor. Some take out the jalapeno peppers and lime wedges when using this sauce, and others substitute the Worcestershire sauce with it.
The qualities of BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce are a lot like each other, but the former tends to be thicker and sweeter.
Cholula Hot Sauce is considered a "true Mexican treasure." It packs a punch with its long-lived heat and light flavor that won't overpower your cocktail but will still leave you feeling warm and toasty. This sauce can be an excellent substitute for Tabasco because they taste similar, but Cholula is less hot than Tabasco.
The combination of hot sauce and vodka is a dynamic one, but sometimes it can be hard to find just the right balance. But with sriracha, you'll have an easy time finding said balance.
The heat and spiciness from sriracha are just as satisfying as tabasco. It has a tangy and slightly sweet taste with a hint of garlic that fits the equation of a Bloody Mary.
Tapatio Salsa Picante offers a deep pepper flavor with a slight tang. It is hotter than Cholula but still gentle and is less acidic than most hot sauces. It is also noted for its sodium content which can add flavor to any dish or drink. You can use this in conjunction with Tabasco or other hot sauce or substitute.
29. Olive Brine
Surely, you know what a dirty martini is. Similarly, adding olive brine to a Bloody Mary cocktail becomes a dirty Bloody Mary!
Olive brine will incorporate salty and olive flavors to the drink with a subtle sourness and earthiness that will help deepen the cocktail's taste. Make sure you have a bottle of olive brine in your DIY bloody mary bar for diversity!
30. Pickle Juice
Pickle juice has a lot of uses, but being the secret ingredient in killer cocktails is one way to make it really shine! The addition of pickle juice to cocktails has become more popular, with its savory and tangy flavor adding an interesting twist. See for yourself by adding it to a Bloody Mary cocktail!
31. Teriyaki Sauce - Best Seasoning
Teriyaki sauce isn't just for chicken or stir fry; it also has a place in a Bloody Mary! It provides a pleasant mix of saltiness, sweetness, and tanginess to your cocktail and makes it stand out. The similarities between the Worcestershire sauce and teriyaki specials lie in their shared ingredients, which make them taste quite alike!
Non-Food Bloody Mary Accessories
Bloody Marys are usually served in tall glasses, with the highball being the most accepted. This glass is a perfect vessel for cocktails served with ice, such as a Bloody Mary, as it keeps the drink cold a bit longer. Collins glasses and hurricane glasses are also totally acceptable.
A straw or a stirrer is a much-needed tool in your arsenal when making a delicious and rich glass of Bloody Mary. This cocktail is diverse and complex, including several ingredients, some of which are viscous and will gradually settle below. With this, a straw comes in handy for stirring the drink and agitating the flavors.
34. Cocktail Picks - Best Non-Food Item
Being a cocktail that is normally garnished in no less than a flashy way, you'll need a lot of cocktail picks. These essential bar utensils are usually sharp on one end and have a dainty design on the other.
Additionally, they could be made with plastic, metal, wood, or bamboo. Cocktail picks are used to spear your Bloody Mary toppings and display them on your drink.
Accessories for Bloody Mary Bar - What to Look For
Bloody Mary additions come in different forms, and you're free to put whatever you want in your concoction. But to help you get started, you can check the following factors:
Type of Ingredient
The type of ingredient can make all the difference in terms of taste, texture, and presentation. For example, if you're using solid garnishes like pickles and olives, they will add an extra crunchy dimension to the drink and will help to balance out the richness of the tomato juice flavor.
Alternatively, liquid ingredients like hot sauce can easily be incorporated into your bloody mary recipe and allow you to achieve a more precision-based balance between flavors.
The flavor of an ingredient in this classic brunch beverage adds depth and complexity to the drink. You can experiment with different combinations of vegetables, herbs, and spices until you find the perfect balance.
Remember, the best Bloody Marys are always fresh and seasonal, so don't be afraid to experiment with different ingredients as the seasons change.
With this, it is crucial to choose accessories that will enhance the drink's flavor without overwhelming it. By doing so, you can create a Bloody Mary that is both unique and delicious.
Whether you prefer your Bloody Mary to be savory, sweet, spicy, or smoky, there are endless ways for you to reinvent this classic drink. There are also ingredients that have multiple dimensions in terms of taste. With this, you should also consider the degree of versatility an ingredient has.
For example, a touch of barbecue sauce can add a smoky note as well as sweetness and tanginess that enhances savory and spicy flavors.
On the other hand, incorporating bacon cubes into the glass can create an interesting textural contrast and a salty edge that complements the drink's savory ingredients.
Some of the products above can be easily found in your kitchen or your nearby grocery stores. They also come really cheap. But some items are a bit difficult to come by and have a high price. This factor depends on your budget, and what flavor you want to achieve.
Bloody Mary Accessories FAQ
1. How can you customize your Bloody Mary to make it exactly how you like it best?
When it comes to Bloody Marys, there's no one-size-fits-all recipe; everyone has their own preferences. The key is to experiment with the ingredients until you find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.
For instance, if you like more kick, you can add more Tabasco sauce or experiment with different types of peppers. You can add more tomato juice or mix in some fruit juice if you like it sweeter.
And if you like it really savory, you can add additional seasonings or even Worcestershire sauce. The possibilities are endless!
2. How do you make a perfect Bloody Mary drink with all the right flavors and textures?
There are a few key elements that any good recipe should strive for. Firstly, using high-quality ingredients is essential. Secondly, balance is key; while it can be tempting to pile on the horseradish or load up on spice mixes, using too much of any ingredient will throw off the flavor profile.
Also, the texture is important, so the drink should be smooth and silky, with just a hint of grittiness.
3. Are there any other variations on the Bloody Mary that you can recommend, such as a spicy version or one made with vodka instead of gin?
While the traditional Bloody Mary is undoubtedly a classic, it certainly isn't the only way to enjoy this beloved cocktail. For those who prefer something with a little more heat, we would recommend experimenting with spicy variations, such as adding slices of jalapeño or a spicier hot sauce.
And, if you're looking for more of a kick, you can switch out the typical gin for a high-quality vodka; this will give the drink an extra bit of oomph without sacrificing any of its signature flavors.
4. What are the benefits of using garnishes in Bloody Mary cocktails?
There are various reasons why people use garnishes in their Bloody Mary cocktails. At first glance, they may simply seem like a decorative addition that adds a pop of color and texture to an otherwise ordinary drink. However, they also enhance flavor, improve presentation, and encourage creativity.
Bloody Marys are an acquired taste. To make the perfect Bloody Mary cocktail, you need a foolproof recipe that will yield delicious results. Since it is such a complex cocktail with numerous components, you can experiment with it by adding some fantastic accessories, including garnishes and flavorings!
You can adjust the flavors by choosing ingredients that are to your liking or try to mix and match multiple ingredients. It's also important not to go overboard to prevent flavors from clashing and ruining the drink. Take it one combination at a time.
If you want to save time, you can use the best Bloody Mary mixes instead, then pick the best additions from the list above.
Which one are you most excited to try? We'll be happy to hear about your experience in the comments below.