“In my family, everyone has an exact way they like their Bloody Mary,” says A-list party planner Bronson van Wyck. “With a self-serve Bloody Mary Bar, no one stands on ceremony. You can just go up there and make your own.” Here, how to set up a DIY bar with all the key ingredients: vodka, spiced tomato juice, ice and garnishes.
Liquor and Garnishes
Bloody Marys are usually vodka-based, but van Wyck sometimes puts in lager beer instead for a Michelada-style drink. His make-your-own bar offers both options, along with add-ins like celery stalks, green olives and lemon slices.
Van Wyck’s extra-hot Hellfire Club Bloody Mary mix (available online at vanwyck.net), is spiked with serrano peppers and Tabasco. “I go as spicy as I can,” he says. Olive juice and Peppadews “smooth out the hot pepper, so it doesn’t hurt the back of your throat.”
Flavored Ice Cubes
Ice cubes made from fresh juice—cucumber-basil or tomato-chile—keep the cocktail flavors going strong even as the ice melts. “The ice changes the cocktail as you’re drinking it,” says van Wyck. “It’s an offensive maneuver to keep it from getting watered down.”