It’s Bloody Mary o’clock.

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Mary Claire Britton

Brunch beverages are the best. There. We said it. They’re flavorful and fresh, easy to customize, and they offer just enough of a kick to make any weekend morning a real celebration. The Bloody Mary is the brunch beverage to end all brunch beverages, and we love sipping on them in rocking chairs on the porch, basking in the Southern summer sun. Make your own Bloody Mary bar with the help of our easy tips, and you’ll be on your way to peak brunch in no time at all.

Stock Your Bar

Anyone hoping to make a killer Bloody Mary will need a great recipe. Look to our classic Bloody Mary recipe for a customizable base and a list of ingredients to help with stocking the bar. (You’ll need a good vegetable juice, lemons, limes, and a few other key ingredients, all of which you can pick up at your nearest grocery store.)

And don't neglect the additions. Garnishes provide a shortcut to a signature Bloody Mary. We like a combination of celery sticks, olives, and cocktail onions, but you can also add Southern flair to your Bloody Mary by using picked okra as an unexpected garnish. Inspired additions can transform this classic beverage into a memorable, one-of-a-kind brunch creation.

Outfit Your Bar

For novices and pros alike, don’t forget to stock your bar with stylish pieces to further elevate your Bloody Mary-mixing experience. Whether you have a bar cart tucked into a corner of your living room, a fully stocked bar spread, or are mixing up drinks over your kitchen sink, you need three key items. Check out our choices below, add them to your arsenal, and start bartending with flair.

Pick up a set of highball glasses. Not just any highball glasses, though. They should be durable, tall enough to accommodate the meal of garnishes you’ll add, and delicate at the rim, but with a satisfying heft at the base. Crate & Barrel’s Otis Highball Glass gets the proportions just right.
Buy It: Otis Highball Glass, $5.95/single, $62.95/set of 12, crateandbarrel.com

For stacking your garnishes and angling them jauntily on the rim of the glass, you’ll need a durable pick. Choose unfussy bamboo skewers. These come in packs of 200, which should last you through a few brunch sessions.
Buy It: Perfect Stix Bamboo Knot Picks, $5,94/for 200, amazon.com

When refilling glasses around the brunch table, you’ll need an elegant pitcher. We like this Kate Spade glass pitcher with clean lines and a substantial handle.
Buy It: Kate Spade New York Library Stripe Pitcher, $60, bloomingdales.com

At your get-together, arrange the Bloody Mary garnishes so that guests can easily access them and customize their drinks. Celery should be presented in clear, tall glasses or arranged on a tray. Fill glasses and pretty dishes with the rest. Add cocktail napkins, and let the celebration begin.

Mix Up Your Mary

Once you have the tools and ingredients, you're ready to start mixing. To help elevate your Bloody Mary game, just answer one question and choose your own bar-cart adventure below. Which of the following best describes you?
A. I’m a Bloody Mary novice.
B. I’m familiar with the beverage, but I could use some tips.
C. I practically invented the Bloody Mary. I’m a pro.

If you chose A, then you’re new to this bar staple. Begin at the beginning. You can’t go wrong with our signature Bloody Mary recipe. Follow the steps to make our Spicy Bloody Mary Mixer, a vibrant, fresh combination of vegetable juice, roasted red peppers, lime juice, Old Bay, and a few other key ingredients. From there, add a lime wedge, lemon wedge, and vodka to the mixer for a simple and delicious Bloody Mary.

If you chose B, you’re ready to get creative. Follow our Bloody Mary Recipe, and be sure to mix up our most delicious Bloody Mary garnish—Bloody Mary Bacon Salt. (You heard right—bacon!) Rim the glasses in this mixture, an intriguing combination of bacon and spices, to make a memorable splash at brunch.

If you chose C, it’s time to take your Bloody Mary to the next level. Try a few interesting twists on your already impressive Bloody Mary. Replace the beverage’s vodka with tequila to make a Bloody Maria. Add the Bloody Mary mixer to light beer for a Michelada. Mix up a Virgin Mary for any non-drinkers—it’s the same recipe, sans vodka.

Check out our other great Bloody Mary recipes too. Elizabeth's Heirloom Bloody Mary Mix uses heirloom tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce, while Kane’s Peppery Bloody Mary does what it promises. It adds a peppery bite to any morning celebration, and it’s seasoned with wonderfully fragrant herbs, including basil and cilantro. Judy’s Bloody Mary Mix is the best of both worlds, combining a classic recipe with dashes of hot sauce and horseradish for some heat.

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And there you have it! With a few key ingredients, a couple of clever additions, and three essential tools, your Bloody Mary bar will be ready for refills. Invite a few friends over this weekend, and brunch will become your favorite meal of the day—if it isn’t already.