Dear Miss Mary,
I’m planning an all-day party for watching the [Big Game] at my house. It’s potluck, so I only have to make a couple of dishes – no biggie. It’s the drinks that I’m worried about. Everyone will bring beer, but I really don’t know where to begin setting up a Bloody Mary Bar. What do I buy? How much? How should it be served? What accessories do I need? I see the pictures on your Pinterest Board, but it’s stressing me out trying to replicate.

Can you help?

Kaylee

Dear Kaylee,

Girlfriend, I’ve got you.
Bloody Mary bars aren’t something to stress over. They’re for making the stress go away, deliciously!

Let’s break the Bloody Mary Bar down into just 3 priorities: QUANTITY, QUALITY, PRESENTATION

First things first – The “accepted” party rule is that guests will have two drinks during the first hour of a party and one drink every hour after that. Let’s say you have 20 people coming – all adults – and the party will last 6 hours (at least). (20 x 2) + (20 x 5) = 140 drinks.

Our friends at Total Wine have some essential math to help you plan for how many bottles to purchase on the Cocktail Party Planning page. For example, a 750ml bottle = 15 servings.

For quality, I think you know who we recommend for Mixxxes. Miss Mary’s Morning Elixir (Original) is lighter than the typical Bloody Mary Mix – like literally lighter. We don’t use tomato paste so the mix is refreshing and packed with flavor, but not something you chew. Miss Mary’s Thick & Savory mix is a heartier, more robust option if you have some traditionalists in your group, but will also be more filling. With a buffet of snacks and savories, folks might want to save space for actual food. Last, but definitely not least, is Miss Mary’s Bold & Spicy. This formula is not, what you would call, for the meek. We like to say it’s a pucker-punch. *giggle*

Tito’s(R) Handmade Vodka is running a special in some regions that will get you $2 off Miss Mary’s Mix with a purchase of 750ml or more. (Who doesn’t like in-store discounts?) And if you are really looking to show-off, they have a mixology kit that will look so pro at your party. You can also get fancy by flavoring your vodka – check out the recipe for “Jerked Around Mary.”

Last but not least, delight your guests by setting up a drinks station. A counter-top ice bucket for vodkas and mixes is a nice touch. You’ll want to add ice/pour out water to avoid spillage. We think our bottles are charming just the way they are, but you can pick up carafes online or from your local Cost Plus World Market.

For “glassware,” think about the number of people x how many people will set their drink down and forget which one is theirs x who will help you do dishes. Some may prefer a real glass, but, honey, there is no shame in the Solo Cup game. Check out their online options for coordinating with your team colors. An added bonus for using plastic is that guests can label their cup – less waste, fewer mixups.

Accessorizing a Bloody Mary is like creating art. There is no wrong way to do it. If it speaks to you, it’s beautiful. Traditional choices include celery, pickle spears, olives, limes and lemons. Adventurous choices include strips of crispy bacon, kebabs of vegetables and meats, and peppers of all sizes and heats. Go garnish-crazy. Have an at-home contest for Our mixes are ready-made, which means you don’t need the usual additions of hot sauce or Worcestershire, but you might like a celery salt dish for use on the rim… it’s just pretty.

Go team!

XX,

Miss Mary

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