The start of the New Year is only days away and for many of us, that signals the start of a new hangover. I’ll bet it’s going to be a doozy. Mine always is. But there is hope and it comes in the form of the Bloody Mary. New Year’s Day, or honestly most weekend days, is always a great day to have people over in the afternoon. Maybe you can cook up a big pot of chili. And, of course, set up this amazing D.I.Y. Bloody Mary bar. Here's how to do it.
The Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar
You’ll want to set up a large table with a good portion (or all) of the list below. Make the table look abundant with excess vegetables that are pertinent to the Bloody Mary mix: cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, garlic, fresh herbs.
Vodka, which you could also infuse with fresh horseradish or garlic or both. Pour one bottle into an airtight container with 1 tablespoon fresh grated horseradish and two roughly chopped garlic cloves. Leave for 24 hours, then strain back into the original bottle. No need to spend big here people. Vodka is merely alcohol anyway when covered with all the flavors in a Bloody Mary. I do like the Absolut Peppar, though.
Sure, you could just buy some of that overly thick and heavy tomato juice that comes in a plastic bottle or can from the local bodega or grocery store. But nothing will ever compare to freshly pressed vegetable juice. It’s like making your own V-8. You will, of course, need a proper juicer for this. I like to juice fresh tomatoes, carrot, cucumber, celery and bell pepper. Prepare a day in advance if you have time and mix with a little tomato paste and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Leave in the fridge overnight. This juice is packed with vitamins and is much lighter, more refreshing and invigorating than the store-bought stuff. Your hangover will be a distant memory in no time. Keep this in a pitcher on your D.I.Y. bar.
Rick’s Picks makes some amazing pickles including beans, carrots, smoked okra and my favorite: phat beets. They’re available at Whole Foods, or at the very least, get at least a handful of the below items:
Olives (get a few stuffed varieties)
Fresh Vegetable Garnishes
Hot & Spicy
Tabasco: red & green (the chipotle is also delicious)
Togarashi (a Japanese pepper spice mix)
Cracked black pepper
A Go-To Bloody Mary Mix
1 litre (33 ounces) fresh pressed tomato juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces celery juice
8 ounces cucumber juice
8 ounces carrot juice
6 ounces red bell pepper juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
- Mix all in a pitcher with no ice. Put in the refrigerator overnight. Pour over ice into long glasses. Add your preferred spirit and spices, etc.
Tequila (and/or mezcal)
Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Chipotle Tabasco sauce
Dill, finely chopped
*If you want to save on costs, you can also ask your guests to bring something for the Bloody Mary bar. Just make sure you assign the items so everyone doesn’t turn up with a bottle of Tabasco.
Try out these Bloody Mary recipes on Food Republic: