Take your brunch game to the next level with this awesome diy bagel and bloody mary bar. No cooking required!
It’s no secret I’m a sucker for build-your-own bars (i.e. see this taco and margarita bar, this mimosa bar, and this ice cream social I did last year) but what can I say? I can’t resist them! They’re so fun to put together and the simple fact that I don’t have to do anything once they’re all set up (besides eating and drinking with my guests) is enough for me to go back to them time and time again.
I set up this diy ‘bagel and bloody mary bar’ for a couple of friends who came over for brunch last week. I was originally going to do a simple bagel bar but since I think we’ll all agree that bloody marys and bagels are a match made in heaven, I thought I’d take this party up a notch! The other great thing about this delicious combo is that it uses a lot of common ingredients.
Our friends loved it so in case you’d like to try it too, I’ve outlined the set up process below.
One word of caution though, take it easy on the vodka as those morning cocktails can really knock the wind out of you. And yes, I might be speaking from personal experience here ;)
Without further ado, here’s how to set up an awesome bagel and bloody mary bar:
1.Setting the scene
To be honest I don’t think you need much in lieu of decor here. I mean, if bloody marys and bagels don’t scream ‘party time’ I don’t know what does! The only reason I added party fans above my table is because I own an online party store and can’t help but decorate everything. I also made a cheeky little sign that said ‘Eat, drink, be bloody mary’ because…I obviously have way too much time on my hands ;). If you’d like to download it, simply click here.
What you will need however are serving dishes for your bagels and condiments. I used little serving bowls and mini souffle dishes as a way to separate the condiments but if you don’t have any of those then just arrange your bagels and toppings on plates instead. You’ll also need:
- cutlery (small serving spoons, small forks, and knives)
- bamboo skewers
A brunch playlist from Spotify or the likes could also set the mood nicely.
2. The Food
Obviously the easiest option here is to buy an assortment of ready-made bagels from your local supermarket or better yet, a good bakery. It’s what I did for this particular event and no one seemed to mind one little bit. That being said, I have made my own bagels in the past and though it’s a labor of love, the end result is definitely amazing. If you’d like to try making your own check out this great recipe by Sophisticated Gourmet.
When it comes to toppings (the best part!), here are some popular options:
- cream cheese
- smoked salmon
- roast beef
- lemon and lime wedges
- fresh herbs
Toast your bagels just before serving or have a toaster and sandwich press nearby so that the guests can do it themselves!
3. The Drinks
Bloody marys traditionally call for vodka but some people like to add in beer or more alchohol in theirs. I kept mine classic (vodka only) but if you’d like to give your guests more options then consider things like beers, tequila, or gin.
You’ll also need good quality tomato juice. If you’d like to be fancy you could offer a variety of them (spicy, veggie juice, etc) or make your own.
Go crazy with the topping options as people l-o-v-e to load up their bloody marys. Besides the condiments we already listed above, here are some fun options:
- fried bacon
- beef jerky
- pickles (onions, gerkins,..)
- balsamic vinegar
- chili powder
- old bay seasoning
- salt and pepper
- soy sauce
- worcestershire sauce