Bloody Mary Fun

Set up a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar and let your guests do the mixing.

For your next brunch, try stocking a Bloody Mary bar with inventive ingredients, and turn over bartending duties to your guests. Keep it simple or make it extravagant, but be sure the bar includes the basics: tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, lemon juice, black pepper, celery stalks and lemon wedges.

You can streamline it by providing a Bloody Mary mix that contains all the classic nonalcoholic ingredients. But offering a selection of mixers has more creative potential. Start with tomato, lemon, lime and orange juices, and consider adding other vegetable juices, tomato-clam juice (to make a Bloody Caesar) or beef broth (for a Bloody Bull).

Expand the bar with gin, a reposado tequila (such as Sauza Hornitos) and a selection of flavored spirits. Try Absolut Peppar vodka for a jalapeno chile punch or Flor de Cana Limon rum for citrusy freshness.

Look to your supermarket for a growing array of specialty ingredients your budding mixologists can experiment with. Try wasabi, Caribbean hot sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, fresh horseradish or barbecue sauce. And don't forget garnishes, such as celery salt, chiles, marinated vegetables or fresh herbs.

Set out a standard recipe, some shot glasses and liquid measuring cups. Guests can shake their concoctions gently with ice and strain into a highball glass. If the drinks aren't perfect, they have only one bartender to blame.

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