How to revamp your restaurant’s Bloody Mary bar

Behold the Bloody Mary - every brunch-goers favorite libation. Share this article

Let's face it – Bloody Marys are the beginning, middle and end of brunches everywhere. The food may be on point, but it's that tall glass of pureed tomato and vodka that early birds reach for as soon as they take their seats. These thirsty folks want the spicy goodness that is the Bloody Mary and it's up to restaurants to deliver. Today, there are more ways than imaginable to create the creative and mouth-watering libation. 

What's in a name?
Since the early days of the Bloody, back when Hemingway was allegedly kicking them back in Paris's very own Harry's New York Bar, countless spin-offs of the drink have cropped up. Over the years, the traditional Bloody Mary has morphed into other female monikers, like Jane, Maria, Lawrence. With so much versatility, Men's Journal came up with a list of the 15 best Bloodys of all time. 

Men's Journal ranked Kachina in Denver as the best spot to grab some Marys. While visiting the Mile High City, be sure to extend your itinerary so you can try the monstrous concoction that's only served on Sundays. Bring your appetite because the cocktail is equal parts garnish and drink. It's stacked sky high with Manchego, prosciutto, jalapenos, blue corn waffle and of course, a stick of celery. 

Bar managers can get inventive when naming these frisky libations, whether the title is based on the base alcohol or the restaurant's brand and ambiance. A little mystery might add to the intrigue of the overall presentation. Men's Journal placed Husk in Charleston just behind Kachina. The watering hole's Bloody Mary base is a mix of undisclosed ingredients, meaning people have to frequent the place to get their fix. 

The garnish is just as important as the base of the drink. The garnish is just as important as the base of the drink.

All about the garnish
Then, there's the garnish. Back in the day, a Bloody Mary would get a straw, olive and hunk of celery. However, restaurants have been stepping up their game by giving guests just as much to nibble on as they are to drink with their cocktails. Establishments that would like to get on board with the garnish party should consider adding these:

  • Lobster
  • Short ribs
  • Meat and cheese
  • Jalapenos
  • Bacon-wrapped asparagus
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Padron peppers.

What's great is that there is no wrong way to garnish a Bloody Mary, meaning that the drink serves as an opportunity to use the rest of that meat special that isn't selling. Funky straws and long sticks are the way to go so that the items don't sink to the bottom of the glass. Though, that doesn't sound like a terrible idea, either. 

A bloody bar

"Taking it to a whole other level, many brunches boast a Bloody Mary Bar."

Taking it to a whole other level, many brunches boast a Bloody Mary Bar. On Saturdays and Sundays, patrons at Met Back Bay can pick from a check-list of ingredients including the spirit, heat and "fixin's." 

This style menu encourages engagement with the establishment's offerings. Not to mention, it saves the servers and bartenders time because they won't have to jot down 10 drink variations. They can simply grab the piece of paper and go. It's efficient and effective. 

Of course, revamping the Bloody Mary is the perfect time to revisit safety procedures. With all of those stray garnishes and the vats of tomato juice, there is plenty of room for error. Servers and bartenders trying to keep up with a hectic brunch shift are at risk of slipping and falling, which is consequential for the employer and worker. 

Liberty Mutual conducted a study on restaurant injuries and pointed out that slips are controllable. Establishments must work to prevent these incidences from happening. A corporate shoe policy can keep workers on their feet and Bloody Marys in patrons' hands. 

Brought to you by Shoes For Crews, the trusted leader in safety footwear to industrial employees for more than 30 years.

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