What to put in a Bloody Mary gift basket has been a hot topic of debate for lovers of the classic cocktail. While the infamous drink’s staple ingredients are pretty well known, the myriad variations on the classic drink make putting together a Bloody Mary gift basket more complicated than first thought.
The classic Bloody Mary is believed to have originated at New York City’s King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel and was concocted from seven ingredients: vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, celery salt, Tabasco sauce, and lemon juice.
As readily available as the basic Bloody Mary ingredients are, the key to putting together a gift basket like an expert is to select these ingredients with your intended recipient’s taste and favorite things in mind.
Personalizing your gift basket to include the recipient’s favorite vodka and a bespoke spice mix is the way to ensure you give the perfect gift to your favorite Bloody Mary cocktail lover.
Bloody Mary Mix
Your first decision when you put together your own gift baskets is whether your intended recipient would appreciate a pre-made Bloody Mary mix or a recipe card with each of the individual ingredients.
While the use of a pre-made Bloody Mary mix may offend the staunchest purist, there are several superb offerings on the market which cover a range of flavors. While you can find excellent Bloody My mixes that include the classic ingredients, you can also find spicier and milder versions and mixes that use slightly different ingredients.
If you are assembling a Bloody Mary gift basket for someone with a penchant for the piquant, you can also find pre-made mixes with a little extra kick. If that special Bloody Mary enthusiast in your life enjoys their favorite cocktails on the spicier side, then you can include a Bloody Mary mix with added horseradish; extra jalapeño, chipotle, and red cayenne peppers; or with the added heat of habañero peppers.
While including a bespoke recipe card and individual ingredients in your gift-giving may involve a little more effort, the personal touch can go a long way. You can simply assemble the classic Bloody Mary ingredients, or you can go off script and tailor your Bloody Mary basket to suit your friend’s tastes.
One potential downside of collating the individual ingredients is you may find yourself faced with the daunting task of having to ask for Worcestershire sauce in the store. Named after the English county from which it originated, the correct pronunciation is wuss-ter-shear, and its unmistakable flavor is included in everybody’s favorite Bloody Marys.
That minor hurdle aside, gathering together the rest of the ingredients for your Bloody Mary basket should be a little easier, with the exception perhaps being whether or not you opt for the classic Tabasco hot sauce or mix it up a little with a more personalized choice.
If your friend likes things a little spicy, or if they’re not really your friend at all, you can spice gift baskets up a little and opt for an extra-hot hot sauce. Hot sauces based on habañero peppers are a great way of spicing things up a little, or you could choose a milder jalapeño-based sauce if the intended recipient is not keen on spice. A variety pack or gift collection of sauces is also a nice touch.
No great Bloody Mary gift basket is complete without the addition of vodka – the perfect spirit for a Bloody Mary. Plus, you can personalize your gift basket even further by choosing the recipient’s favorite brand. You can opt for a bottle of classic unadulterated vodkas – such as Tito’s Vodka or the Ukrainian-made Khor Vodka.
The choice of vodka offers another opportunity to personalize your Bloody Mary gift basket. Depending on the recipient’s tastes, you could choose a pre-flavored vodka, such as this habañero-infused offering from Hanson of Sonoma, or fruitier numbers, such as the pear-infused Grey Goose La Poire Vodka.
Pickles & Olives
You can also tailor your gift basket further by selecting your friend’s favorite garnishes. Bloody Marys are famous for their edible garnishes, and while the classic Bloody Mary garnishes include celery stalk or dill pickles, much more extravagant garnishes can also be added.
A veritable cornucopia of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices have been used to garnish the humble Bloody Mary, while more modern interpretations of the cocktail have also included less mundane choices such as hunks of cheese, bacon, and even as crazy as it sounds, pizza!
Many people enjoy an olive with their Bloody Marys, and you could opt for green or black olives for your garnish. You could also push the boat out a little and choose stuffed olives, such as blue cheese-stuffed olives.
The classic way to salt Bloody Mary glasses is to coat the rim in celery salt. To do this, you take a wedge of lemon or lime and rub it around the rim of the glass to moisten it. Then turn the glass upside down and place it into the salt so that it sticks to the rim.
You can also add different flavors to this step by adding extra spices to the salt or buying a pre-made celery salt mix. Popular choices for spicing up the rim include smoked paprika and cracked black pepper, or you could opt for a simpler version and salt the rim with kosher salt.
One more way to personalize your Bloody Mary gift basket is to choose a cocktail pick with a bit of character. Rather than opting for standard wooden cocktail picks, you could choose a unique design with a motif to suit your intended recipient.
There are plenty of different designs available, including cocktail picks that feature everything from skulls to cute animals.
What would you put in a Bloody Mary gift basket?
As a minimum, you should include vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, celery salt, Tabasco sauce, and citrus juice, but you can personalize this list too.
How to make a Bloody Mary kit for a gift?
Assemble miniature bottles of your favorite vodka, mixers, empty mason jars, and spices. Pop one of each inside a mason jar with a printed recipe card, and decorate with a ribbon. The perfect gift idea!
What food goes with bloody marys?
A pot of chili, meatballs, meatloaf, steak, chicken, pork, or, if you’re feeling tender from last night’s drinks, a full brunch or breakfast can all compliment a Bloody Mary perfectly.
- A Bloody Mary gift basket makes a great gift.
- Include items like Bloody Mary mix, garnishes, rim salt, and cocktail picks.
- Add cocktail glasses for a fancier gift.
- Customize the gift basket to the recipient’s preferences with a little extra heat or unique flavors.
- Add some snacks, like beef jerky, bagel chips, or a mason jar of your favorite chili mix.