Diane Mina, owner of Diane’s Bloody Mary Bar in San Francisco, and creator of Diane’s Bloody Mary Mix, has made a lot of Bloody Marys in her time (she says about fifty-thousand in the past five years alone!), including at her husband’s, Michael Mina’s restaurant, Michael Mina’s Tailgate, at Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.
We sat down with Diane to taste her signature Bloody Marys at her pop-up, Diane’s Bloody Mary Bar, in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco, to get her tailgating tips on making the best Bloody Mary bar ever.
Here’s what she told us:
1. Do your prep the night before.
Layer your garnishes in to-go containers the night before. Diane likes to use bacon-wrapped dates, plump green olives, and citrus wedges (lemon, lime, and orange). She also likes to pack fresh herbs from her West Marin garden, which she likes to use in her Bloodys. She mixes up her three favorite Bloody Mary recipes into milk jugs for easy transportation to the tailgate.
2. Make it customizable.
Bring a couple different hot sauces so guests can add unique spice to their Bloodys. Pickling juices also go a long way in adding umami and texture to the drink. Infuse your own personal style and pizzaz to make it fun and festive!
3. Serve it in something fun.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to go red Solo cup for your tailgate, feel free to glam it up a bit. Diane likes to use stemmed glasses at her bar, but plays with stemmed acrylics at events.
4. Set up your bar for convenient self-service.
Set up shop by infusing your own personality and style at your pop-up Bloody Mary bar. Set everything out in glasses and jars, so that people can easily mix up their own drinks, or come back to whip up their own drinks for Round 2. Mix up a few different kinds of mixes to appeal to guests with different taste preferences. Set out bowls of mixed nuts, pretzels, and chips for convenient nibbling.