Bloody Mary – A Classic Cocktail

What created in a spur of a moment as a simple vodka and tomato juice combination in early 1920s became the famous cocktail called Bloody Mary. French Bartender Fernand Petiot invented Bloody Mary in Paris’ famous bar called Harry’s New York bar. Other famous origins from this bar were Sidecar and White lady. Harry’s bar was also a frequent hangout place for famous personalities like Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe.  

The name “Bloody Mary” referred to queen Mary Tudor of England and Ireland for her bloody crusades against protestants. According to Fernand Petiot, the name reminded his colleague of a bar named ‘Bucket of Bloody Club’ from Chicago and a girl he met there named Mary. During 1950s, this drink was sold under the name of “Red Snapper” because Bloody Mary seemed a bit too racy for people.

Orignial Recipe

Fernand Petiot created the drink by adding tomato juice to vodka.

After moving to Manhattan, New York in early 1930s Fernand modified the cocktail by adding tobasco sauce, horseradish, celery salt and lemon juice. Tobasco sauce in the drink appeared during a terrible draught that eliminated the majority of the crops existent at farms. The owners of those farms were left only with peppers and use them with vinegar to sell it as a sauce. 

Famed ‘Celery Stick’ garnish came in 1960 at Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel when an impatient customer didn’t get a swizzle stick with his Bloody Mary, and grabbed the first thing he could find to use as a stirrer – a stick off nearby relish plate.

An authentic Bloody Mary recipe calls for:

  • 45 ml of vodka
  • 90 ml of tomato juice
  • Half of a lemon juice
  • A few drops of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper

How to prepare the perfect Bloody Mary

  • Squeeze the lemon and strain the juice.
  • In a highball glass, prepare the base of the cocktail with the Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice and lemon, season with salt and pepper and mix with a spoon.
  • Add 5-6 ice cubes, pour vodka and a few drops of Tabasco, mix gently and serve your delicious cocktail.

Styles and Variations

Maria Verde

From basic Celery stick garnish to bacon, Bloody Mary can be made in many possible combinations. Variations of Bloody Mary include: Bloody Maria (vodka swapped with tequila), Bloody Caeser (tomato juice swapped with clamato juice), Michelada (vodka swapped with a Mexican Cerveza, like Modelo or Corona), Maria Verde (vodka swapped with gin and a tomatillo sauce) and Bloody Pirate (vodka swapped with rum).

Supposedly, Fernand Petiot’s recipe called for a dash of “liquid black pepper,” a housemade infusion that steeped a pint of black peppercorns in a bottle of vodka for six weeks. The tincture was dashed into the drink like bitters, and gave the cocktail a supremely spicy depth that fresh ground pepper can’t quite match.

Bloody Mary’s reputation as restorative contributes to the popularity of the Bloody Mary in the morning and early afternoon, especially at brunches. The cocktail now has astonishing history of almost hundred years and still creates the same impact on people as it used to do before. Whether spicy or sour, garnish of bacon to celery sticks everyone likes their own variations and style and Bloody Mary never disappoints! 

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