Posted on 27 October 2007 by

Bloody Mary History: Part 1 of Bloody Mary Series

Bloody Mary History: Part 1 of Bloody Mary Series

By Michelle Fabio

Now that Halloween is approaching, perhaps you’re thinking about the perfect drink to serve at your party.

Although a Bloody Mary is traditionally served in the morning, there’s no reason you can’t turn this creepily-named and colored mixture into a ghoulish evening pleasure as well.

Before we get to the recipes though, let’s talk history.

The origins of the Bloody Mary are disputed, but there are two main contenders.

The first, and the one accepted by TABASCO®, is that the drink was invented by Fernand Petoit, a bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1920s. He mixed tomato juice and vodka and said that “one of the boys suggested we call the drink ‘Bloody Mary’ because it reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl there named Mary.” Some say, though, that the rich, red cocktail was named for Bloody Mary herself, Queen Mary I, persecutor of Protestants.

When Petoit moved on to the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel in New York in 1934, the hotel wanted to change the name of the unique drink to the Red Snapper, but it never caught on. Then as New York patrons wanted a big more spice, Petoit added salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and Tabasco, and the Bloody Mary as we know it was born.

Maybe, because the second theory says that the half tomato juice, half vodka combination was the invention of George Jessel in the mid- to late 30s. This contention is supported by Lucius Beebe’s December 2, 1939 gossip column in the New York Herald Tribune in which he wrote: “George Jessel’s newest pick-me-up which is receiving attention from the town’s paragraphers is called a Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka.”

Whatever its origins, though, one thing is certain–there are plenty of ways to make a Bloody Mary to suit your tastes, which you can read about it Part 2.

One Response to “Bloody Mary History: Part 1 of Bloody Mary Series”

  1. Tomato Casual »  Bloody Mary Recipe: Part 2 of Bloody Mary Series Says:

    […] talked about the origins of the Bloody Mary in Part 1, but now it\’s time to get down to the good stuff–the […]

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