Monday, October 29, 2007

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.”

Here is a basic Bloody Mary

• 3 parts top-quality tomato juice
• 3 parts top-shelf vodka, depending on strength of drink
• 1 teaspoon horseradish
• 6 shakes Tabasco Sauce
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
• Juice of ½ lemon or lime
• 1/8 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt)
• 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper
• Celery stalk

Combine all ingredients except the last and shake well. Pour over ice in tall glass and garnish with celery stalk.

Now if you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can always try variations, replacing the vodka with sherry (Bloody Bishop), absinthe (Bloody Fairy), sake (Bloody Geisha), tequila (Bloody Maria), whiskey (Brown Mary or Whiskey Mary), dark rum (Bloody Pirate), scotch (Bloody Scotsman), or gin (Ruddy Mary).



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