The Origins of Bloody Mary

The origin of the drink Bloody Mary is disputed, being said that it was invented by Fernand Petiot in 1920, while working at Harry's Bar in Paris, France, a frequent hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates. Another story is that it was originally created by George Jessel around 1939 when Lucius Beebe printed in his gossip column "This New York" one of the earliest references to this drink, along with the original recipe: "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."

The epithet "Bloody Mary" is associated with a number of historical figures, and particularly with Queen Mary I of England. It is believed that inspiration for the cocktail was the Hollywood star Mary Pickford as previously, a similarly red cocktail consisting of rum, grenadine and Maraschino had been named after her. Other sources trace the name to a waitress named Mary who worked at a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood. In 1934, the cocktail was called "Red Snapper" at the St. Regis Hotel, where Petiot was hired at the time. It was here that Tabasco sauce was added to the drink, and the name "Bloody Mary" eventually won popularity.

Even if you drink it from ceramic promotional mugs, from glasses or directly from a bottle, the Bloody Mary cocktail is intended to cure hangovers being generally served in the morning. While there is not much complexity in mixing vodka and tomato juice, more elaborate versions of the drink have become trademarks of the bartenders who make them. A common garnish is a celery stalk when served in a tall glass, often over ice. A beer chaser may also be served with the Bloody Mary, although this varies from region to region.


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