Bloody Mary (cocktail)

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Bloody Mary
IBA Official Cocktail
Bloody Mary.jpg
A Bloody Mary garnished with lemon, carrot, celery, and pitted manzanilla olives. Served with ice cubes and drinking straws in an Old Fashioned glass.
Type Mixed drink
Primary alcohol by volume
Served On the rocks; poured over ice
Standard garnish

Celery stalk or dill pickle spear

Standard drinkware
Highball Glass (Tumbler).svg
Highball glass
IBA specified ingredients*
Preparation Add dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper into highball glass, then pour all ingredients into highball with ice cubes. Stir gently. Garnish with celery stalk and lemon wedge (optional).
* Bloody Mary recipe at International Bartenders Association

A Bloody Mary is a popular cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, piri piri sauce, beef consommé or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt. It has been called "the world's most complex cocktail."[1]


The Bloody Mary's origin is unclear, and there are three conflicting claims of who invented the Bloody Mary.

New York's 21 Club has two claims associated with it. One is that it was invented in the 1930s at by a bartender named Henry Zbikiewicz, who was charged with mixing Bloody Marys. Another attributes its invention to the comedian George Jessel, who frequented the 21 Club.[2] In 1939, Lucius Beebe printed in his gossip column This New York one of the earliest U.S. 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."[3][verification needed]

Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1921, before either Zbikiwisz or Jessel, while working at the New York Bar in Paris, which later became Harry's New York Bar, a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates.[4]

Petiot also claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary as a refinement to Jessel's drink, when Petiot spoke to The New Yorker magazine in July 1964, saying:

"I initiated the Bloody Mary of today," he told us. "Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet rooms."[5]

The cocktail was claimed as a new cocktail under the name "Red Hammer" in Life Magazine in 1942, consisting of tomato juice, vodka and lemon juice.[6] Less than a month later in the same magazine, an advertisement for French's worcestershire sauce was suggested to be added to a tomato cocktail.[7] The addition of salt is suggested that same year.[8]

Origin of the name[edit]

The name "Bloody Mary" is associated with a number of historical figures — particularly Queen Mary I of England, who was nicknamed as such in Foxe's Book of Martyrs for attempting to re-establish the Catholic Church in England — and fictional women from folklore. Some drink aficionados believe the inspiration for the name was Hollywood star Mary Pickford.[9] Others trace the name to a waitress named Mary who worked at a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood.[10] However, another argument for the origin of "Bloody Mary", that the name in English simply arose from "a failure to pronounce the Slav syllables of a drink called Vladimir"[11] gains some credibility from the observation that the customer at Harry's Bar in Paris for whom Fernand Petiot prepared the drink in 1920 was Vladimir Smirnov, of the Smirnoff vodka family.[12]

Preparation and serving[edit]

In the United States, the Bloody Mary is a common "Hair of the dog" drink, erroneously reputed to cure hangovers; however, the alcohol only numbs the discomfort (only rest, water, and electrolyte replacement can cure a hangover).[13][14][15][16][17] Its reputation as a restorative beverage contributes to the popularity of the Bloody Mary in the morning and early afternoon, especially with brunch.[18]

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Davidson, Max (2011-03-31). "What do you put in your Bloody Mary?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (2007). The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, p. 55. Oxford University Press, Inc., New York.
  3. ^ New York Herald Tribune, December 2, 1939, page 9
  4. ^ Andrew MacElhone and Duncan MacElhone: Harry's ABC of Mixing Cocktails, page 35. ISBN 0-285-63358-9, Souvenir Press, 1986, 1996.
  5. ^ Park, Michael Y. (1 December 2008). "Happy Birthday, Bloody Mary!". Epicurious. Retrieved 11 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hollywood goes Russian". Life magazine 13 (8): 38. 1942. ""Red Hammer" is a new Hollywood cocktail. Helene Reynolds mixes one for Bob Turner at her party. It is part tomato juice and part vodka, with a dash of lemon." 
  7. ^ LIFE. Time Inc. 5 October 1942. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  8. ^ Dodge, David (July 1942), "Shear the Black Sheep", Hearst's international combined with Cosmopolitan, Volume 113 (Issue 1): p144, retrieved 15 April 2014, "A couple of Bloody Marys." The bartender shook his head. "You got me, friend." "A glass of tomato juice, ice, a slug of vodka and some salt." 
  9. ^ "Potent pick-me-up". Chicago Tribune. 24 July 2002. Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Bloody Marys at 1933 prices just the tonic for NYC Reuters, 2 December 2008
  11. ^ Leigh Fermor, Patrick (November 1, 1976). "Auberon Herbert". In Joliffe, John. Auberon Herbert: A Composite Portrait. Michael Russell. ISBN 978-0859550482.  Cited in Leigh Fermor, Patrick (2003). Cooper, Artemis, ed. Words of Mercury. John Murray. p. 160. ISBN 978-0719561061. 
  12. ^ Samuels, Brian (March 18, 2013). "The History of the Bloody Mary". The Boys Club. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ Shoffner, Robert (2008-07-01). "Here's to the Bloody Mary". The Washingtonian. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  14. ^ "9 Myths About Your Hangover" by Dana Dudepohl, Marie Claire, at
  15. ^ But Does It Actually Cure Hangovers?
  16. ^ Mud in Your Eye; a Sheep's Eye in Your Drink Los Angeles Times, 30 December 2001
  17. ^ Hangovers: There Is A Cure Huffington Post, 29 November 2011
  18. ^ Garbarino, Steve (2011-05-21). "The Bloody Mary Makeover". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 

External links[edit]