Bloody Mary

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The Bloody Mary is a Cocktail which consists of Vodka, and Spiced Tomato Juice.



  • 1.5 oz Vodka
  • 3 oz Tomato juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 dash Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1 dash Salt
  • 1 dash Pepper

Combine Worchestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, 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).

History of the Bloody Mary

M. Ferdinand Petiot was profiled in The New Yorker, 18 July 1964, Petoit explains:

“I initiated the Bloody Mary of today,” he told us. “George 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.”

According to "Vintage Cocktails" by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel (1999):

"The undisputed fact is that a prototype of the drink was mixed by the famous bartender Fernand "Pete" Petiot at Harry's Bar in Paris, circa 1921, and dubbed a 'Bucket of Blood' by one of the bar's patrons. After Prohibition's repeal, Petiot took a position at the St. Regis Hotel's King Cole Bar in New York, bringing his armamentarium of drinks with him. However, the swank St. Regis feared the Bloody Mary's gruesome name might offend some patrons, so the drink made its stateside debut as the Red Snapper."

According to David Herpin

Quite a bold statement, according to David Herpin, the 1939 reference is not reliable or sourced and no actual photographs or radio tapes have been produced to prove otherwise. It is also highly unlikely the drink was on the radio in 1939 and was not mentioned again until 1964. Furthermore, Harry's New York bar in paris produced a book in 1923, not 1921, and that was only the first edition which was not circulated, the circa edition is the 1925 edition, which it is not in either. On top of that, the book is widely purported to be called "harrys abc of mixing drinks" when the book title is actually, Harry of Ciro's ABC of mixing drinks, further discrediting the idea that it was in the book to begin with. The drink certainly wouldnt have been called a red hammer by time magazine (who was the most popular magazine publisher in the us at the time by far) if it was around in 1921.

Historical References/ Citations

A large majority of the public and cocktail historians believe this drink was invented at Harry's "New York" Bar in Paris, France in 1920 or 1921. Let's look at this story for a second, many people believe this because is has been purported since at least 1940. They also believe that this drink was printed in "Harry" (not Harry's) of Ciro's ABC of Mixing Cocktails in 1922. There are several problems here: 1. This book was first published in 1923. 2. The edition most are familar with (and the one that has been reprinted) was the 1925 edition not the 1923 edition. This drink is not listed by name or ingredients in either of these editions. Furthermore, it isn't even mentioned in Barflies and cocktails by Harry McElhone, Wynn (illustrations),and Arthur Moss in 1927. This is also assumed because it would make sense for a Hollywood film star to bring back a drink from paris during prohibition.

Now take a look at this, here is an early printing of a "Red Hammer" which is the first name for a Bloody Mary:

LIFE - Aug 24, 1942 - Page 38 Vol. 13, No. 8 ""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.""

Now if this were it alone, this would mean nothing. But from 1940-1955, bartender's had no clue what was in a bloody mary. Seeing as how even the hippest drinkers in hollywood were calling it a new cocktail and by it's proper name.

Remember this is a new drink in the 1940's and many people still did not know what it was like we see here:

Hearst's international combined with Cosmopolitan: Volume 113 in 1942

""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.""

Frederic Wakeman page 113 by Frederic Wakeman in 1944

"Do you know what Bloody Mary is?" Crewson asked, and the boy grinned and said yes, sir, it was tomato stew. "It's wonderful, the filthy, vile things our boys can think up at chow,"

Here are a few early recipes for the Bloody Mary:

Slightly out of focus by Robert Capa in 1947

"While he was shaking the tomato juice, vodka, and Worcestershire sauce together"

Colonnade by Tom Driberg in 1949

"Tomato-juice with vodka : "Bloody Mary" and is Sherry with a beer chaser in New Jersey."

The perfect hostess: complete etiquette and entertainment for the home by Maureen Daly in 1950

"BLOODY MARY Chilled tomato juice 1 slice lemon 1/2 oz. vodka Pour vodka into a chilled champagne glass. Then fill with tomato juice and float lemon."

It is important to note that if this drink had infact been invented during prohibition or just prior, the vodka would have been of poor quality and it is likely the drink would not have caught on:

The new American government and its work - Page 197 by James Thomas Young in 1917

"bathtub vodka" the simple dilution of ethyl alcohol to be sold as Russian vodka.""

“This New York” by Lucius Beebe, New York Herald Tribune (December 2, 1939)

"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."

“Personal Preferences of Personages” by Lucius Beebe, New York Herald Tribune (July 27, 1940)

"George Jessel thrives on an arrangement of half vodka and half tomato juice, known as a Bloody Mary."

The Berkshire Evening Eagle (1949)

By Robert Ruark.

"Vodka, I find, is becoming increasingly popular among the tipplers, and you know what country makes vodka. Enjoying considerable vogue right now is a nauseous blend of vodka and tomato juice, which is called a bloody Mary and purports to cure early morning anguish without crippling or blinding the patient."

Fort Pierce News-Tribune (1952)

"The most popular right now is the 'Bloody Mary' or 'Red Snapper' — a big glass of tomato juice with Worcestershire sauce, celery salt and a jigger of vodka," he said, "The tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce soothe the stomach. Don't know what they want the vodka in it for."

House & Garden Magazine (January 1956)

"BLOODY MARY: Many people feel that the Bloody Mary is the answer to all next-day worries and since its creation it has become one of the two most favorite lunch time cocktails in New York."

Tomato Juice Cocktails

"HERE'S HOW AGAIN!", By Judge Jr., The John Day Company, NY, 1929

The Tomato Cocktail

(Non-alcoholic) This very simple concoction is guaranteed to pick you up no matter how low you have fallen.

Take a can of tomato soup and place in a shaker full of ice. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce and shake well.

"Noble Experiments" (3rd volume in the Hereʼs How Series), By Judge Jr., John Day Company, NY, 1930

The Tomato Juice Cocktail

Strain a can of Delford tomatoes, add salt and shake with 2 or 3 cubes of ice. Worcestershire, tobasco or pepper may be added if desired.

Similar Drinks

Red Snapper

'Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide and Ladies' Companion.' (1941)

  • 1 1/2 ounces tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Shake, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Squat

Oakland Tribune," 5th January 1941.

"Eddie Sutherland's bar invention "The Squat," an arrangement of vodka and tomato juice closely allied to George Jessel's "Bloody Mary."


Washington Post, 16th June 1949.

"A publicity-wise bartender created a special cocktail for Vishinsky, named it after his Soviet inspiration. The recipe, three parts vodka, one part tomato juice, proved singularly disappointing to those who frequent New York's St. Regis."

Bloody Mary Quotes

"Don't destroy the heart of the drink, which is the sweetness of the tomato juice. Too much Worcestershire or hot sauce will make the drink muddy and too spicy. Lemon juice is a must with tomato juice, and so the Bloody Mary should always have a squeeze of lemon juice." - Dale DeGroff.

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