The History Of The Bloody Mary
The common history of the Bloody Mary is it originated in 1920s Paris, France, by Fernand Petiot while working at The New York Bar. Fernand came up with the Bloody Mary as a hair of the dog drink to cure hangovers, and the popular myth states it was none other than the famous drunk Ernest Hemingway who Fernand first made the cocktail for. While that is likely, not true, it’s still fun to imagine.
The most likely origin of the Bloody Mary is it began as a 1920s temperance-era tomato juice cocktail. A tomato juice cocktail from that time would be made with tomato juice, bay leaf, grated onion, lemon juice, and celery. Similar to the tomato juice cocktail was the oyster cocktail. The oyster cocktail was made of oysters, ketchup, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt, celery, and Worcestershire sauce. If you replace the oyster with olives or pickled peppers (or whatever other crazy thing people put on a Bloody Mary) and combine these two, it makes a virgin Bloody Mary. I’ve seen oysters in Bloody Marys before.
After prohibition ended, Fernand Petiot immigrated to New York and worked at The King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel. According to a July 1964 New Yorker interview with Petiot, there was already a tomato juice and vodka cocktail at the bar created by George Jessel. But it was just tomato juice and vodka, which Petiot found boring and not very good.
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.The New Yorker July 18, 1964
Petiot added spices and flavor to the drink, creating the Bloody Mary we know today. George Jessel’s argument was that since he first combined the main ingredients, it was his drink. Still, Petiot argued that since the recipe everyone makes is his version of the drink, he invented the Bloody Mary.
The Bloody Mary also went by the name Red Snapper during its earlier days, as the St. Regis Hotel found the name too vulgar for its high-class clientele. But the cocktail had expanded beyond the hotel’s walls, and the public knew it as the Bloody Mary. As time went on, the Bloody Mary name was the one that stuck.
What Does a Bloody Mary Taste Like?
People’s opinion of a Bloody Mary is typically binary. They either love them or hate them. It’s not your typical cocktail because, unlike other cocktails that are sweet, sour, refreshing, earthy, or herbal, the Bloody Mary is creamy and savory. The Bloody Mary has a creamy full body mouthfeel; it’s salty and sweet with bright red tomato and umami flavors. Understandably, some people find this an off-putting taste for a cocktail since it’s so different. Personally, I am put off when the tomato flavor is too strong, but I love this cocktail when there is much more Worcestershire and horseradish in the drink. Like buying a jar of spaghetti sauce, just because you don’t like one brand does not mean you dislike spaghetti entirely. Maybe the issue isn’t the flavors of the drink but the proportions and balance of those flavors. If made right, this can be a delicious drink. Unless you find a Bloody Mary mixer you like, it’s best to make it from scratch exactly the way you want.
Using Bloody Mary Mix Vs Making It From Scratch.
If you are wondering whether to buy a mix or make it from scratch, it tastes best and is almost the same amount of work. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Also, if you can drive to the store to buy a mixer, you can buy tomato juice and spices. Some mixers taste good, but they cost 2 to 3 times as much as just getting the ingredients and a cheap mixer tastes cheap. In addition, making it yourself provides you with much more control over the taste and final product.
Now, if you’re wondering whether to use V8 or Tomato juice, then that is up to you and a matter of preference. V8 is fine and gives the drink a more herbal tomato soup-like taste, while using regular tomato juice gives it a cleaner, brighter tomato taste. They’re cheap ingredients, so try both and see which you prefer.
Is The Bloody Mary A Hangover Cure?
The Bloody Mary was originally a “hair of the dog” cocktail. The hair of the dog was a 19th-century English expression for saying that one can heal a wound by applying a part of the thing that did the damage to the injury. It came from the idea that if you were bit by a dog, then putting some of the dog’s hair in the bite would help keep the wound from getting infected. In the case of a hangover, a hair of the dog cocktail is one you drink the following day to help ease the pain. As you start to sober up, your brain starts to register what you just did to yourself. This keeps you from fully sobering up. It’s supposed to give you just enough of a buzz to numb you till the brunt of the hangover passes. That being said, the Bloody Mary is a pretty good hangover drink. The Bloody Mary provides electrolytes, vitamins, enough booze to buzz, enough fluid to help hydrate lightly, and spices for pain relief. Salt provides the electrolytes. Tomato juice is high in vitamin C, E, and potassium. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Worcestershire sauce has B vitamins, niacin, and vitamin C. Horseradish is also very high in antioxidants. The hot sauce has capsaicin, which is often used as pain relief since capsaicin turns off the neurotransmitters that are currently telling the brain it’s in pain—like Tylenol.