Several weeks ago, I started buying low-sodium V8 vegetable juice to keep on hand as an alternative to orange juice. An 8 ounce glass has ten grams of carbs, only fifty calories and ZERO grams of fat. It’s a little thicker on the palette than I’m used to, but it didn’t take long for it to replace orange juice as my breakfast compliment. Then, all of a sudden, here’s MG at every turn with a glass of vegetable juice and a suspicious stalk of celery sticking out of it. Turns out my baby is a fan of the Bloody Mary. I thought they were more or less a Sunday brunch beverage or morning hangover cure, but MG seems to be fond of them in the early evening, so I thought I’d have one ready for him when he showed up the other night. And of course, I thought I’d do a little research on the subject as well… because knowing how to make them is nice, but knowing who made them first is totally impressive.
Parisian bartender Ferdinand Petiot is generally credited with inventing the Bloody Mary while working at a Parisian bar called Harry’s New York Bar. The bar itself was originally a bistro purchased by an American jockey named Tod Sloan. Sloan was partnered with a New Yorker who closed his own bar in Manhattan and had it shipped to Paris. Harry’s was frequented by many famous ex-pats and celebrities like Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Coco Chanel and Humphrey Bogart. According to Petoit, the first two customers he made his original version of a Bloody Mary for were two guys from Chicago who frequented a bar there called Bucket of Blood, and the drink reminded them of a waitress there whose nickname was Bloody Mary.
Others are often referenced as the origin of the name – Queen Mary I of England most prominently, along with several fictional witches, but the Petiot story has the most charm and modern details for my taste. And it gives me an excuse to plan a trip to France.
I have yet to uncover the reason for the addition of the now-traditional celery stalk, and I’m still not completely sold on the drink itself, but it certainly is fun to make, I learnt it from the hoc pha che a au bartender course I took. After noticing that several of the drink’s major components began to find their ways into my kitchen (“hey babe, I put some Worcestershire sauce in your refrigerator in case you might need it for something“), I figured I better learn to make them.
Based on the ingredients MG likes to use, he’s not enjoying a traditional Bloody Mary, but actually one of about a hundred variants more properly referred to as an “Algonquin Bloody Mary.” I’m not going to bother researching the origins of that name, but here’s how to make it:
2 oz Vodka
4 oz Tomato Juice
Juice of 1/2 Limes
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
6 dashes Tabasco Sauce
1 Lime wedge
Add vodka, juices and sauce to a
shaker with ice, adding salt and pepper to taste. Shake vigorously. Strain over ice cubes
into a highball glass and add a lime wedge
Serves 1 (my MG, cuz I ain’t having it).