The Perfect Bloody Mary

According to the website, Bestbloodymary.com, the origin of this favorite brunch drink dates back to the 1920’s. Here is the Fernand Petiot Story:

“It was back in the 1920s when Fernand Petiot, an American bartender at Harry's New York Bar in Paris, mixed up equal parts of tomato juice and vodka. He had no idea that his concoction would become world famous when he agreed with the guy in the bar who suggested he call the drink "Bloody Mary." The patron said it reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl he knew there named Mary.

In 1934, Petiot moved to the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, and brought the recipe with him. The hotel managers tried to change the name to Red Snapper, but it didn't stick.

Sophisticated New Yorkers weren't too impressed at first. They said the drink tasted a bit bland, and they asked Petiot to spice it up. He added black pepper, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and--for those who wanted more spirit--a generous splash of TABASCO pepper sauce. And that's how an American classic was born.

In 1976, McIlhenny Company introduced TABASCO Bloody Mary Mix. It wasn't the first mix on grocery store shelves, but it was one true to Petiot's original. A spicier version was added a few years later.”

This iconic picture of Petiot shows the great man in action.

This iconic picture of Petiot shows the great man in action.


The challenge continues for many enthusiasts who not only have modified the drink itself, but have started a war of “who can make the best Blood Mary toppings”.

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You’ve heard that everything’s bigger in Texas, well at Chef Point Café outside Dallas they serve a drink called the “Bloody Best” Bloody Mary. Included in the this $25 drink is, “A double order of a spicy Bloody Mary mix, your choice of 16-ounce beer, the café’s “Better than Sex” fried chicken, a burger slider, waffle fries, shrimp, bacon, and a garden of vegetables.”

Blood Mary expert Diane Mina says to keep the drink clean and warns against making it a meal. She has her own mix, Diane’s Bloody Mary Mix, sold at Williams Sonoma and has been mixing these spicy drinks for over 20 years. She started tailgating at San Francisco 49ers football games with her husband, James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Mina and her drinks were part of the party.

A trio of Diane Mina’s mixes are sold at Williams Sonoma

A trio of Diane Mina’s mixes are sold at Williams Sonoma


Part of my family’s long-standing Thanksgiving tradition is serving Bloody Mary’s at cocktail hour. The family recipe includes lots of horseradish and the old standbys: Worchester, Tabasco, tomato juice, pepper, lime and the quintecential celery stick stirrer. Fast forward to 2018 … we have stepped up our game!

Mary’s Bloody Mary is both a spicy cocktail and satisfying appetizer all rolled into on.

Mary’s Bloody Mary is both a spicy cocktail and satisfying appetizer all rolled into on.

Killer Bloody Mary

Prep:  5 minutes for cocktail

Yield:  4 tall drinks

Ingredients:

2 cups tomato juice

2-3 tablespoon A1 sauce

1-2 teaspoons horseradish

2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2-4 splashes Tabasco sauce

8 oz. premium vodka

Ground pepper

½ teaspoon celery salt mixed with ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Limes for garnish

4 celery stalks

Large green olives

Directions:

On a small plate mix celery salt and kosher salt.  Using a lime wedges wet the rim of each glass, turn glass upside down and place on plate with the salts.  Turn a couple of times.

Mix first five ingredients in a tall glass container.  Stir to combine. Fill salted cocktails glasses with ice.  Add vodka and pour tomato juice mix to top (leave a little room for garnishes). Stir to combine.  Add celery stalk and position lime of edge of glass. Toss in a couple of olives.

For the garnishes see Bloody Mary Garnishes.

mary van hielFood