In celebration of the 100-year anniversary of our favourite Mary, we like to bring an homage to this fashionable centenarian. I’ll reflect on her birth, her early life, her many faces, and the common pitfalls one should be on the lookout for when dealing with Mary, Bloody Mary. She can be a handful.
Now before we continue, so we’re all on the same page, this is about the drink. Although technically a bit of acidity is never a bad thing this is not about the French-born, Berlin-based DJ, Acid/Techno live act by the same name. There have been others you know. There is Queen Mary I of England who was indeed nicknamed Bloody Mary for trying to reinstitute Catholocism. And then there is the Bloody Mary of folklore, she has a bit of a spooky origin. This mythical Mary who appears in your mirror after you utter her name, either 13, or some other specified number of times, will leave you with much more than a hangover. She will either tell you your fortune or scratch your eyes out. Allegedly.
Let’s just agree on one thing here, the most agreeable Bloody Mary history has to offer, by a long shot, is the Mary associated with the “hair of the dog” tomato (or tomato depending on where you’re from) juice hangover cure. The only cocktail that features the hard-to-pronounce Worcestershire sauce. Say it again, wu·stuh·shuh saws. And the only drink that puts horseradish to good use.
The History of a drink named “Bloody Mary”
Although more people have claimed to have fathered similar drinks, the modern-day Bloody Mary is widely accepted to have been created by Fernand Petiot. The Difford’s guide put together a great homage to the late and most definitely great Petiot. Petiot made his cocktails at the New York Bar in Paris at the time, a frequent hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other famous American drunkards. The legendary Parisian is widely considered the inventor of the original Bloody Mary. The drink that is.
The name remains a mystery but according to his granddaughter, Petiot named it after a woman, surprisingly one named Mary. This woman worked at a club called the bucket of blood. C'est ça, as the French say, there you have it, all the ingredients for a great name. Speaking of ingredients;
The Original Mary
So how did Petiot, the grandmaster of Maries, describe it? According to eyewitness accounts this is how.
- Vodka – 50ml (preferably The Stillery’s First, of course)
- Ice either crushed or cubed
- Cayenne pepper
- Lemon Juice – 10ml
- Salt & Pepper
- Worcestershire sauce – 3 Dashes
- Tomato Juice – 100ml
- A stick of lush leafy Celery
Petiot would cover the bottom of a shaker with four large dashes of salt two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce. He would then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice. Then he would add the vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice. He would shake, strain, and pour.
The original recipe doesn’t say anything about a garnish but I would recommend the traditional celery stick, preferably one with some lofty leaves on one end.
Over the decades many variations have been made. Since there is no wrong way to make your favourite drink I would recommend you experiment until you find the right combination of ingredients.
If you want to know what not to do or how to steer clear of major don’ts in pleasing your favorite tomato juice cocktail, stick around. Coming soon is “All the mistakes making your Mary”. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest. Why don't you learn more about the history of our national drink Genever?