The exact origin of the Bloody Mary is disputed, but in one version the Bloody Mary was invented in France so that’s the story I’m sticking to! In this version, the Bloody Mary saw its first day in the early 1920s at Harry’s Bar, a watering hole in the 2nd arrondissement frequented by Hemingway and other American expats in Paris. The bartender, Fernand Petiot, then moved to New York in 1925 and in 1934 became head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel. There, he perfected the recipe for what was initially known as the “Red Snapper,” adding Tabasco, salt and lemon to the vodka and tomato juice cocktail in order to satisfy requests from American customers who wanted a spicier drink. While the name “Red Snapper” didn’t stick, the drink did and eventually became the signature cocktail of the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in New York.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Bloody Mary as we now know it, the bar where it was born is showcasing the many variations it has inspired. Throughout October, King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel will offer a special anniversary cocktail menu featuring Bloody Mary renditions from some of New York’s top chefs, including Alain Ducasse (who adds Dijon mustard to the recipe), Charlie Palmer (who takes a non-vegetarian spin on the cocktail by mixing in beef broth) and Wylie Dufresne (obviously, there’s a CO2 tank involved in his version).
with coriander and chili flakes
• Acadiana Cajun Mary
Tabasco and creole seasoning
• Art and Soul Bloody Mary
with B&B pickle juice and pickled okra as garnish
• Charlie Palmer Bloody Mary
garnished with pepperoncini
• Spike Mendelson Spike’n Mary
tomato pumpkin juice infused with apple and honey
• Todd Gray Skip-Jack-Mary
Heirloom tomato water and cucumber ice cubes
• Dale Degroff Bloody Bull
tomato and orange juice, beef broth and vodka
•Vermilion Bloody Mary
garnished with caper berry
And while the price of the birthday-drinks may be steep, the fact that 25% of the proceeds will go to Share Our Strength might help you “swallow” the tab.
2 oz tomato juice
1 dash lemon juice
2 dashes salt
2 dashes black pepper
2 dashes cayenne pepper
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Bottom’s up and joyeux anniversaire Bloody Mary!