Bloody Mary is a Pat O’Brien’s patron favorite along with the world famous hurricane. The Bloody Mary drink consists of vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consommé or bouillon (broth), horseradish, celery, olive, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt.
The history is disputed, but many believe dates back to 1921 when Fernand Petiot invented the drink while working at the New York Bar. The bar was a regular stopping place for Ernest Hemingway and other Americans in Paris, France and was later renamed to Harry’s New York Bar. Others believe the origin is from George Jessel in 1939 because of a gossip column citing the new drink of half tomato juice and half vodka. Another discrepancy is Petiot says Jessel made the half and half drink and Petiot added the spices to make the Bloody Mary, otherwise known as the Red Snapper. Regardless of the origin, a traditional Bloody Mary is garnished with shrimp, pickled onion, olive, and sea salt. The term “Bloody Mary” generally refers to the historical figure, Queen Mary I of England, who had numerous miscarriages, which some speculate were self-induced. Other women thought to have the drink named after them include actress Mary Pickford and a waitress aptly named Mary who worked in the Chicago bar, the Bucket of Blood.
The St. Regis Hotel, where Petiot was employed in 1934, is the cite where the drink moved from the Red Snapper to the Bloody Mary with the addition of Tabasco Sauce from Louisiana. Later, in the 1960s, the drink gained popular status and was serve with a stalk of celery.
Today, the Bloody Mary is garnished with lemon, celery, olive, cheese, and a cold cut. Also, it is served on the rocks in a pint glass. The drink is generally served in the morning because of pop culture’s thought that Bloody Mary drinks can cure hangovers.
Today, most bartenders have their own spin on the spices included in the mix, but most often the Bloody Mary is still served with a celery stalk over ice with a mix of vodka and tomato juice.
The New York School of Bartending lists the Bloody Mary recipe as:
- 1 oz. to 1½ oz. (30-45 ml) vodka in a highball glass filled with ice
- Fill glass with tomato juice
- 1 dash celery salt
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- 1 dash Tabasco®
- 2-4 dashes of Lea & Perrin's® Worcestershire® sauce
- 1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
- Dash of lemon or lime juice
- Garnish with celery stalk.
You can purchase Pat O’Brien’s famous Bloody Mary mix online or pull up a chair on the patio at your favorite Pat O’Brien’s.
In Western folklore, Bloody Mary is a ghost or witch that appears in a mirror when her name is called three times in a dark bathroom. Variations to summon the ghost are numerous and varied, including chanting her name a hundred times, chanting at midnight, spinning around, rubbing one's eyes, running the water, or chanting her name thirteen times with a lit candle.
One of the legends of Bloody Mary is that she is the spirit of a young mother whose baby was stolen from her, making her mad in grief, eventually committing suicide. In other stories, Mary has been wrongly accused of killing her children.
One version of the game is a test of courage and bravery because when Bloody Mary is summoned, she proceeds to kill the summoner in an extremely violent way. If she does not kill the summoner, Bloody Mary haunts them for the rest of their life.
Another version is much less gruesome and supposedly allows the summoner to talk to a deceased person until 11:08 the following morning after saying Bloody Mary’s name thirteen times at midnight into a mirror.
A variation of the Bloody Mary legend includes a young woman being able to see her future husband’s face in the mirror, but sometimes instead of seeing her future groom, the young woman sees the Grim Reaper stating her eventual before being married.
Click to purchase Pat O’Brien’s Bloody Mary mix online.