The history of the Bloody Mary is about as unclear as its main ingredient. Most give credit to bartender, Fernand Petiot, who supposedly mixed up the first ever concoction of equal parts tomato juice and vodka at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the 1920’s. In 1934, after Prohibition, Petiot brought the recipe with him to America and began serving it to patrons of King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. After complaints of the drink being too bland, Petiot spiced things up by adding horseradish, Tabasco Sauce, lemon juice and celery salt.

In 1939, singer and comedian George Jessel claimed to be inventor of the drink as well. Jessel, who most likely sipped the cocktail with fellow stars Milton Berle and Groucho Marx, was the celebrity of choice used to advertise Smirnoff Vodka in the mid-50’s. In a display ad for the New Yorker, Jessel staked his claim in writing:

“I, George Jessel, invented the Bloody Mary. I think I invented the Bloody Mary, Red Snapper, Tomato Pickup or Morning Glory,” reports Jessel. “It happened the Night before a Day and I felt I should take some good, nourishing tomato juice, but what I really wanted was some of your good Smirnoff Vodka. So I mixed them together, the juice for the body and the vodka for the spirit, and if I wasn’t the first ever, I was the happiest ever.”

Although it is debatable as to who mixed the first official Bloody Mary, the drink itself has long since been recognized as a popular bar menu option. We suggest you stop in one Sunday at The Landing to treat yourself to our own House Made Bloody Mary. Maybe share the murky tale of how the Bloody Mary came to be. Or, how about make up your own batch to share with friends at your next get together?



Bloody Mary Batch Recipe

Serves 4


48 oz. Sacremento Tomato Juice (1 Can)

1.2 oz. Peppered Horseradish

5 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

5 Tablespoons Tabasco

Juice of 2 Whole Lemons

2 teaspoons Salt

Large Clove Pressed Garlic

Garnish with Celery, Lemon Slice, or Queen Olives

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