While the origin of the Bloody Mary is uncertain, one thing is for sure, people love this cocktail.

The Bloody Mary is a classic cocktail that people have been enjoying in the morning, or even all day, for decades.  The spicy, hearty concoction is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite brunch in Denver and is also popular as the “hair of the dog” after a night of indulging.  The classic Bloody Mary contains three parts vodka, 6 parts tomato juice, one part lemon juice, and is seasoned with a variety of ingredients, depending on the establishment or the mix.  These ingredients often include salt, pepper, celery salt, cayenne pepper, horseradish, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. The cocktail is usually garnished with a stalk of celery, although you’ll also find items such as lemon, olives, carrot, pickles, even okra or shrimp adorning the glass.

Like so many classic drinks and dishes, the exact origin of the Bloody Mary is unknown.  A bartender named Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the drink in 1921 at a Paris bar called the New York Bar.  Petiot moved to the United States in 1925 and later became the head bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, where the Bloody Mary was very popular and served by the hundreds.

Another bartender, Henry Zbikiewicz of New York’s 21 Club, claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in the 1930’s.  Yet another claim to the invention of the drink comes from a comedian named George Jessel, who was a frequent patron of the 21 Club.  In a 1964 interview with The New Yorker magazine, Fernand Petiot spoke about George Jessel coming up with a drink that consisted of vodka and tomato juice, but that he was the one who added the seasonings and created the Bloody Mary that we know today.

The origin of the name Bloody Mary is also uncertain.  Petiot claims that it is named after a waitress at a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood.  The first two customers he served the drink to at the New York Bar in Paris were from Chicago and told him about the waitress everyone called Bloody Mary.  Other drink experts say the Bloody Mary is named after the famous actress Mary Pickford.

Regardless of who truly invented the drink, and who it was named for, the Bloody Mary will surely continue to be a classic cocktail, enjoyed for many years to come


Enjoy a classic Bloody Mary with your brunch at Gunther Toody’s.