The Most Complex Cocktail Of All?

I tried my first bloody Mary at sixteen. I’d had a love hate relationship with tomato juice as a child until I discovered the magical flavour of Worcester Sauce.It disguised the flavour of the then pre-premium tomato juice of the late 70’s and 80’s, which was thick and gloopy and rather reminiscent of barely strained tomatoes. Then I tried a Bloody Mary, It was love at first taste, sheer unadulterated heaven. It’s still my very favourite drink.Yes, I even like it more than fizz.
Birthplace of the Bloody Mary?

I’m on a journey to find the best mixed/stirred/rolled Bloody Mary, pick up some tips on recipes and how to build the perfect cocktail. I’m going to look at the variants and review them, I’d also love to hear what your favourite bloody Mary mix is. So, by the end of the year I hope to have found the Valhalla of Bloody Mary’s.

Let’s look firstly at this mighty ‘ Marmite’ of cocktails’ origins. Well, quite a few people claim to be the first person to mix a Bloody Mary. There’s Fernand Petiot who claims to have mixed the first Bloody Mary cocktail in Paris in 1921 for two visiting tourists from Chicago. They said the cocktail reminded them of a waitress called Mary in a local bar back home called The Bucket of Blood and so was born The Bloody Mary or was it?
Queen Mary I “Bloody Mary”

Enter George Jessel, a comedian who also claims to be the creator of the first Bloody Mary and Henry Zbikiewicz a bar tender in New York in the 30’s who has also staked a claim. The origins of the name are somewhat sketchy too, having mentioned the romanticism of the waitress named Mary in Chicago we move closer to home and our very own Queen Mary I given the nickname by her Protestant protagonists in the 16th century. Other folklore states that the drink is named after actress Mary Pickford. What ever it’s origins or whoever mixed the first cocktail it’s legacy ensures we will always be guessing, always trying to build on messers Petiot, Jessel and Zbikiewicz creations in order to build the perfect Bloody Mary.

Bloody Mary at Westow House in Crystal Palace

It seems only right to start off the recipe search with the original Fernand Petiot recipe modified in 1934 to this:

Bloody Mary
– 2 oz vodka
– 3 oz Tomoto Juice
– 1/2 oz Lemon Juice
– Black Pepper & Salt
– 3 dashes Worcestershire
– 2 drops tabasco sauce
– Garnish: Lemon Wedge, Celery
– Glassware: Highball Glass

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and strain into a highball glass over crushed ice. Garnish with the lemon wedge and a stick of celery.

Next time I am going to be looking at the different ingredients that go into a Bloody Mary. We’d love to hear from you, so if you have any weird and wonderful variations on the classic Bloody Mary then Tweet us or email us of simply fill in the form on the contact page.


  1. A slug of dry sherry lifts a B/M to the heavens. I’ve sampled this (quite a lot): gives a certain jolt, but a nice jolt, to the system.

    Grated fresh horseradish for an extra spicy kick.

    Celery salt.

    Clamato juice rather than tom juice: difficult to find, but Mr Wait-Wose stocks it (or did).

    • Thanks so much for your comment Amanda I concur with all of the ingredients you have mentioned including the sherry. I also love Clamato juice but that would make it a Bloody Caeser which is as equally as fabulous and equally as quaffable.

  2. I have never tried a Bloody Marry but right now looking at the ingredients I really hope to give it a try 8D
    Furita recently posted..Yummy Creamy Krispy Kreme!My Profile

    • Thank you so much for your comment.I hope you enjoy it, it’s seriously the most delicious experience.Let me know how you get on.

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