On Sundays, many brunch and a delicious morning cocktail. This early alcoholic beverage is often the weird combination of tomato juice, celery, spicy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (see: The Worstershire sauce is made from Worcestershire sauce), vodka and other spices, which it is called “Bloody Mary” Although pretty tasty, the recipe is not exactly intuitive. Who and how was this smorgasbord of a drink ever brewed? And was it actually named after a queen from the 16th century who used to burn people at the stake?
The fifth of six children of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (and the only child to survive childhood), Mary Tudor was designated as Queen at birth in 1515. However, for Mary, whose father had this, it was not easy to necessarily have a son (whom he eventually had). When Henry VIII annulled his marriage to Katharina and instead married Anne Boylan (see: The Many Wives of King Henry VIII), Mary was declared “illegitimate.” Nevertheless, Mary still had a throne way and when her younger half-brother Edward VI died at 15 at tuberculosis, it seemed like she would become queen. Due to Mary’s illegality and the fear that she would turn the country back into Roman Catholicism, a plot was made to install instead the niece of Henry VIII, Lady Jane Gray. After only nine days, public support for Mary was too strong and Gray was usurped. Queen Mary finally took her place on the throne.
Maria’s brief five-year reign as queen was violent and hard. She turned the country back to Roman Catholicism and began an active campaign to openly persecute Protestants. Those who did not follow their strict heresy laws risked being burned at the stake. In total, about 300 Protestants were killed during the reign of Mary Tudor, earning her the long-known nickname “Bloody Mary.”
While the moniker was stuck, she was not arbitrary among the monarchs of the era in terms of executing persons. In fact, Henry VIII did not execute hundreds, but many thousands during his reign, but no one bothered to call him “Bloody Henry.” In the end, however, Blood Mary’s methods of forcing her nation into Catholicism were ineffective, and it often happens that the victors color the events and characters of the story to their liking. After her death in 1558, when some historians had prolactinomas and ovarian cancer, the country became Protestant again.
Centuries later, reel in the invention of the drink that is nicknamed or not. (We’ll discuss that in a moment.) Now, there are two universally accepted stories of the origin of the Bloody Mary drink, both annals of history THE History behind the invention of the elixir, depending on which reputable source you want to address. Although both stories have many holes, there is enough documented evidence to get a good, if not perfect, idea of how the drink came into being.
The first story begins in an American bar in Paris. Opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1911 by an emigrant and equestrian jockey named Ted Sloan, the “New York Bar” at 5 Rue Daunou became a hotspot for American soldiers during World War I. In 1923, Sloan sold the bar to Scottsman Harry MacElhone, who was once a bartender at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. After buying it, Harry added his name to the bar and made it “Harry’s New York Bar.” The facility is still there today.
In addition to notable American guests such as Rita Hayworth, Ernest Hemingway and Humphrey Bogart, many Russian emigrants who escaped the Russian Revolution also supported the bar. One of Harry’s bartenders was Fernand Petiot, who had gone from a kitchen boy to a bartender when he was 16 years old. When it turned out that it was profitable for the new clientele to prepare cocktails with Russian vodka, Petiot began to experiment with the hard liquid. Finally, he found a match with the “tomato juice cocktail” from the tin.
Customers loved the new drink – Russians, Americans and French – and Voila, a popular drink, was born. After this version of things, the Americans brought the Bloody Mary in the States, and soon Petiot was offered as a bartender at the King Cole Bar at St. Régis Hotel in New York. He made the move in 1934 and remained until his retirement in 1966, one of the city’s most famous bartenders.
What about the name Bloody Mary? Legend has it that Petiot simply named it after Queen “Bloody” Mary Tudor as a dark joke in war-torn Europe. Another says the name is a suggestion made by US entertainer Roy Barton, a tribute to his favorite waitress Mary at Chicago’s Bucket of Blood nightclub. The name of the club is said to come from the dirty, bloody mop that employees would throw on the street after cleaning up after the violent nocturnal activities that took place in their facility.
Whether the notorious nightclub actually got its name or not, said Petiot in January 1972 in an interview with the Cleveland Press that it was actually a customer who suggested the name “Bloody Mary” after the aforementioned waitress in the Bucket of Blood. However, there is no direct evidence supporting this claim, mostly vague memories of events that took place many decades ago. Human memory is what it is (and in particular the amazing ability of our brain to feed even very detailed false memories for a surprising number of our memories). It is not clear if this is the name really. (We’ll talk more about that soon.)
What we know for sure is that when Petiot began serving his drink in New York, at least, as documented evidence shows, he did not call it “Bloody Mary.” Instead, he called it the “Red Snapper.” “(Today you can still get a” Red Snapper “in the King Cole Bar.) Supposedly, he initially referred to it as Bloody Mary, but shortly after his arrival, the owner of the bar asked that the name be changed, but there is no direct name evidence for this guess.
The first known documented copy, which was called “Bloody Mary”, came only in 1939 in an article in the Chicago Tribunewritten by Walter Winchell. This was several years after Petiot came to the United States. As noted etymologist Barry Popik noted, Petiot later claimed that he had invented the Bloody Mary and named him in Paris, Harry’s New York Bar, in which he published a recipe book of his drinks, not mentioning anything resembling a Bloody Mary, let alone some drink using the name.
Popik also noted skepticism in Petiot’s memories, as commercial canned tomato juice until the late 1920s was nothing after Petiot had claimed that he had used a canned tomato juice cocktail as part of his drink. (It’s possible that Petiot’s memory is mostly correct because he just knows wrong data, which may explain the lack of reference to the drink in Harry’s recipe book of the 1920s.) That means the first surviving recipe of the drink under the The name Bloody Mary came before Lucius Beebe Book Storch Club Bar published in 1946. Petiot did not attribute this particular reference to inventing the drink, nor did he use his recipe. This brings us to the next, much cited history of origin.
In this story, as the Bloody Mary was invented, its creator was the “Toastmaster General of the United States” George Jessel. As a famous variety star, broadway actor, comedian, and master of ceremonies of his time, he claimed to have invented the drink in 1927, as it says in his 1975 autobiography The world in which I lived
In 1927 I lived in Palm Beach or on a short visit. I do not remember where I ran a softball team almost every year for a game against the Palm Beach elite, like the Woolworth Donohues, the Al Vanderbilts, the Reeves and their kind ….
Following the game, I went to La Maze’s with a man named Elliot Sperver, a Philadelphia Playboy, and started drinking champagne. We were still strong the next morning at 8 o’clock …. We tried everything to kill the hangover and sobriety. Then, Charlie, the bartender, relished our plight and reached behind the bar. “Here, George, try that,” he said, holding up a dusty bottle I’d never seen before. “They call it Vodkee. We have had it for six years and nobody has ever asked for it. ”
I looked at it, sniffed it. It was quite spicy and smelled like rotten potatoes. “Hell, what do we have to lose? Get some Worcestershire sauce, some tomato juice and lemon; that should kill the smell, “I ordered Charlie. I also remembered that Constance Talmadge, who was going to become my future sister-in-law, always drank some tomatoes in it to clear her head the next morning, and it always worked – at least for her.
“We tried everything else, boys, we might as well try that,” I said as I mixed the ingredients in a large glass. After taking some Quaffs, we all felt a bit better. The mixture seemed to turn off the butterflies.
At that moment Mary Brown Warburton came in. As a member of the Wanamaker department store family in Philadelphia, she liked to be near show business people. Later, she had a compromise with Ted Healey, the comic. She’d obviously been out all night, still wearing a beautiful white evening gown. “Here, Mary, give it a try and see what you think about it.” Just like her, she spilled something into her white evening gown, glanced at the mess and laughed, “Now you can call me, Bloody Mary, George! ”
From that day until today, the brew I put together in La Maze’s is a Bloody Mary with very few variations. Charlie pushed it every morning when the gang was under the weather. Well, about a year later, Joe E Lewis was going to benefit at the Oriental Theater, and I was sitting in my hotel room with Ted Healey before going to the theater. Ted was slightly intoxicated as usual. He happened to get a copy of a Chicago paper and read an article in Winchell’s column. It said that I had named the Bloody Mary after Ted Brown’s firm girl, Mary Brown Warburton.
Ted blushed, “What the hell are you doing to overtake my girl, you fucking son of a bitch?” He shouted. And just like him, he pulled out a gun and tried to shoot me. I ducked and the shot missed, but when the gun was one foot away from my right ear, I was completely deaf for a week. I had a damn good job that had the advantage that night.
So what story is true? It seems to be part of both, with a pinch of misunderstanding and some ambiguity about how close a recipe must be before you call it Bloody Mary today.
Before either of these men claims to have invented the Bloody Mary (and before both have definitely contributed to the popularization), there were countless recipes for exceptionally similar drinks, with no alcohol. For example in the edition of the hospital sheet In London, mention is made of a drink served in a club over the Manhattan pond and made as follows:
For the benefit of those who have suicidal intentions, I give the recipe. Seven small oysters are dropped into a beaker to which a pinch of salt, three drops of fiery Tabasco sauce, three drops of Mexican chili sauce and a spoonful of lemon juice must be added. Add a little horseradish and green pepper sauce, African pepper ketchup, black pepper and tomato juice to this mixture.
Other similar recipes in the following decades, before Jessel and Petiot added alcohol, peeled off the oysters and added things like Worcestershire sauce. It seems questionable, then, that one of her memories of how inspiration caused her to conjure up the otherwise strange brew was perfectly accurate. In a 1955 Smirnoff vodka ad campaign, 58-year-old Jessel was not nearly so sure that he invented the Bloody Mary when 76-year-old Jessel wrote his autobiography.
In this 1955 ad campaign, he stated, “Me think I invented Bloody Mary, Red Snapper, Tomato Pickup, or Morning Glory … “Then he describes the events of making the drink in much less detail, although in this case he implies that he really just wanted to drink” good Smirnoff vodka. “But he I felt he needed the nutrients from tomato juice, so he beat them together, the juice for the body and the vodka for the mind, and if I was not the first, I was the luckiest ever. ”
Considering the spread of similar known recipes of that time without vodka, it is more likely that these two gentlemen were familiar with the basal cocktail and simply refined it to their own liking and added alcohol, with the fact that they contributed to the popularization Recognition. So who came up with the version first and who actually called it Bloody Mary?
It should be noted that Walter Inchell, author of the above Chicago Tribune Article that is the first written mention of the drink “Bloody Mary” was a friend of Jessel. He stated in this first reference to “Bloody Mary” that the drink was “vodka with tomato juice”.
A few months later, in December 1939, the aforementioned Lucius Beebe, whose 1946 recipe is the oldest known survival known as Bloody Mary, wrote in The New York Herald“George Jessel’s latest pick-me-up, which the city’s forerunners call attention, is called Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka.”
Of course, the friction comes from the moment when you want to call a drink with a certain amount of ingredients “Bloody Mary”, at least as far as we think today. In an interview with the New YorkerPetiot pointed this out and said, “I initiated the Blood Mary of today … Jessel said he made it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took over.”
And indeed, the first known recipes for the drink seem to support Petiot’s claim to a large extent. In 1946 Book Storch Club Bar, Jessel’s recipe for the Bloody Mary was listed as “3 ounces of vodka, 6 ounces of tomato juice, 2 drops of angostura bitters, half a lemon juice”.
Half a decade ago, however, in Crosby Gaiges Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion We have the first known documented copy of the recipe from Petiot’s Red Snapper, sent directly from one person at the workplace by Petiot to Crosby: “2 ounces of tomato juice, 2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of cayenne pepper , 1 dash of lemon juice, salt, pepper and red pepper to taste. ”
So if you want to refer to a Bloody Mary as Bloody Mary, if it contains the minimum ingredients of vodka and tomato juice, most of the credit would be with Jessel, he claimed. However, Petiot’s Drink is closer to the general Bloody Mary recipe we know and love today – it was just under a different name.
In both cases it did not seem to be a revolutionary new drink. Both of Bloody Mary’s recipes were more like a development of other very similar drinks made at the time, with the main contribution here being in determining the ratios for each individual. They like vodka and add it to the mixes to make more popular.
As for the name, Petiot’s memory of a 1972 customer, after whom he is named “Bloody Mary” after a waitress in Chicago’s Bucket of Blood, and Jessel’s reminiscence of the year 1975, are the daughter of the department store, Mary Brown Warburton -Magnans John, to name Wanamaker
Petiot’s claim has no hard evidence to corroborate, and some, so there is no documented evidence that he ever called it Bloody Mary in any facility he worked in, and that the 20s recipe book from the bar, in which he claims to have invented it did not mention the drink, that would be a strike against his memory. On the other hand, in the earliest known cases in which the drink is called Bloody Mary, Jessel credits the drink, but technically not explicitly for the name, although in some cases this is the case seems implied
So we are in the very tentative position of relying on the memories of the 1970s, as they found the name “Bloody Mary” in the 1920s, as our best, if very unsatisfactory, proof of the origin of the name Considering the reservations about the extreme fallibility of human memory even after short periods of time or even decades, Jessel technically has the stronger claim that if he has at least some contemporary evidence on his side regarding the first documented cases of the name of drink is used. The slight edge goes to the drink, which was named after the heir Mary Warburton.
Whatever the case, no contemporary evidence suggests that 16th century Queen Mary was the inspiration for the name – a guess that came decades later. A similar popular false claim asserted by other, otherwise extremely reputable sources (nobody beats a thousand) is that the name was inspired by a character in the 1958 film South Pacific, This idea seems to have surfaced, as in the mid- and late-1950s, thanks to the Smirnoff ads of the 1950s, the popularity of the drink really exploded with Jessel. But the name of the drink, of course, precedes this film and the advertising campaign by a long way.