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Who Invented the Bloody Mary Cocktail?

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The Bloody Mary cocktail is a popular alcoholic drink that has become a staple in many bars and restaurants around the world. Despite its widespread popularity, the origins of the drink and who invented it remain somewhat of a mystery.

There are several stories about the creation of the Bloody Mary, but the most widely accepted one is that it was invented in the 1920s by a bartender named Fernand Petiot. Petiot was working at the New York Bar in Paris at the time and was asked to make a new cocktail by a customer. He mixed together vodka and tomato juice, along with some other ingredients, and served it to the customer. The drink became an instant hit and was eventually named the Bloody Mary.

Another story claims that the Bloody Mary was actually invented in the 1930s by a bartender named Henry Zbikiewicz. Zbikiewicz was working at a bar in Chicago and created the drink as a way to cure his customers’ hangovers.

Regardless of who invented the Bloody Mary, it remains a popular cocktail that is enjoyed by many people around the world. It can be made with a variety of different ingredients and garnishes, but the classic recipe usually includes vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Welcome cocktail lovers! Have you ever enjoyed a delicious Bloody Mary, but wondered about its origins and who invented it? This popular drink has become a staple in many bars and restaurants across the globe. While there are several claims of who first mixed this unique cocktail, we will explore the most widely accepted ones. According to some records, the Bloody Mary was invented by Fernand Petiot in the 1920s while he was working at the New York Bar in Paris and became an instant hit. Alternatively, others believe that it was Henry Zbikiewicz, a bartender in Chicago, who came up with the recipe. Regardless of who the true inventor is, the Bloody Mary has become a beloved drink, and in this article, we will uncover some of its fascinating history and the classic recipe. So, grab a glass, sit back, and let’s delve into the Bloody Mary’s intriguing history.

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Who Invented Bloody Mary?


The Bloody Mary cocktail is a well-known drink that has become a staple in the world of mixology. Its combination of tomato juice, vodka, and spices has been a favorite of bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts for decades. The drink has gained popularity as a brunch cocktail, and its versatility has made it a popular choice for many occasions. In this article, we will be exploring the history of the Bloody Mary, and the claims of who invented the cocktail.

Claim 1: Fernand Petiot

Fernand Petiot was a famous mixologist who worked at the St. Regis Hotel in New York during the Prohibition era. Petiot claimed that he created the Bloody Mary in the 1920s, during his time working at the hotel’s King Cole Bar. The drink was originally called the “Red Snapper,” and was made with tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and Tabasco sauce.

Petiot’s claim is supported by the fact that the ingredients used in the drink were all readily available during the Prohibition era. Additionally, the drink’s savory flavor was a popular choice during this time, as many people were looking for ways to mask the taste of bootleg alcohol.

Claim 2: George Jessel

George Jessel was a well-known comedian, singer, and show business personality. According to his autobiography, he created the Bloody Mary in 1939 while attending a party at the 21 Club in New York. Jessel claimed that he asked the bartender to make him a drink that would cure his hangover, and the bartender mixed him a concoction of tomato juice, vodka, and various spices.

Jessel’s claim is supported by the fact that he was a well-known personality during the time the drink was invented. Additionally, he was known for his extravagant parties, which often featured exotic drinks.

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The Verdict

While both Fernand Petiot and George Jessel have claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary, it is difficult to determine which claim is true. The similarities in the ingredients used in both stories make it impossible to definitively declare one person as the inventor of the cocktail.

Regardless of who invented the Bloody Mary, there is no denying the popularity of this classic drink. Its combination of savory flavors and refreshing taste have made it a favorite of many bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts. So, the next time you enjoy a Bloody Mary, remember the history and the claims of those who claim to have invented the beloved cocktail.

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The Controversy and Legacy of Bloody Mary’s Origins

The Bloody Mary is one of the most iconic and beloved cocktails in the world, a brunch staple enjoyed by millions of people worldwide every weekend. But do we really know who invented this classic drink? As it turns out, the origins of the Bloody Mary are shrouded in mystery and controversy, with several different stories and myths circulating about its birth and evolution.

Multiple Claims and Factors

One widely accepted story of the Bloody Mary’s origins is that it was invented by Fernand Petiot, a bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, in the 1930s. According to Petiot’s account, he mixed vodka and tomato juice to create a new drink after Prohibition ended, and named it the Bloody Mary after a girl named Mary who frequented the bar. However, other bartenders also claim to have invented the drink around the same time period, such as George Jessel and Henry Zbikiewicz.

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Another factor that contributed to the evolution of the Bloody Mary recipe is the addition of different ingredients. While the classic recipe includes vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, variations of the drink have been made with everything from clam juice to horseradish to pickle brine. The cultural context of the drink has also played a role, with regional variations such as the Michelada in Mexico and the Red Snapper in the UK.

Popularity and Variations

The Bloody Mary has enjoyed enduring popularity since its inception, cementing its status as a classic cocktail. Its popularity has led to commercialization, with pre-made mixtures and garnish kits sold in stores and online. However, the drink has also been adapted to fit different tastes and cultural traditions all over the world.

In addition to its popularity as a brunch drink, the Bloody Mary has also taken on symbolic significance. It has been associated with various cultural icons, from the fictional character James Bond’s preference for a vodka martini “shaken, not stirred,” to the real-life political figure and Queen of England, Mary I, who earned the nickname “Bloody Mary” due to her violent persecution of Protestants in the 16th century.

Conclusion and Takeaway

The origin of the Bloody Mary may be shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, but this only adds to the allure of this classic cocktail. By recognizing the different perspectives and historical contexts surrounding the drink’s invention and evolution, we can appreciate the many variations and cultural meanings it has taken on. Whether enjoyed in a classic form at brunch or a unique adaptation at a local bar, the Bloody Mary continues to be a beloved beverage with a fascinating legacy.

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