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Want to improve your party-hosting game? Keep reading to find out how.

Does the following scenario sound familiar? It's Super Bowl Sunday and you have all of your buddies and their significant others showing up before game time. You fill the buffet table with all the prerequisite "munchie" foods, and everything is all set. The pizza & wing delivery will arrive just before kickoff. Time to relax, crack open a beer and greet your guests as they arrive. Time to have fun!

All of a sudden, you hear the question from one of your guests:

"Hey, do you have any Bloody Mary mix? I have a wicked hangover from last night at the bars, and a Bloody is the best cure". 

You think to yourself: "Bloody Mary Mix? Why didn't I think of that?"

Maybe this has never happened to you, but it could. Don't disappoint your valued houseguests this year. Have a batch of fresh made Bloody Mary mix ready for the savory sipping when your friends arrive. Its fun and easy to prepare.

This week, we will tell you how to make a pitcher of the best Bloody Marys in town, and provide you with the interesting knowledge of the famous cocktail's history to back it up! We will explain how to make the basic, classic version along with some other variations and our secret recipe.

So go ahead and have your football party. Be sure provide the delicious, hearty beverage millions of people love to have during football Sunday: The Bloody Mary. This is surely a great way to help kickoff a good time and a proper party that will be remembered by all your friends. 

For Your Information...

A Bloody Mary was classically served in an Old Fashioned glass or highball glass, but now is often also served in various types of tall glassware (pictured above in a mason jar glass), and is garnished with lemon, carrot, celery, and pitted manzanilla olives, served with ice cubes and drinking straws.

A Bloody Mary is the first in a series of cocktails containing vodka, tomato juice, and various combinations of other spices and flavorings including Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, piri sauce, beef consommé or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and/or celery salt.

Stories and Legends

The Bloody Mary's origin is unclear, and there are multiple conflicting claims of who invented the Bloody Mary.

Fernand Petiot claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1921, well before any of the later claims. He was working at the New York Bar in Paris at the time, which later became Harry's New York Bar, a frequent Paris hangout for Ernest Hemingway and other American expatriates. Harry's Bar also claims to have created numerous other classic cocktails, including the White Lady and the Side Car.

James Rollins writes in the "What's True, What's Not" section of his Sigma Force novel 6.5: The Skeleton Key (2010) that the Bloody Mary was invented in the Hemingway Bar at The Ritz Paris.

New York's 21 Club has two claims associated with it. One is that it was invented in the 1930s by a bartender named Henry Zbikiewicz, who was charged with mixing Bloody Marys. Another attributes its invention to the comedian George Jessel, who frequented the 21 Club. In 1939, Lucius Beebe printed in his gossip column This New York one of the earliest U.S. references to this drink, along with the original recipe: "George Jessel's newest pick-me-up which is receiving attention from the town's paragraphers is called a Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka".

Fernand Petiot also claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary as a refinement to Jessel's drink, when Petiot spoke to The New Yorker magazine in July 1964, saying:

"I initiated the Bloody Mary of today," he told us. "Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet rooms."

The cocktail was claimed as a new cocktail under the name "Red Hammer" in Life magazine in 1942, consisting of tomato juice, vodka, and lemon juice. Less than a month later in the same magazine, an advertisement for French's worcestershire sauce suggested that it be added to a virgin "Tomato Juice Cocktail" along with tomato juice, salt, and pepper. The addition of salt to the alcoholic beverage was suggested that same year in a story in Hearst's International Combined with Cosmopolitan.

Origin of the name

The name "Bloody Mary" is associated with a number of historical figures—particularly Queen Mary I of England, who was nicknamed as such in Foxe's Book of Martyrs for attempting to re-establish the Catholic Church in England—and fictional women from folklore. Some drink aficionados believe the inspiration for the name was Hollywood star Mary Pickford. Others trace the name to a waitress named Mary who worked at a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood. However, another argument for the origin of "Bloody Mary", that the name in English simply arose from "a failure to pronounce the Slav syllables of a drink called Vladimir" gains some credibility from the observation that the customer at Harry's Bar in Paris for whom Fernand Petiot prepared the drink in 1920 was Vladimir Smirnov, of the Smirnoff vodka family.

Preparation and serving

In the United States, the Bloody Mary is a common "Hair of the dog" drink, reputed by some to cure hangovers due to its combination of a heavy vegetable base (to settle the stomach), salt (to replenish lost electrolytes) and alcohol (to relieve head and body aches).

Photo by Getty

However, according to others, the alcohol only numbs the discomfort, and only rest, water, and electrolyte replacement can cure a hangover, with the amount of salt traditionally in a Bloody Mary being insufficient to have any real effect. Its reputation as a restorative beverage contributes to the popularity of the Bloody Mary in the morning and early afternoon, especially with brunch.

The drink is now traditionally served over ice in a tall glass, such as a highball, flared pint or hurricane glass. The two critical ingredients, vodka and tomato juice, are relatively simple; however, the drink almost never consists of these two ingredients alone. Among the more common additions to the juice base are salt or celery salt (either mixed in or as a salted rim), cracked pepper, hot sauce (such as Tabasco), citrus juices (especially lemon or lime), Worcestershire sauce, celery seed, horseradish, clam juice or olive brine, brown sugar or molasses and bitters. Some or all of these ingredients can come pre-mixed with the tomato juice as a single "Bloody Mary mix" to which the vodka is added, or the drink may be hand-constructed by the bartender from raw ingredients according to the patron's preference. A common garnish is a celery stalk when served in a tall glass; other common garnishes include olives, cheese cubes, a dill pickle spear, lemon wedges, dried sausage, and shrimp (as the taste of the drink is often reminiscent of shrimp cocktail sauce).

There is a considerable amount of variation available in the drink's construction and presentation including the use of different base spirits like bourbon, rye, tequila and gin. In addition to the aforementioned, more traditional ingredients, practically anything can be added to the drink itself or as a garnish according to the drinker's wishes or the bartender's or establishment's traditions. Some variations of the Bloody Mary served by restaurants are designed to be a meal as well as a drink, coming with massive "garnishes" on skewers inserted into the glass, including ribs, miniature hamburger "sliders", grilled or fried shrimp, kebabs, sandwich wedges, fruit slices, and even sashimi. The drink itself can be served in any of a variety of glasses, from wine glasses to schooners or beer steins, according to tradition or availability. It is a tradition in the upper Midwest, particularly in Wisconsin, to serve a Bloody Mary with a small beer chaser.


*Pro Tip: Be sure to use The BarBack Tool garnish knife to cut fresh celery ribbons to stir into the drink!


"Classic Bloody Mary" recipe: IBA specified ingredients

Special equipment: 1 highball glass


  1. 3 parts vodka
  2. 6 parts tomato juice
  3. 1 part lemon juice
  4. 2 to 3 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  5. tabasco
  6. celery salt
  7. pepper


While Stirring gently, pour all ingredients into highball glass 1/2 filled with ice and add garnishes.


The "Bloody Caesar" recipe: IBA specified ingredients

Special equipment: 1 highball glass


(Same recipe as Classic Bloody Mary only add 1 part canned clam juice and reduce the Tomato Juice by one part)

A Caesar or Bloody Caesar is a cocktail created and primarily consumed in Canada. It typically contains vodka, a caesar mix (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime. What distinguishes it from a Bloody Mary is the inclusion of clam broth. The cocktail may also be contrasted with the Michelada, which has similar flavoring ingredients but uses beer instead of vodka.

It was invented in Calgary, Alberta in 1969 by restaurateur Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the city. It quickly became a popular mixed drink within Canada where over 350 million Caesars are consumed annually and it has inspired numerous variants. However, the drink remains virtually unknown elsewhere.

The Caesar was invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell of the Calgary Inn (today the Westin Hotel) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He devised the cocktail after being tasked to create a signature drink for the Calgary Inn's new Italian restaurant. He mixed vodka with clam and tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, and other spices, creating a drink similar to a Bloody Mary but with a uniquely spicy flavor.

Chell said his inspiration came from Italy. He recalled that in Venice, they served Spaghetti alle vongole, spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. He reasoned that the mixture of clams and tomato sauce would make a good drink, and mashed clams to form a "nectar" that he mixed with other ingredients.

According to Chell's granddaughter, his Italian ancestry led him to call the drink a "Caesar". The longer name of "Bloody Caesar" is said to differentiate the drink from the Bloody Mary, but Chell said it was a regular patron at the bar who served as the inspiration. During the three months he spent working to perfect the drink, he had customers sample it and offer feedback. One regular customer, an Englishman, who often ordered the drink said one day "Walter, that's a damn good bloody Caesar".


The "Bloody Bull" recipe: IBA specified ingredients

Special equipment: 1 highball glass


(Use the same recipe as a Classic Bloody Mary then add 1 part beef consommé or bouillon and reduce the Tomato Juice by one part)


The BarBack Guy's Secret Bloody Mary Mix and Ultimate Bacon Bloody Recipes:

(Makes 8-10 servings)

You will need:

-a large 64 oz pitcher to mix batch

-2 ounces of Worcestershire sauce

-1 half gallon jug of V8 Vegetable Juice (poured last, you will have extra juice left over)

-1 ounce of Cholula Brand hot sauce

-2 tablespoons of horseradish

-3/4 ounce of steak sauce

-3/4 ounce BBQ sauce

-10 dashes of tobasco sauce or Dan's Fire Sauce

-salt & pepper to taste

-1 small fresh lime, squeezed

-1 small fresh lemon, squeezed

-10 stalks of fresh celery, sliced lengthwise in 1/2 inch ribbons (keep the leaves on).

-1 bag baby carrots

-cubed block of cheddar cheese

-jar of tiny pickles

-1 package of bacon, cooked crispy

-jar of green stuffed queen olives

Mix Worcestershire sauce, V8 Vegetable Juice, Cholula, horseradish, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, tobasco sauce, lemon juice, lime juice, salt and pepper together in a large pitcher, then stir vigorously for 45 seconds. Garnish each glass with: 1 celery ribbon with leaves and skewer together one piece of carrot and one olive.

For an "Ultimate Bacon Bloody Mary", add on to the skewer: one cube of cheese, one tiny pickle, one stuffed olive and place one piece of dry crispy bacon on top, then serve.


Did you know?

Stay tuned to OriginalBarBack.com for new recipes, stories, legends, history, "bar-lore" and more in our weekly blogs. Check out our Instagram page , YouTube channel and Facebook page for weekly posts, videos and our images of craft cocktails, beers, wines and spirits.


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