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Origins of the Bloody Mary Cocktail
Like most cocktail origin stories, the Bloody Mary is said to have been an improvised invention at a few different spots in the 1930s—including Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, and both the St. Regis Hotel and 21 Club in New York City. The origins of the name are unknown: depending on who you ask, “Bloody Mary” could refer to Queen Mary I, Hollywood actress Mary Pickford, or various waitresses and showgirls named Mary. In the 1940s, it appeared briefly under a new name, the “Red Hammer,” which, as you might guess, didn’t stick.
How to Make the Best Bloody Mary
For a single serving of a basic Bloody Mary cocktail, coat the bottom of a glass with salt, ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, two dashes of hot sauce, and ½ ounce fresh lemon and/or lime juice. Add 1 ½ oz vodka and 4 oz of tomato juice, and stir well to combine.
Sprinkle sea salt, celery salt, or chili salt (sea salt mixed with paprika) onto a small plate. Wet the rim of a highball glass with a lemon wedge, and press lightly into the salt for an even coating. Fill glass with ice, and pour in the Bloody Mary mixture. Taste, and adjust heat levels or seasoning as needed. Garnish with a celery stick, skewered olives, and a lemon or lime wedge.
Chef Wolfgang Puck’s Homemade Bloody Mary Recipe
Prep Time5 min
Total Time5 min
“As a chef, I make cocktails which are chef-driven,” Chef says, “with ingredients right from the market.” Wolfgang Puck’s easy recipe for a perfect Bloody Mary is inspired by farmers’ market tomatoes, which he highlights by using his own freshly muddled tomato juice and a garnish of whole cherry tomatoes and lemon slices on a skewer.
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, quartered
- 2 jalapeño slices
- 1 oz simple syrup
- 1 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp horseradish, grated
- 4 oz vodka
- Salt and black pepper
- Place the quartered tomatoes and jalapeño slices in a cocktail shaker. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add simple syrup, lemon juice, and horseradish. Muddle the ingredients in a mixing glass, a pint glass, or a shaker tin.
- Add the vodka and ice. Cover and shake well.
- Place several ice cubes in a highball glass, and top with strained Bloody Mary contents. Garnish each glass with a stalk of celery and a skewer with a lemon wedge and cherry tomato.
Learn more about cocktails with Chef Puck here.
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