Master Connection Associates continues to raise the bar in food & beverage education this week in Southern California. Kathy Eby and Juliette Guerry were on hand to enlighten the group on the origin of The Bloody Mary. Here is a brief history with our new twist on how to make a Bloody Mary Cart today! 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.
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".[verification needed]
"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.