The most commonly accepted story of the origin of the Bloody Mary cocktail says that it was invented in Paris by Ferdinand Petiot. Petiot was an American bartender who moved to France during Prohibition. Other American expats brought with them products from home such as canned tomato juice while at about the same time, immigrants who were escaping the Russian Revolution came to France bringing their traditional foods and drinks, such as vodka, with them. The Bloody Mary only became possible because of this influx of new ingredients to France.
While tending bar at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, Petiot experimented with various cocktails eventually hitting upon equal measures of vodka and tomato juice and seasoning it to taste. He named the drink Bucket of Blood after a nightclub in Chicago on the advice of a visiting American entertainer named Roy Barton.
In 1933 came the repeal of Prohibition and Petiot returned to the United States to tend bar at The King Cole Bar in New York. He brought his invention with him. The drink was renamed at the request of the owner and became known as a Red Snapper. The drink was very popular, especially as a hangover remedy, and began to spread around New York where it became widely known as a Bloody Mary. The origins of the name are vague but one explanations says that it refers to Mary Tudor and her bloody reign of terror over the Protestants of England and Ireland. The Bloody Mary continued to spread and adapt and is now one of the most popular brunch drinks in the world. If tequila is used in place of vodka it becomes known as a Bloody Maria, while adding clam juice turns it into a Bloody Caesar. The variations are practically limitless.
Cocktail consisting of equal parts vodka and tomato juice mixed with spices and seasonings.
Recipes may vary but tomato juice and vodka are always the base of a traditional Bloody Mary. Seasonings may include, but are certainly not limited to: salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, celery salt, and lemon or lime juice. Garnishes may include celery sticks, lemon or lime wedges, olives, pickles, or any number of other items.