On this day in 1975, we lost a bartending legend, Fernand Petiot.
Around 1920, a charismatic Fernand Petiot began experimenting with a new spirit, vodka. This new spirit was brought to France by a large influx of Russian emigres escaping the Russian Revolution. While working with this tasteless spirit, Petiot was also introduced to the American staple, canned tomato juice.Over the next year, Petiot crafted vodka drink after vodka drink until one day he decided to mix vodka, canned tomato juice and a few seasonings. The rest as they say, is history, a new cocktail was born, the Bloody Mary.
But where did this name come from?
The naming rights from this cocktail are often disputed. On one hand, it is said the name comes from two patrons that drank the first Blood Mary Petiot served. They hailed from Chicago and the drink reminded them of the Bucket of Blood bar and a server that locals called “Bloody Mary”. The other naming story says that the drink was named after fierce tyrant, Mary Tudor who earned the nickname, “Bloody Mary” after she murdered hundreds of Protestants in the 1500s.
A New Era of Drinks
As Prohibition ended, the Bloody Mary swept across the United States and Petiot came with it! In 1933, Vincent Astor brought the legend himself over from France to work at the King Cole Bar in New York City. At the King Cole Bar, the Bloody Mary received a new name, Red Snapper, and was touted as a miracle hangover cure. To this day, the King Cole Bar sells over 850 Red Snappers per month.
Without Petiot, brunch wouldn’t be as exciting, your family gatherings would be bland and your crazy aunt couldn’t make excuses for drinking on her new “health kick”. Thank you Fernand Petiot, we owe you one.
The original Bloody Mary not your thing? Check out one of these variations to appease your palette!
The Bloody Caesar
1 1/2 ounces Tito’s Vodka
4 ounces clamato juice.
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce.
Dash Tabasco Sauce.
Pepper to taste.
The Bloody Maria
2 ounces Hayman’s London Dry Gin
4 ounces tomato juice.
1/2 teaspoon finely grated horseradish.
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce.
3 dashes Tabasco Sauce.
2 dashes soy sauce.
Pinch of sea salt.
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper.