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    National Bloody Mary Day 2024: Toast the New Year in Style!

    National Bloody Mary Day, 1st of January 2024

    Picture this: a whole day dedicated to celebrating your favourite drink, the Bloody Mary!

    Bloody Mary Day is a tribute to the rich history and the journey of this legendary cocktail. Onthe 1st of January, people who just love a good Bloody Mary get together to experiment with different versions of the drink. 

    Ever tried swapping vodka with tequila or adding some smoky vibes? This is the day to go wild and try those twists!

    And it's not just about the drink itself - it's about sharing stories, hanging out with friends, maybe learning a bit about where the Bloody Mary came from, and just celebrating the whole culture around it. So, grab a glass, mix up your favourite version, and let’s dive in!

    How to Celebrate National Bloody Mary Day

    Celebrating National Bloody Mary Day has evolved into an occasion that transcends mere cocktail enjoyment, becoming a tribute to a storied past. It's an opportunity for enthusiasts to unite, to delve into the art of mixology, and to savour variations of this venerable recipe amidst the conviviality of friends and the ambiance of a leisurely brunch.

    The day is marked by an exploration of flavours, from the bold and spirited twist of a mezcal-infused Bloody Maria to the botanical nuances of a gin-based Red Snapper Cocktail. 

    The scotch-inspired Bloody Joseph adds a smoky depth, while the alcohol-free Virgin Mary ensures everyone can enjoy this wonderful day. Each iteration of the drink is a nod to its classic roots while offering a fresh perspective on the beloved cocktail. 

    Things to do on National Bloody Mary Day

    Celebrating National Bloody Mary Day is best enjoyed by inviting friends over for a mix-and-sip session. It's the perfect opportunity for both newcomers and enthusiasts to explore why the unique blend of tomato juice and vodka makes the Bloody Mary a globally beloved cocktail. Dive in and discover the appeal of this classic drink for yourself!

    Try different Bloody Mary recipes

    Feeling enthusiastic? Explore the intriguing variations of the Bloody Mary:

    • Mezcal Bloody Maria Cocktail - Swap vodka for tequila (or another mezcal) for a robust finish. Add jalapeno peppers as a garnish for an extra kick.
    • Red Snapper Cocktail - Choose gin over vodka to introduce a subtle botanical note to the drink.
    • Bloody Joseph Cocktail - This Scottish twist uses whisky in place of vodka, adding a unique smoky flavour.
    • Peated Michelada Cocktail - A Mexican twist for the beer-lovers, best with Cerveza, Modelo or Corona.
    • Virgin Mary Cocktail - Perfect for non-drinkers, this non-alcoholic version retains the classic taste without the booze.

    Make a Classic Bloody Mary - Recipe

    Bloody mary recipe ingredients - salt, tabasco and worcester sauces, and peat smoked tomato juice

    Making this drink is fairly straightforward, and typically the list of ingredients can be found in most well-stocked kitchens.

    Classic Bloody Mary Recipe
    1. Black pepper (to rim the glass)
    2. Celery salt (to rim the glass)
    3. 50ml vodka
    4. 20ml lime juice
    5. 6 drops of Tabasco (add to taste)
    6. 8 drops Worcestershire sauce (add to taste)
    7. 125ml tomato juice (Peat Smoked tomato juice is amazing for a rich, smoky flavour!)
    8. Stir & garnish with a lemon wedge or a sprig of rosemary
    How to mix a proper Bloody Mary

    Start by sprinkling a bit of celery salt and black pepper onto a small plate. Take a lemon wedge and rub its juicy side around the rim of a pint glass. Next, roll the glass's rim in the celery salt and black pepper mix for a flavourful coating, and do the same with another glass. Add ice cubes to both glasses and set them aside.

    Next, place the lemon wedges into a shaker and add the remaining ingredients. Gently shake the mixture a few times before straining it into the glasses you prepared earlier. Finally, garnish each glass with a celery stalk and the remaining lemon wedges for a refreshing touch.

    National Bloody Mary Day Activities

    National Bloody Mary Day is a perfect occasion for a range of activities:

    1. Brunch with Bloody Marys - Enhance your brunch experience by ensuring Bloody Marys are on the menu. A hearty brunch accompanied by this iconic cocktail can be a delightful way to indulge.
    2. Mix-your-own Bloody Mary get-together - Gather your friends, provide the essential ingredients, and some extra garnishes like bacon and olives. Encourage everyone to craft their unique version of the Bloody Mary. 
    3. Bloody Mary bucket list - Exploring and ranking the best Bloody Marys your city offers. It's a fun activity for you and your fellow food enthusiasts. Just remember to drink responsibly and consider logistics like having a designated driver who only drinks the non-alcoholic version.

    Where the Bloody Mary first started

    The early 1920s in Paris, a city bustling with cultural fusions and refugees from the Russian Revolution, set the stage for a culinary innovation at the prestigious Harry's New York Bar of The Ritz Hotel. 

    It was here, amidst the elegant clinks of glasses and the rich tapestry of multilingual conversations, that the Bloody Mary was born. Behind the bar, Ferdinand "Pete" Petiot, a bartender known for his creative flair, masterfully combined vodka with tomato juice, lemon juice, and an audacious blend of Worcestershire, cayenne, and salt. 

    This concoction, originally named the "Bucket of Blood" and later known as the "Red Snapper," was a bold response to the eclectic tastes of the bar's international patrons. It wasn't just a drink; it was a symbol of cultural fusion, echoing the tumultuous yet vibrant era of Paris in the 20s.

    How the Bloody Mary recipe made it to America and evolved

    As the tides of Prohibition receded in America, Petiot found his way to New York, bringing with him the recipe that had captivated Parisian drinkers. At the King Cole Bar, a new audience awaited, ready to embrace the exotic European import. 

    The blend of vodka and tomato juice quickly became a staple in the American cocktail scene. It was more than just a new drink on the menu; it was a taste of Parisian sophistication, a remnant of a world recovering from war and embracing new cultural horizons.

    Over time, the Bloody Mary transformed, much like the cities it thrived in. Bartenders and enthusiasts alike began experimenting with the recipe, adding their own local flair. From the inclusion of pickles, olives, and celery to the more adventurous garnishes like bacon, horseradish, tobacco, and various peppers, the Bloody Mary became a canvas for culinary creativity.

    Each new ingredient added another layer of complexity to the drink, making it not just a cocktail, but a reflection of the evolving tastes and trends of the times.

    Bloody Mary name: historical and cultural connections

    The name "Bloody Mary" itself is shrouded in multiple tales and legends. Some trace it back to Queen Mary I of England, infamous for her ruthless persecution of Protestants. Others believe it was inspired by Mary Pickford, the Canadian-born silent film star. 

    There are also stories of a waitress named Mary working at the Bucket of Blood bar in Chicago, or a patron's girlfriend named Mary, who was linked to the same establishment. Each story adds to the mystique of the cocktail, intertwining it with history and culture, making it more than just a drink, but a part of folklore. 

    Here’s a comprehensive list of chronologically-sequenced facts about the Bloody Mary cocktail:

    1516 - Queen Mary is born

    The future Queen Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was born to the union of King Henry VIII and the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon. Her birth marked a crucial moment in English history, as she would ascend to become the first reigning queen of England. 

    However, her legacy would be shadowed by the severe measures she took against Protestants. A fervent Catholic, Mary Tudor persecutes and executes Protestants who resist conversion, an act that would infamously earn her the nickname "Bloody Mary." This moniker, rooted in the darker aspects of her reign, would intriguingly cross paths with cultural history, eventually lending its name to the famous cocktail, imbuing it with a touch of historical depth and complexity.

    1917 - Tomato juice is used for the first time

    Faced with a shortage of oranges and a demand from guests craving orange juice, a resourceful business owner turned to what was available – tomatoes. This simple yet ingenious act of juicing tomatoes birthed a new sensation. Its popularity soared rapidly, paving the way for its inclusion in a variety of mixed drinks, and eventually becoming a key ingredient in the beloved Bloody Mary cocktail.

    This serendipitous invention marked a significant turning point in the world of beverages, showcasing how necessity can indeed become the mother of invention.

    1921- Birth of the Bloody Mary

    In this pivotal year, within the bustling ambiance of Harry's New York Bar in Paris, a landmark event in cocktail history occurred. Fernand Petiot, known for his innovative spirit, mixed the iconic tomato concoction that would become known as the Bloody Mary. 

    1960 - Celery becomes both a straw and a garnish

    When a customer at Chicago's Ambassador East Hotel needed a straw for his Bloody Mary, a quick-thinking bartender improvised, offering a celery stick instead. 

    This impromptu solution sufficed to mix the drink whilst elegantly complementing its flavours and appearance. The celery stick added a fresh, crunchy element that perfectly balanced the spicy and savoury notes of the cocktail, making it an iconic garnish, forever changing how the Bloody Mary was served and enjoyed.

    Exploring the origins of the Bloody Mary name

    • Queen Mary I of England - The first Queen Mary, a pivotal figure in English history, was infamously dubbed "Bloody Mary." Her attempts to re-establish the Catholic Church in England, marked by the ruthless execution of Protestants, etched her name in history with a bloody legacy.
    • Film star Mary Pickford - In the era of silent cinema, Mary Pickford, a Canadian-born actress and filmmaker, rose to fame and was affectionately known as "America's Sweetheart".
    • A waitress named Mary - Adding to the mystique of the Bloody Mary's origins is the tale of a waitress, simply known as Mary, who served at the notorious “Bucket of Blood” bar in Chicago. 
    • A customer's girlfriend named Mary - Some narratives suggest that the name "Bloody Mary" was coined by a bar patron at the Bucket of Blood cabaret. He reportedly linked the cocktail's appearance and taste to his girlfriend Mary, creating a personal and romantic association with the drink.

    What to pair with a Bloody Mary

    For a great pairing with Bloody Marys, consider serving savoury snacks like crackers, cubed cheeses, or spicy salamis. These complement the cocktail's spicy and savoury flavours well. You can also try olives or pickles for an enhanced tasting experience. Avoid sweet snacks like fruit or chocolates - they don’t really go well with tomatoes.

    When you have plenty of Bloody Marys, the focus on snacks might become less important. The key is to provide a variety that balances out and adds to the enjoyment of the drinks. Last, but not least - remember to drink responsibly and call a cab when you’re done!


    • The Bloody Mary was first mixed in the 1920s at Paris' Harry's New York Bar by Ferdinand "Pete" Petiot, originally named "Bucket of Blood" or "Red Snapper."
    • Petiot brought the drink to New York, where it evolved with new ingredients and became a symbol of Parisian sophistication.
    • The "Bloody Mary" name possibly derives from figures like Queen Mary I of England, actress Mary Pickford, a Chicago bar waitress, or a patron's girlfriend named Mary.
    • Ideal with savoury snacks, Bloody Mary day is perfect for activities like brunch, ranking the best Bloody Marys in your area and responsible enjoyment.