National Bloody Mary Day, January 1

Bloody Mary Day celebrates the Bloody Mary cocktail, which is described by some as the perfect hangover cure. So it should come as no surprise that National Bloody Mary Day is January 1! I thought this week might be a good time to reminisce about Bloody Mary’s origins, and suggest ways to celebrate the holiday in style.

The History of Bloody Mary Day

The one thing people can agree on about the invention of the Bloody Mary is that there is no agreement. Even the origin of the name is controversial, with various sources suggesting it was named after Queen Mary I of England, Hollywood star Mary Pickford, or even a waitress named Mary who worked at the Bucket of Blood bar in Chicago all given as possible namesakes.

There are also three versions of the story of where the Bloody Mary drink was first made. Fernand Petiot, a bartender who was originally from France, claimed to have invented the Bloody Mary in 1921 when he was working at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. Ernest Hemingway was possibly their most famous and frequent customer. I’ve been to Harry’s, and I can tell you that there is a big display on the wall testifying to both of those facts.  Veterinarian-turned-writer James Rollins, on the other hand, claims that the Bloody Mary was invented in the Hemingway Bar at The Ritz Paris. And here in the United States, the 21 Club in New York claims that the Bloody Mary was first made there, but even they have two versions of the story. One is that it was invented in the 1930s by a bartender named Henry Zbikiewicz, and another attributes it to the comedian George Jessel, who was a frequent patron of the 21 Club.

How to Celebrate Bloody Mary Day

The best and easiest way to celebrate Bloody Mary Day is by inviting some friends over to mix up and share a pitcher of Bloodies.

Classic Bloody Mary recipe:

1 pint vodka
1 bottle Portland Bloody Mary Mix
Ice, to serve
4 celery ribs, sliced the long way into 8 long skinny pieces (for garnish)

Makes 8 cocktails.

What? That’s it? Why was it so complicated to invent? Well, because Portland Bloody Mary Mix wasn’t around yet, and it takes all the guesswork out of cocktail-making. No more tedious shopping for ingredients you’ve never heard of. No mincing, grinding, or shaking (you did all those dance moves the night before, remember?). Just stir, pour, and drink.

If you are looking for snacks to pair the drinks with, maybe try a platter of cheese and crackers, and a little salami or prosciutto. Skip the olives, pickles, dilly beans, etc. You don’t want to overdo the salt content, because you’re already likely to be dehydrated from partying last night. Best to keep things simple today.  Obviously, you should steer clear of anything sweet, like fruits, or heaven forbid, chocolates.

Your Bloody Mary Day Playlist

This is a playlist from  called “Tasty Noise Please.” I hope you like it, but in case you don’t, hop on there and create your own. You’ve got time!

01. Paul Baribeau- “Wishlist” (Yikes Baribeau)
02. Rick Johnson Rock and Roll Machine- “No Phone Smithsonian” (Emotional Facism)
03. Superhopper- “Eye of the Tiger Applies to Everything” (Party Killers)
04. This Bike Is A Pipebomb- “The Star Song” (A Dance Party With…)
05. Mischief Brew- “Thanks Bastards!” (Songs From Under the Sink)
06. Mewithoutyou- “Paper Hanger” (Catch Us For the Foxes)
07. The Hold Steady- “Stuck Between Stations” (Boys and Girls in America)
08. Harley Poe- “Homocidal Maniac” (In the Dark)
09. Hanalei- “M.L.K. You’re Okay” (Parts and Accesories)
10. Fred Thomas- “Turbulence” (I Heard The Angels Sing)
11. Defiance, Ohio- “Oh, Susquehanna!” (The Great Depression)
12. Piebald- “Strangers” (Accidental Gentlemen)