That January 1st is National Bloody Mary Day is more than mere coincidence most likely having to do with the number of people suffering from champagne hangovers from New Year's Eve and the legendary hangover-curing qualities of the Bloody Mary cocktail.

There are several who stake claim to inventing the Bloody Mary including Fernand Petiot, a bartender at Harry's Bar in Paris, who swears he invented the Bloody Mary in 1921 then claims to have brought the drink to New York in 1934, calling it the Red Snapper but the name never caught on. There is also a story that this classic tomato juice cocktail was invented by a Mr. George Jessell around 1939 who was trying to cure his own hangover. At some point along the way there is agreement that Mr. Jessell may have come up with the half vodka-half tomato juice drink but Mr. Petiot is the one who spiced up the bland drink by adding spices, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.


Then there is the question of the name, "Bloody Mary." Who came up with that and why? Some say that silent film star, Mary Pickford, was the inspiration. Others associate the name with Mary Tudor, Queen Mary I of England, nicknamed Bloody Mary for the hundreds of Protestants she murdered in the name of Catholicism during her reign. And yet others say it was named after a woman named Mary who was a cocktail waitress at the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago. And it just may be possible that the drink was so named simply because of its blood-like color.

Whatever the true origin, the Bloody Mary is much lower in calories when compared to sweet cocktails, is high in vitamin C due to the tomato juice and has the added benefit of fiber, which not many other cocktails can claim. So celebrate National Bloody Mary Day on January 1st and possibly cure a hangover by mixing up a pitcher of these Bloody Marys for brunch.

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