Bloody Marys at 1933 prices just the tonic for NYC

NEW YORK Tue Dec 2, 2008 1:30am IST

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A cocktail born of the Great Depression may be just the tonic for New Yorkers worried about the economy.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Bloody Mary U.S. restaurant chain TGI Friday's is selling the drink at 1933 prices -- 99 cents each at its New York restaurants.

The drink -- tomato juice and vodka with other ingredients thrown in at the bartender's discretion -- was invented in Paris in the 1920s at Harry's New York Bar by Fernand Petiot, who served it to Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, among others.

"It's something to be a little bit upbeat about, and to be happy about, when we are having such a rough time with the economy and so forth," said Petiot's granddaughter, Carol Bradley, on her first visit to New York from Ohio.

After leaving France, Petiot nursed his drink in Canton, Ohio, and perfected it at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, where his bartending days coincided with the end of the U.S. prohibition of alcohol and the start of the Great Depression.

For a while, the cocktail was called a Red Snapper because the term "bloody" was considered rude. Joe DiMaggio and Ava Gardner enjoyed the drink, as did a number of U.S. presidents.

Bradley corrected an impression about the origins of the drink's name. It has nothing to do with the 16th Century Queen Mary I of England, Bradley said, but rather comes from a customer's fond memory of a waitress named Mary who worked at a Chicago bar called the Bucket of Blood.

More than a million Bloody Marys are served daily in the United States, said Martin Silver, President of Georgi Vodka Co. and the Tri-State Hospitality Association.

"If a bartender wants to make a really good Bloody Mary, he does it in stages," Silver said. "They put the Worcestershire sauce in, then the tomato juice, a little pepper, and some of them have their own spice ingredients that they use."

For anyone needing a nudge to go and have a Bloody Mary today, the inventor's granddaughter says to consider the benefits. "They're healthy because the tomato juice has vitamin C," she said.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Interview

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Horror Role

Horror Role

From 'Bates Motel' to 'Ouija,' Olivia Cooke finds breakout in horror.  Full Article 

Tokyo Film Festival

Tokyo Film Festival

'Big Hero 6' to the rescue at new-look Tokyo film festival.  Full Article 

Book Talk

Book Talk

Richard Branson on leadership, telling stories.  Full Article 

A Minute With

A Minute With

Shailene Woodley on teen sex, violence and Marvel.  Full Article 

Bad Decision

Bad Decision

UK lawmakers slam police over Cliff Richard house search.  Full Article 

Court Case

Court Case

'Jersey Shore' star pleads not guilty to tax fraud, trial set.  Full Article 

Broadway Debut

Broadway Debut

Keira Knightley to appear on Broadway in 2015 in 'Therese Raquin'.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage