The Perfect Halloween Drink - a Bloody Mary, Barn-B-Que-Style!
Here at The Barn-B-Que Smokehouse in Lake Ozark, occasionally we get a bit carried away putting our specialty Bloody Marys together. You won't see these over-the-top creations every single day at our Lake of the Ozarks BBQ restaurant & bar but if you keep an eye on The Barn-B-Que's Facebook page, you'll have a heads up each time we create a new special. (Or, you could go ahead and stop by in person daily to see what specials we're running that day!)
Since Halloween is this weekend and the name of this delicious drink fits so perfectly with the theme of that holiday, we decided to take a deeper look into the history of this classic cocktail. Here's what we found.
The Bloody Mary Cocktail
Basically, a Bloody Mary is made with vodka, tomato juice, and additional spices like Worcestershire sauce, hot sauces, celery salt, and lime juice, to name a few. Every bartender is bound to have their own additions to the recipe that they've perfected over time.
Celery and a slice of lime are often the types of garnish you will get with this drink and most days of the week, that's probably what our Barn-B-Que bartenders will use. On occasion, however, we love to come up with new and exciting ways to garnish our Bloody Marys.
For example, we recently went all out and turned it into an entire dinner/side dish/drink combo with a 6-oz. Prime Rib on top! (Like we mentioned earlier, sometimes we get a bit carried away but always with delicious results!)
Bloody Mary Origins
The first Bloody Mary is thought to have been created in the 1920s or 1930s, but there are a few different theories as to when it exactly happened. The first is from the French bartender, Fernand Petiot. According to his granddaughter, Petiot claimed to have invented the drink in 1921 at Harry's New York Bar in Paris. Like many of the classic cocktails said to have been created at this particular bar, it was a spur of the moment decision to mix vodka with tomato juice.
New York's 21 Club has two claims to the Bloody Mary associated with them. One states it was invented in the 1930s by bartender Henry Zbikiewicz. The other gives credit to comedian George Jessel, a regular at the 21 Club. In 1939 a gossip column reported, "George Jessel's newest pick-me-up which is receiving attention from the town's paragraphers is called a Bloody Mary: half tomato juice, half vodka."
Petiot (from the first story above) also claims to have invented the modern Bloody Mary in 1934 as a refinement to Jessel's drink. According to a story in The New Yorker in 1964, Petiot told them,
"I initiated the Bloody Mary of today. Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. I cover the bottom of the shaker with four large dashes of salt, two dashes of black pepper, two dashes of cayenne pepper, and a layer of Worcestershire sauce; I then add a dash of lemon juice and some cracked ice, put in two ounces of vodka and two ounces of thick tomato juice, shake, strain, and pour. We serve a hundred to a hundred and fifty Bloody Marys a day here in the King Cole Room and in the other restaurants and the banquet rooms."
Those stories don't really seem to agree on a true origin for this drink. Something everyone that has tried a Bloody Mary at The Barn-B-Que can agree on is that they are positively delicious! Come on by and taste-test one for yourself!
A tall Bloody Mary alongside a plate of the best BBQ at the Lake of the Ozarks is a wonderful way to spend a mealtime. Of course, on days when we make specialty Bloody Marys, the meal may be on top of the glass rather than alongside it!