A Bloody Mary is a cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consomme or bouillon, horseradish, celery or celery salt, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.
The order of preparation can be crucial, and many bartenders jealously guard secret recipes for the drink. It is usually garnished with a celery stick and is served in a tall glass, often over ice. It is one of the few cocktails traditionally served in the morning, along with the Screwdriver and the Mimosa.
The first citation of "bloody mary" in the Oxford English Dictionary is from Punch (Aug. 15, 1956): "Those two . . . are eating raw steaks and drinking Bloody Marys." But bartender Fernand Petiot of Harry's New York Bar in Paris claims to have invented the drink some time during the 1920s. Says Petiot, "One of the boys suggested we call the drink 'Bloody Mary' because it reminded him of the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago, and a girl there named Mary."
Petiot moved from the New York Bar to its namesake, the New York, in 1934, where he worked at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel. The hotel unsuccessfully tried to rename the drink to the "Red Snapper". To suit New Yorker tastes, he added spices that were not in his original recipe, including black pepper, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and Tabasco sauce.
See also: list of cocktails