Was the Bloody Mary invented at King Cole Bar?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Gary Merjian

The Bloody Mary that we know today was created at King Cole Bar by Fernand Petiot in 1934. Petiot began working on a vodka and tomato juice cocktail in Paris in the late 1920s before coming to The St. Regis New York. The famed cocktail was created when Serge Obolensky, a well-known man about town, asked Petiot to make the vodka cocktail he had in Paris. The formula was spiced up with salt, pepper, lemon and Worcestershire sauce, but since “Bloody Mary” was deemed too vulgar for the hotel’s elegant King Cole Bar, it was rechristened the “Red Snapper.” While the name might not have caught on, the spicy drink most certainly did, and over the years it has become the signature cocktail of King Cole Bar.

Rachel Bowie

The Red Snapper — also known as the Bloody Mary — was perfected and popularized in 1934 at the King Cole Bar in The St. Regis New York. Bartender Fernand Petiot first started working on the iconic cocktail at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the late 1920s before joining the staff at the New York City bar. The drink was officially introduced when Serge Obolensky, a regular at the bar and a well known man around town, asked Petiot to make the vodka and tomato juice cocktail he had in Paris. A dash of celery salt, black and cayenne peppers, lemon and Worcestershire sauce, and the Bloody Mary was born. The name Red Snapper was given to the famous drink since “Bloody Mary” was considered too vulgar for the elegance and splendor of the King Cole Bar.

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