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There are few classic cocktails as ubiquitous as the Bloody Mary, and few more celebrated on a Sunday morning. Invented in Paris in 1921 by Ferdinand "Pete" Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar, the Bloody Mary is a drink with an international history; The New York Bar is an establishment at 5, Rue Daunou, that was first opened by American star jockey Tod Sloan in 1911 when he had a New York bar dismantled, shipped to France and rebuilt in Paris, and which was run and eventually named after famous Scottish bartender Harry MacElhone who purchased the bar and added his name in 1923. The bar was popular with expatriate Americans during the prohibition years, and the arrival in Paris in the early 1920s of Russian émigrés escaping the Russian Revolution meant the introduction of vodka to bar menus which Petiot began to experiment with. After many trials, he mixed vodka with tinned tomato juice from America (which during prohibition had been labeled “tomato juice cocktail”) and seasoning and the resulting drink was named the “Bucket of Blood” after a famous Chicago nightclub. It became a hit, so much so that in 1933 Petiot was hired to run the King Cole Bar at the St. Régis Hotel in New York, where his concoction was titled the “Red Snapper” and developed a reputation as a cure for hangovers, which is why it is such a classic Sunday drink. It is unknown when and how it became known as the Bloody Mary, however by the late 1930s it had become common and recipes bearing that name date back to the mid-1940s, with additions such as Worcester Sauce and the celery garnish becoming common.
With Guernsey’s rich history of growing tomatoes (in the late 1960s nearly half a billion tomatoes were grown in the island’s greenhouses and shipped to England, but the industry has since declined to the point of closure) it seems appropriate to commemorate an industry that defined Guernsey by featuring a tomato-based cocktail that uses local produce on our bar menu. We use Haut Maison’s horseradish infused vodka in our Bloody Mary recipe, which is produced by Stephen and Katherine Paine using horseradish grown in their walled garden in St Sampson. If you picked up a bottle of Haut Mason’s Horseradish Vodka during your visit to Guernsey then you’ll be able to recreate a Bella Bloody Mary of your own at home, although the atmosphere of the Bella is something that you can only experience here, we’re afraid.
Fill a Boston cocktail mixing glass with ice and add the vodka, horseradish vodka and lemon juice, and top up with tomato juice. Season and add the tobasco and Worcester Sauce, then cover with the tin part of the cocktail shaker and shake well. Use a straw to test the seasoning and adjust if neccessary. Strain into a highball glass and garnish with the celery stick and slice of lemon.