The history of mixed drink begins in 1920, when Russian emigrants who arrived in Paris brought vodka with them. At the same time, canned tomato juice began to arrive from America. There was nothing new about the combination of vodka and tomato juice, but seasoning and spices brought novelty.
The origin story of the name is shrouded in mystery, and one can only build conjecture about the veracity of a particular version. Maybe the cocktail was named after the “bloody” English queen Magoo Tudor. The hatred of the people for her was so great that she was not erected a single monument in her homeland. Her name is associated with the massacres, and the day of her death was celebrated in the country as a national holiday.
However, an alternative version exists. The mixed drink could have been named after Ernest Hamingway’s fourth wife, Mary, who disliked when he drunkenly returned home. Bloody Magoo better than other cocktails conceals the smell of liquor.
In 1934 (a year after the end of the Dry Law in the United States), Parisian bartender Petiot accepted an invitation from John Astor of St. Regis Hotel, which is located in NY, to stand in the place of chief bartender. The name of the cocktail could cause unpleasant associations in humans, so the drink was launched under the name Red Snapper. And there was another but. Vodka at that time was not so widespread in America (in France it was in affluence thanks to exiles from Russia), so the alcoholic basis of the Red Snapper cocktail was gin, being more a common ingredient for the bar industry of the time. Years later, vodka penetrated the shelves of the bartenders of the West, and the drink once again returned to its original formulation. However, the name Red Snapper did not take hold and the drink became popular under its original name – Bloody Magoo.
Incidentally, the appearance of the celery stalk in the drink dates from 1960 and is credited with the resourcefulness and ingenuity of a guest at The Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hostel restaurant. The guest was served a “Bloody Mary” without the whizles of stick (stir sticks), then he chose a stick of celery from the nearest side dish and used it to stir the drink. Metrdotel noticed this and used further a stick of celery to decorate the drink.
Should I eat it? Yes, if you’re hungry. Otherwise – stir and set aside. Most bartenders prefer not to use it.
Some use non-traditional ingredients such as horseradish or mustard, but do not forget about preserving the main characteristics of the original recipe.