National Bloody Mary Day: What Is It, What Are the Different Types, & How to Mix One Up

Bloody Mary Day, also known as National Bloody Mary Day, is a holiday where Americans celebrate the ambiguous history and even stranger flavor of this popular drink: the Bloody Mary. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the Bloody Mary in detail, discussing when the holiday is, and we’ll even dive into the Bloody Mary ingredients and a Bloody Mary recipe for you to mix up on National Bloody Mary Day. Let’s dive right in.

When Is National Bloody Mary Day?

National Bloody Mary Day is January first of every year. This is a fitting day to celebrate the Bloody Mary because it’s a great hangover drink, and as you might have read in our New Year’s Day post, “brunches” are quite popular the day after a night of intense partying!

Fun Fact: National Bloody Mary Day and New Year’s Day are the same day – making New Year’s Day the perfect day to wake up to a Bloody Mary.

What Is a “Bloody Mary?”

The Bloody Mary is a special, savory cocktail that uses odd ingredients that all come together to create a stunning, unexpected masterpiece. If you look at the Bloody Mary ingredients or a Bloody Mary recipe, you wouldn’t think it would be as good as it is! Everyone should try this drink at least once – you might find, like many other Americans, that you really enjoy it!

Fun Fact: The Bloody Mary is the top-selling cocktail at bruncheons across the United States – it’s even more popular than the mimosa!

But… Why Is it Called a Bloody Mary?

Good old Queen Mary I, queen of England from 1553 – 1558, was known by this moniker, so it’s entirely possible that the creator of this delicious beverage used her as inspiration. You might also see the suggestion that it’s simply called a “bloody” mary because the drink looks reddish like blood. There’s also a suggestion going around that Mary Pickford or a waitress (named Mary) that worked at the Bucket of Blood in Chicago are to blame for this drink’s odd name.

Regardless of why the Bloody Mary is called a “bloody” Mary, it’s still a delicious, highly popular drink, the world over.

When Was the First Bloody Mary Mixed Up?

There are three prevailing theories for how the Bloody Mary came about.

  1. Some stories suggest that Fernand Petoit invented the drink in 1921 and named it after Queen Mary I (Queen Mary Tudor). 
  2. Author James Rollins claims, in a book of his from 2010, that the Bloody Mary was first mixed up at the Hemingway Bar at “The Ritz” in Paris. 
  3. Yet another source claims that they invented the drink at their club, the 21 Club. Either a bartender, Henry Zbikiewicz, or a frequent customer of the club, George Jessel, were responsible for the drink in the 1930s – so they say.

Suffice it to say that we don’t really know who first invented the drink!

How to Make a Bloody Mary (Bloody Mary Recipe)

Are you ready to mix up your very own Bloody Mary for National Bloody Mary Day? Perhaps this is your first time trying this beverage – if so, hold onto your hat. This drink is packed with an intense, savory flavor that will surprise you.

Fun Fact: A Bloody Mary can help relieve hangover symptoms, due to the ingredients. Drink responsibly, though, as it still has alcohol in it!

Bloody Mary Ingredients

To make yourself a Bloody Mary, you’ll need the following Bloody Mary ingredients:

  • Sea salt
  • Ice
  • Spicy tomato-vegetable juice
  • Vodka
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Celery
  • (Garnish) Garlic-stuffed green olives

Alternatively, you could just use “Bloody Mary Mix” by any number of brands and vodka. This product will be found in your store’s cocktail mixes aisle. Most sources suggest that, for the best flavor, using 

What Glass to Use for a Bloody Mary

You can, realistically, pour your drink into whatever vessel you like, but most people like to use mason jars, pint glasses, or highball glasses for the Bloody Mary cocktail.

Bloody Mary Recipe

  1. For each serving you mix up, you’ll need to first salt the rim of your glass(es) and set aside. 
  2. Next, fill your cocktail shaker with ice, ¾ cup of the vegetable juice, 1 ⅕ oz vodka, 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 1 dash of hot pepper sauce, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Shake the drink for about 20 seconds, or until the outside has frosted over.
  4. Next, strain the drink into your glass with ice. 
  5. Finally, garnish with a literal stalk of celery and a few olives on a toothpick.
  6. Enjoy!

Variations on the Bloody Mary Recipe

While the traditional Bloody Mary might be the most popular, there are variations of the drink that you could try – if the original just isn’t for you. Here are a few variations of the original Bloody Mary recipe for you to try:

The “Virgin Mary” Mocktail

While this is an incredibly clever pun, it’s also a delicious “mocktail” that you can sip on if you’re participating in Dry January. Simply leave out the vodka and you have a “Virgin” Mary!

The “Red Snapper” Cocktail

Swapping the vodka in the above recipe out for a flavorful, botanical gin can give you a whole new experience in your Bloody Mary. Try not to pick a gin with contrasting flavors, though, because that might throw everything off.

The “Bloody Caesar” Cocktail

If you really want to step outside the classic Bloody Mary box, the Bloody Caesar is an interesting take. Supposedly Canadian in origin, the Bloody Caesar swaps the tomato juice out for “Clamato” juice (yes, it’s a thing). We’re not sold, but it has a huge following and you could certainly give it a go.

The Bloody “Maria” Cocktail

Another variation here will have you swapping out the vodka – in this case, for tequila. Making this change will bring an agave flavor to the drink that you’ll either love or hate. Some recipes suggest adding jalapeño to the cocktail, too.

Distillery Nearby: Support Local, Craft Distilleries With Ease

We know it’s probably easier to go to your local grocery store and pick up bottom-shelf alcohol that’s been trekked across the country. We understand. However, if you’re looking for a little bit of excitement in your life and you want to support local, craft distilleries near you, check out our “by-state” page – here, you can look for distilleries near you that might have an amazing vodka (or gin and tequila!) for your next Bloody Mary cocktail.

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