Seventy-five years ago today, a bartender at the St. Regis Hotel in New York added Tabasco sauce to a hair-curling tomato-juice-based cocktail known as the Red Snapper, and a classic was born. Fernand Petiot gets credit for inventing the Bloody Mary, but did he? Epicurious investigates the origins of the all-purpose brunch libation and hangover cure.
Comedian George Jessel said he cooked up the first "Bloody," but Petiot soundly refuted that claim. "I initiated the Bloody Mary of today," he told the New Yorker in 1964. "Jessel said he created it, but it was really nothing but vodka and tomato juice when I took it over. "