Around 1920, immigrants escaping the Russian Revolution began arriving in Paris, bringing with them vodka and caviar.  At Harry’s New York Bar in Paris  barman Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot, began experimenting with the new spirit, which he found tasteless.  He added tomato juice and spices to give it some flavor.


Petiot moved to the United States in 1925. and became head bartender at New York City‘s St. Regis Hotel in 1933.  According to Wikipedia, one of Petiot’s most famous regular customers there was gangster Frank Costello.

Petiot worked at the St. Regis as one of New York’s most popular bartenders for over 30 years until he retired in 1966.    Originally christened the “Bloody Mary”, the cocktail was initially dubbed the “Red Snapper” so as not to offend the hotel’s refined clientele.

Petiot worked at the St. Regis for over 30 years and claimed to have served drinks to every U.S. President from 1934 to 1972 except for Lyndon B. Johnson.   He later retired in 1966.


Petiot died in Canton in early January 1975 at age 74.


Harry’s New York Bar in Paris is still owned by the Macelhone family, and they claim that sell more than 12,000 Bloody Marys a year.

In New York, the iconic Bloody Mary still called the Red Snapper remains on the menu at the King Cole Bar and is the signature cocktail of the St. Regis over 80 years later.



Harry new york city bar Paris





The Red Snapper Recipe


St. Regis New York

The Red Snapper Recipe

Served at the birthplace of the Bloody Mary, this classic bears the original name and recipe of its creator, Fernand Petiot.

  • 1 oz / 30 ML premium vodka
  • 11oz /325 ML Bloody Mary mix
  • 1 lemon wedge, for garnish
The Signature Bloody Mary Mix:
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 2 ½ #10 cans/2 ½ L tomato juice
  • 5 oz / 150 ML Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 dashes / 3 ML Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsp / 30 G freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp / 30 G ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp / 15 G ground celery salt
  • 2 tbsp / 30 G whole black peppercorns
  • Fill 12 oz / ½ L. Blood Mary glass with ice.
  • Add vodka
  • Fill glass with Blood Mary mix and garnish with lemon.
  • Pour ingredients into a container and shake well.
  • Use immediately or seal and refrigerate.
  • Strain peppercorns from mix before adding alcohol.
  • Makes 3 gallons / 11 L

NJ Bloody Mary