Red Snapper Cocktail

If you dig into the often confusing history of the Bloody Mary, you will encounter references to it first being served in 1934 at the St. Regis hotel in New York by Fernand Petiot who brought the recipe with him from Paris (where some accounts claim he invented it). Since the name “Bloody Mary” was deemed to be a little to vulgar for the establishment, it was re-christened the “Red Snapper”, it is also said that since vodka wasn’t yet easily available here in the US, gin was used instead. Eventually the original name was returned to the drink, but the Red Snapper continued to be made with gin instead of vodka.


2 ounces Martin Miller’s Gin

4 ounces tomato juice

1/2 ounce lemon juice

1 pinch salt

1 pinch black pepper

2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce


Add all ingredients to a mixing tin.

Roll ingredients back and forth into a second tin and the first until combined.

Strain over ice in a Collins glass.


Ghoulie 22 May 2012
9:17 am

Sounds really good.  I made a drink, which I called the Spanish Mary.  Instead of tomato juice, I used gazpacho soup, then added Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco chipotle sauce, and vodka.  It was really good.

Trevor 22 May 2012
10:45 am

I sometimes like to use gin as well.  More garnish ideas:

pickled okra
pickled green bean
cocktail onion

I put all the the above on a long wooden skewer, along with 2 or 3 jumbo Spanish Queen olives.  It can bit to be a bit much for the glass, so I usually end up putting it on a small plate off to the side.  Mmmmm— meal in a glass!

Stephen Botting 22 May 2012
11:36 am

I am not a massive fan of the bloody Mary but…one with gin sounds rather appealing Robert, I’ll give it a go.
On another note Robert, inspired by you I have started producing my own cocktail videos and I’m lovin it. Check them out if you can no where on the excellent level of yours but see what you think.

blair frodelius 22 May 2012
2:48 pm


The best flavor I’ve ever had in a Bloody Mary/Red Snapper is homemade tomato water.  It’s not really a labor intensive process, as it does take some preparation beforehand.  Not only that, but you will end up with a uniquely clear version that is bright and fresh in character.  Most canned tomato juices have a thick “slurry-like” quality which can be off-putting.  Here’s a recipe to make your own tomato water at home.

In food processor, purée 4 large quartered beefsteak tomatoes, 1/2 roughly chopped Serrano chile, 1/4 roughly chopped red onion, one roughly chopped 3-inch piece of lemongrass, small pinch sugar & a large pinch salt until smooth. Line a sieve with cheesecloth and set sieve over plastic bowl. Pour purée into center of cheesecloth and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, gather sides of cheesecloth up over purée to form large sack and squeeze gently to extract last bits of water. Discard sack and its contents and transfer tomato water to bowl. Set strainer over bowl and squeeze in lime, lemon, and orange juice. Stir well. Makes about 20 ounces tomato water, enough for roughly 5 drinks.



SteveG 22 May 2012
2:55 pm

I agree, gin is the way to go. Even changing styles can move the drink in different directions. Hendrick’s calls for lighter spice and sweeter veg, where a bruiser like Junipero will stand up to things like fresh horseradish. I’ve been playing with dried Bergamot peels left over from winter season here in CA. So why not in a Red Snapper? I started by dropping a couple in the tin with the gin and muddling them a bit to incorporate their flavor before the build. Toss & strain. Wow. That’s a nice extra dimension. A fresh burst of oil may be too much, but I’m going to try next winter when they’re available. A bit of Hum Botanical is also an interesting addition, inspired by my use of it in Sangrita. It’s nice to hear people say mmm…what’s in that?

TimL 29 May 2012
3:24 pm

I’ve always ordered my Bloody Mary’s with gin when I could. Tequila is another interesting spirit to try as well. You have to be a bit tactful with it but we have a restaurant here in Kansas City that offers a Smoked Bloody Mary with your choice of vodka, gin, or tequila. As a ‘What the Hell’ experiment I ordered one with tequila and it was surprisingly good.

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