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On a recent trip to Bandon, Oregon USA, I took part in the Bloody Mary Hangover Stroll, which was the culmination of the 3 day long Gorse Blossom Festival.

The collection of an engraved tankard, a festival Bloody Mary Stroll T-shirt and a map illustrating the route, started a fun tour which really showed the Bandon community in its best festival spirit.

The classic Bloody Mary cocktail contains vodka and tomato juice.

The recipe in the ‘American Bar’ by Charles Shumann 1995 includes a 1/4 squeeze of lemon juice Worcester sauce, celery salt, ground pepper and tabasco with 1 1/4 oz vodka & 4 oz of tomato juice.  It is stirred well over ice in a collins glass and served with a stick of celery.

It was invented in the 1920’s or 1930’s and is known particularly in the US as a hangover cure, or ‘pick me up’ with bartenders Fernand Petiot, Henry Zbikiewicz and comedian George Jessel being attributed to its invention.  Many variations of the drink have appeared on menus over the years including Red Snapper & Red Hammer.  The origins of the name of the drink is up for speculation too.  Maybe after Queen Mary I of England or film star Mary Pickford or a Chicago Bar waitress named Mary.  There is also a theory that the name came about from a mispronunciation of Vladimir (Smirnoff) of the Smirnoff Vodka family who was served the said drink by bartender Fernand Petiot in the early 1920’s

During a tour of the Oregon Coast and a stop off at Depoe Bay for refreshment in Gracie’s Sea Hag.  A couple sitting next to us at the bar, ordered Bloody Marys.  Apparently the bar was known for the ‘best’ Bloody Mary’s – beef stock being the additional ingredient that gave it its distinctive flavour.

The Bloody Mary Hangover Stroll included 26 stops along the route taking the participants – all 275 of them to venues in and around the town including gift shops, Realty (Estate) agents, gift shops, clothes shops, art galleries, community buildings and of course food & drink venues.  Every stop included an addition of garnish served with a smile, friendly chat and well wishes.

The garnish list was wide & varied including a slice of pizza, grilled prawns, bacon, pepperoni, celery, cherry tomatoes, cheese, pickled beans & asparagus, garlic, baby corn, onion, lemon, lime, cheese, cucumber & olives.  I’m pretty sure I have missed out some of the ingredients. The snacks were welcome along the route,  the final destination, being the Festival venue for the addition of fine vodka from Stillwagon Distillery and tomato juice.

Virgin Mary’s; omitting the vodka, was an option for those not requiring ‘a hair of the dog’  The gathering strollers clutching their Bloody Mary tankards enjoyed quality music from and the Giardinelli Hot Club Trio and Coos Rhythm & Blues Quartet.  The Festival goers danced until closing time, while topping up their energy levels with local food & drink produce available in the main building.   I smiled continually throughout, at such a fun event enjoying the dancing Gorse Monster and family atmosphere.  The Gorse Blossom Festival demonstrated everything good about community gatherings.

Janet

Janet Martin of Class Cocktails  and Kirkton Liqueurs

Background info on Bloody Mary from wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Mary_(cocktail)

 

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