When you think of a few classic cocktails that every bartender can conjure up in their sleep, a Bloody Mary undoubtedly is part of their spirited portfolio. We’ve all sipped one at one point of another. Whether as hair of the dog the morning after an extended après, or on the patio between runs, the Bloody Mary is a classic for a reason. Depending on the garnish, it can be a meal in itself.
During the days of Prohibition, Harry’s New York Bar in Paris became a popular place to alcohol-starved Americans, often the first stop off the boat and a favorite place to Harry MacElhone, whom the bar was named after, and even Ernest Hemingway. At this time, the famed bartender Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot was introduced to canned tomato juice by visiting Americans, and vodka by emigrants fleeing from the Russian Revolution. It’s said that he found vodka very tasteless and to jazz it up he combined it with the tomato juice, making a very simple Bloody Mary.
The cocktail became an instant hit, and in 1934 Petiot was brought over to bartend at the famous King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in New York City. There the cocktail became very popular, as it was jazzed up with Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, Tabasco and lemon, and was renamed the “Red Snapper” to more so appease the elegant St. Regis clientele.
Since the creation of the Red Snapper, each hotel within the St Regis portfolio has created it’s own interpretation of the drink. Each St Regis property serves an array of Bloody Mary’s, as well as their localized version and the original Red Snapper.
After opening our Alps & Meters Boutique in the St. Regis Deer Valley this past winter and also offering a small selection in the St Regis in Aspen, we thought why not see which Red Snappers are on offer in the Mountain West. We were lucky enough to find that the St. Regis Deer Valley also offers Aspen’s signature Red Snapper as well, with a total of four Bloody Mary’s on their menu.
Named after the elevation that the J&G Grill sits at near the bottom of Deer Valley Resort, this cocktail is served in a stemless wineglass to represent the bowls of the ski resort. Mixed with High West’s 7000’ vodka, which is also named after the local distillery’s elevation, the libation is topped with a creamy green apple and wasabi foam, and rimmed with black lava salt. The wasabi foam sits on top of the tomato-vodka mixture resembling powdery snow on top of a mountain, and the black lava salt reflects on Park City’s mining history.
Inspired by the United State’s Capitol and the nearby beauty and culture of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the Capitol Mary is the spiciest on the menu. The combination of garlic, coriander, chili flakes, and horseradish evoke a classic Chesapeake Bay crab feast. It’s served in a red wine glass to represent elegance, and mixed with gin instead of vodka which is the spirit of choice around the bay.
Aspen’s signature Downhill Snapper is inspired by the mountainous setting and beautifully changing seasons of the Colorado Rockies. The coolness of the dill represents winter, the basil and citrus represent warm summer days, and the rose-infused vodka mimics the springtime alpine flower blossoms, creating a refreshing garden-to-glass libation. Since going downhill is one of the favored recreational pastimes of Aspen locals and vacationers, whether on skis or a mountain bike, we found the name of this Bloody Mary overly fitting. It’s all-around a perfect representation of Colorado.
As you read above, this is the Red Snapper that started it all, and the most traditional on the menu. You’ll find this gem served at every St. Regis across the globe as a staple to the hotel’s history. And yes, the St. Regis makes their own Red Snapper Bloody Mary Mix which is available on their online boutique along with their Bloody Mary Book that highlights every single recipe for each Bloody Mary they serve.