Bloody Mary Brief Part I: The history of the ultimate mid-morning beverage!


Bloody Mary

Ah, the Bloody Mary. No cocktail is so quintessentially mid-morning—what with its bevy of veggies and tomato juice, it’s practically a healthy option in the way of brunch beverages! Few cocktails boast more creative garnishes (take, for example, the addition of a cheeseburger slider, hardboiled egg, or strip of candied bacon) and none have a more storied origination.


While the original name and recipe are widely speculative and typically disagreed upon, Paris, France, is credited as the official birthplace of the brunch superstar. In 1911, Harry’s opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day as a novelty New York-style bar in the City of Lights. Thirsty ex-pats and American tourists alike sought out Harry’s as a taste of home, solidifying it as a Parisian solution to American Prohibition.


In the 1920s, emigres escaping the Russian Revolution began appearing in droves in Paris, many of whom brought their home country’s infamous liquor of choice—vodka—along with them. Harry’s bartender Fedinand “Pete” Petiot began experimenting with Paris’ newest import at his post. However, unlike the fragrant tang of gin or the bitter headiness of absinthe, vodka was, by all accounts, tasteless to Petiot. In a muddling of fate and good timing, American canned tomato juice had just been splashed upon Petiot’s palate around the same time he became introduced to vodka.


Over the next year, Petiot went to work blending the vodka with multiple mixers, struggling to make something with enough zing to serve to his customers. Finally, in what was likely a last-ditch effort to make vodka taste like something, Petiot mixed it with tomato juice and a few seasonings. He deemed his new cocktail the Bucket of Blood after visiting American entertainer Roy Barton at a West Side Chicago Nightclub of the same name.


By the early ‘30s, the tomato juice cocktail had made its way onto American soil. It was touted for its hangover curing properties and renamed “Red Snapper” at famed King Cole Bar in the St. Regis Hotel in New York. By the end of the ‘30s, the beverage’s red hue inspired a name change throughout the nation—The Bloody Mary. Some say the new name was in reference to Mary Tudor’s bloody reign, while others believe the official Smirnoff claim that it was a nod to a woman named Mary Geraghty—whatever the story, it’s fun to order, more fun to drink, and may very well save your life after you’ve hit it a little too hard the night before.


Order The Grill’s expertly spiced version of this lycopene-containing classic today, and be sure to stay tuned for Part II of the Bloody Mary Brief! Hint: It’s certain to be a real zinger.


A Stunning Southern Tablescape

Magnolias, Spanish moss, sea glass—these are the just a few of the Deep South’s natural treasures. What better way to evoke the loveliest elements of summer than by pulling in Mother Nature’s gifts to adorn a table designed with entertaining in mind?

Start with Mason jars and other transparent antique receptacles. Fill with various shapes and shades of blue and green sea glass collected right from your most recent vacation to 30A. For added ambiance, place simple votives (the flameless variety looks every bit as good as the real thing!) amongst the piled sea glass inside the Mason jars. The flickering glow will bounce off of the seafoam and cerulean tones of the sea glass, creating stunning light that echoes summertime on the Coast.

Seaglass tablescape

Bringing the vibe further into one of our home state’s favorite flowers, collect big, white magnolia blossoms (at their peak from summer until early fall in Alabama) to tuck between the sea glass or even create a centerpiece featuring a bunch of the largest blooms you can find flanked by their glossy leaves. Stately and fragrant, Alabama’s magnolia varieties lend themselves to a feels-like-home panache that’s as elegant as it is welcoming.

To take your tablescape to the next level when it comes to a Deep South, rustic sophistication, give a nod to the Spanish moss draping from the limbs of our region’s statuesque trees. You can intersperse masses of Spanish moss around your centerpiece or between the sea glass jars to create a delicate, pastoral juxtaposition against the lines of the magnolia petals, leaves, and sea glass shards.

Pay homage to your roots by building a tablescape reminiscent of Alabama’s summertime splendor. For information about how the Events Team at The Club can help you enhance the Deep South décor for your midsummer meet-and-greet, contact us here, or read last month’s blog about incredible ways our Events Team goes above and beyond for you!

Crabra Cadabra: Melding Magic and Incredible Cuisine at The Club!

You’ve likely sampled his imaginative dishes at dinner. You’ve certainly been in awe of his creative offerings on our menu. Now, from the mind’s eye of Executive Chef James Riles, comes Crabra Cadabra. The all-original, all-star evening of March 13th, 2017, brings you everyone’s favorite crustacean served up buffet-style along with a show of hilarity and wonder courtesy of renowned magician Michael Boone.

This special event is a bucket-list item of James Riles that you won’t want to miss. Be part of the master chef’s creation by reveling in a night chocked full of seafood treats, decadent desserts, and expert trickery. Michael Boone has worked with the likes of David Copperfield and brings masterful levels of magic and comedy right to our very own Signature Dining Room!


The gorgeous buffet will feature Alaskan king and snow crab in addition to various other sumptuous main course items and accoutrements. Just $50 delivers a laugh-packed night of entertainment as you savor the finest cuisine in the state. See what your member dues can do with this one-of-a-kind signature The Club event.

To enhance the experience, you’ll punctuate your magical dinner with a seasonal dessert buffet hand-crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Johnny Carter. Tale Continue reading “Crabra Cadabra: Melding Magic and Incredible Cuisine at The Club!”

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