It's World Cocktail Week! Setting aside the obvious retort ("Isn't every week world cocktail week?"), we raise a glass to the classics, spotlighting one great drink a day.
The Cocktail: Bloody Mary
What's in It: Most everyone agrees on vodka, tomato juice, lemon, salt and pepper, and some sort of hot sauce (often Tabasco) and/or Worcestershire sauce. Beyond that, bloodies are anybody's game: beef stock, clam juice, sherry, beet horseradish, sardines, you name it.
The Lore: The Bloody Mary is said to have been invented in the 1920s by a bartender named Fernand Petiot who mixed at fabled expat beehive Harry's Bar in Paris. He brought the recipe to the St. Regis, where they renamed it the Red Snapper so as not to offend.
Where to Drink It in NYC: Nearly a century later, it's still the signature drink (now reverted to its original name) at the St. Regis' King Cole Bar, so start there. DUMBO's River Café also mixes an excellent classic version. Homey L.E.S. brunch favorite Prune has possibly the most interesting menu of bloodies in the city; of their dozen varieties, try the Southwest, which uses tequila and smoked chipotles, or the Chicago Matchbox, made with homemade lemon vodka and a bunch of house-pickled veggies. Finally, for those morning-after Sunday brunches when you haven't showered (hair of the dog, perhaps?), get your very respectable bloody mary from East Village stalwart 7A.