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Giant Bloody Mary Saves New Years Day
Provided by www.thewineman.com
New Orleans, Jan. 1, 2000 - The morning after the biggest party in history, New Orleans revelers woke up to an epic remedy for those Y2K blues. In the heart of the world-renowned French Quarter stood the Millennium Mary, a 10-foot tall glass containing over 1,000 gallons of spicy Bloody Mary, the inimitable "morning-after" drink. It was served free of charge to a crowd of locals and tourists alike. Both a non-alcoholic and a "classic" version were available. The Millennium Mary included a healthy dash (in this case about 5000 dashes) of Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce in hundreds of gallons of V8 100% Vegetable Juice.
The giant Bloody Mary sat on a raised platform in Latrobe Park, just a stone's throw from Jackson Square. The custom-made glass was equipped with ten spigots around its base, from which a team of servers drew a seemingly inexhaustible supply of virgin Bloody Marys. For everyone of legal age with proper ID, a splash of Finlandia, the premium imported vodka of Finland, was added upon request.
At 10 a.m. the first drink was tasted by Paul McIlhenny, President of McIlhenny Company, makers of Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce, who said with a sly smirk "Laissez les bon temps roulez!" (Let the good roll, in French.) With his nod of approval, a Dixieland jazz band kicked in and a long line of post-millennial revelers was promptly treated to free eight-ounce Bloody Marys garnished with a stick of celery. New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial and other local dignitaries also stopped by to taste the historic drink and toast the new Millennium. By the time the morning ended, the enormous cocktail provided over 15,000 drinks -- composed of 12 gallons of Tabasco, 815 gallons of V8, and 204 gallons of Finlandia Vodka (added separately) -- garnished with 15,000 stalks of celery.
The Bloody Mary is a classic brunch drink credited with incredible restorative powers by its fans. It has long been popular as a brunch drink, especially after particularly "big" nights. Invented by Fernand Petiot, a bartender at Harry's Bar in Paris in the 1920's, it is often assumed that the Bloody Mary is named after the English Queen Mary I, a notoriously ruthless monarch in the late 16th Century. Petiot, however, later claimed to have named the drink after a bar in Chicago called the Bucket of Blood Club and a girl named Mary who worked there. Though eternally associated with a despot, the drink has come to symbolize a civilized way to start the day and is practically the official beverage of New Orleans.
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