There’s something lovely about the lore and legends that exist in the hospitality business. Ritz-Carlton is famous for the motto “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen”. Conrad Hilton believed in the mission of “filling the world with the light and warmth of hospitality”. And at the St. Regis New York in 1934, Fernand Petiot, the bartender at the King Cole Bar, perfected a vodka-and-tomato juice cocktail that would be come popular the world over, and is now synonymous with the St. Regis flag. Each St. Regis property around the world has developed their own version of the popular tipple, with a focus on local ingredients which will reflect the distinctly local qualities of the location, from wasabi and soy sauce at the St. Regis Osaka to fresh tomatoes and jalapenos reflecting California’s agricultural bounty at the St. Regis Monarch Beach.
Today, each St. Regis property features their own bespoke Bloody Mary variation, and also those of a select number of other sister properties, as one of the St. Regis brand promises is to pay homage to other St. Regis properties around the world. Guests who might not have ambitions to travel as far as Osaka or London can try those at the St. Regis Aspen. Those without the extra three hours of air travel time or the desire to calculate the exchange rate to the French Polynesia Franc can enjoy the Bora Mary from the St. Regis Bora Bora at the St. Regis Princeville in Kaua’i.
On this milestone anniversary we’ve endeavored to try as many of these bespoke Bloody Marys as possible, and we’ve shared a few below. There will be more to come. No Bloody Marys were harmed during our research, and warmest thanks go out to St. Regis Hotels and Resorts for providing some beverages and accommodations.
The Shogun Mary
The Shogun Mary from the St. Regis Osaka features both wasabi and soy sauce in a nod to the culinary heritage of Japan. Yuzu is also used, if available, although lemon is also substituted. This is a rich, hearty beverage that drinks like a meal, likely owing to the toothy starch of the soy sauce. This example was enjoyed at the St. Regis Aspen.
The Downhill Snapper
The Downhill Snapper at the St. Regis Aspen is made with basil, dill, and plenty of fresh lemons and limes which are meant to impart the flavor of Colorado’s vivid seasons – the rich garden bounty of summer represented by the peppery basil and bright lemon; the cool, crisp winter reflected in the stiffer dill and fresh lime.
Downhill Snapper Alternate Take
The Downhill Snapper at St. Regis Aspen basks al frescoduring a sunny afternoon in the Colorado ski resort. The Downhill Snapper is available from a number of outlets at the hotel including the Lobby Bar. The hotel also introduced a molecular version of the cocktail in celebration of the milestone anniversary.
The Aloha Mary at St. Regis Princeville on the island of Kaua’i has guava wood smoked sea salt and sea asparagus to think for a rich flavor that is reminiscent of the ocean the resort sits above. The Bloody Mary has an even deeper connection with Kaua’i. The 1958 film South Pacific, filmed on the location of the resort prior to its construction, featured both a Tonkinese (present-day Vietnam) woman named Bloody Mary and a World War II setting: they’re both paid homage with sriracha and wasabi in this potent tipple. To steal a line from the movie musical, “Bloody Mary is the girl we love.” That ain’t too bad.
The Bora Mary
The Bora Mary comes from the St. Regis Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Perhaps it’s one of the last places one might expect to run across a watermelon patch, but there happened to be one on a neighboring islet, and it’s the source for the watermelon juice that is added to the Bloody Mary Mix in this recipe. It’s still a Bloody Mary for a Bloody Mary lover – the richness of the tomato is enhanced but not masked, but the watermelon lightens and freshens, and adds an effervescence that can’t be beat. As they say in Tahiti, maita’i!