Red Snapper, the perfect Bloody Mary for gin lovers

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Have you enjoyed a Red Snapper, the cocktail, not the fish?

It’s summertime and everyone is sipping a Bloody Mary’s. That’s great if you are a vodka lover. But, what about us gin lovers? Never fear…the Red Snapper is here!

An all but forgotten cocktail, the Red Snapper combines your favorite gin with tomato juice and just the right amount of spice and citrus. At your next brunch, serve Red Snappers and Bloody Mary’s to please your vodka and gin loving guests.

As the story goes, the Red Snapper was created in 1934 by Fernand Petiot, the bartender at The St. Regis, New York’s King Cole Bar. One of the earliest Red Snapper recipes was published in  Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion. M. Barrows and Company, NY, in 1941:

Red Snapper


  •  2 oz. tomato juice
  • 2 oz. Gin
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash lemon juice


Recipe found in Crosby Gaige’s Cocktail Guide and Ladies Companion.

Imbibe has a fun “snappy” recipe on their website that adds a little amontillado sherry for an woodsy, herby layer of flavor.

To add to the fun, or maybe to confuse us cocktail lovers even more, there are lots of “bloody” cocktails:

  • Bloody Mary: vodka
  • Bloody Maria: tequila
  • Bloody Margaret: gin and tequila
  • Red Snapper: gin
Bloody mary
Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary, photo by Becky Ellis, /

Whatever your choice of bloody cocktail, don’t forget the garnishes! That’s the really fun part because you can use traditional garnishes – celery stick, olives and lemon wedges or you can go all out – shrimp, jalapenos, spicy pickles, beef jerky, pickled okra, smoked oysters and yes, BACON!

If you happen to have some Bloody Mary mix left over, try using it to marinate steaks for grilling and it makes fabulous deviled eggs too. Don’t limit your mix to just red tomato juice – trying using yellow tomatoes when they are in season to make yellow tomato juice  or spicy V-8 juice for the base of your mix.

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What’s your favorite “bloody” cocktail? Are you game to try a Red Snapper?