Who was Bloody Mary? A barmaid? A prostitute? The Protestant-burning and fiery-haired Mary, Queen of Scots? She whom we shall not name, because she may appear to us, in our mirrors, in the dark, after we’ve summoned her by thricely chanting her handle?*

Nobody really knows for sure and, despite many claiming its authorship, most people don’t seem to know who first crafted the cocktail that bears her name.

And that’s probably not too important. The Bloody Mary, the kitchen-sink of cocktails, has long languished in the Public Domain, from where it’s often plucked and reimagined by whomever has the base ingredients and the cocktail shaker in which to mix them. And when you get down to it, you simply put in it whatever you feel like. It’s sort of like delivering a joke. Tell a bad joke, and no one laughs. Tell a bad joke well, and everybody loves you.

Here, at The Original, we’ve finally crafted, after several revampings, a Bloody Mary to suit our own collective taste, and we’re pretty sure our ours is one of the bloody best you’ll ever have.

To build one from the bottom up, we combine vodka, tomato juice, freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly shaved horseradish, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauces, freshly ground black pepper, a pinch of salt, a small spoonful of Harissa, and, if you want it even spicier, an extra dash of pepperoncini juice.

When it’s ready, we skewer the salad—wedges of lemon and lime, cocktail onions, olives and a pepperoncini—and put the whole thing to bed by dipping into it one stick of beef jerky, and by scattering over it, once more, just a few flakes more of freshly shaved horseradish.

But that’s just the basics. You can have it with or without the jerky, but if you order it with, be prepared for something more unusual.

See, our bartender and in-house Doctor Frankenstein, Murph, wondered what would happen if he repurposed the bits of jerky too small to use as a garnish and dropped them into a whipped cream canister, filled the rest of it up with black pepper and vodka, and then blasted the whole thing with nitrous oxide. What happened is what we’re now calling our house specialty beef-jerky-nitrous-infused vodka, which we’re certain you’re going to love to death.

Order one up, and see if it’s not up to your standards.

*No matter how old you are, we invite you to take a hard look in a dark mirror the next time you find yourself alone, and chant those two words over and over again, and see, even when nothing happens, if it still doesn’t give you a thrill.