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Which Royal is a Bloody Mary lover?

PUBLISHED: 15:02 17 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK firm's role in providing a mystery member of the Royal family with their favourite Bloody Mary cocktail has been disclosed for the first time.

A SUFFOLK firm's role in providing a mystery member of the Royal family with their favourite Bloody Mary cocktail has been disclosed for the first time.

Juice firm James White, has won a Royal warrant for supplying Buckingham Palace with its spicy tomato juice Big Tom, said to be ideal for making the pick-me-up drink.

Several members of the family are believed to indulge in the tipple – traditionally made with vodka, tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce – but one senior royal is thought to be a special fan.

James White, which also makes apple juice at its premises in Ashbocking, has been selling Big Tom for six years.

The juice retails at £2.29 for a 75 cl bottle and contains Worcestershire Sauce and 14 spices including fenugreek, cardamom and chillis, along with Mediterranean tomatoes.

James White annually delivers about 300 large bottles of Big Tom to Buckingham Palace every year in five separate deliveries.

The firm's managing director, Lawrence Mallinson, 44, said: "The juice is ideal for making perfect Bloody Marys without the bother of mixing in Worcestershire sauce or other ingredients.

"I have been told that one member of the royal family is particularly keen on it – but I am not supposed to discuss it because of the terms of the warrant.

"All I can say is that it is a member of the older generation and it is not the Queen herself. It certainly is not Prince Harry either."

He gave a clue that the Bloody Mary fan might be Prince Philip by disclosing that the juice had been requested to be supplied for royal consumption at the Cowes sailing week, regularly attended by the Duke of Edinburgh.

But Royal insiders suggested that Prince Philip was not a special fan of Bloody Marys and was more often seen with a gin and tonic or dry martini.

Mr Mallinson added: "I am sure that several other members of the family must like it because of the large amount that we deliver to the Palace. No doubt they use it for entertaining as well.

"If it was only being used by the one person, there would be enough Big Tom for them to be having baths in it. I would be a very wealthy man if everyone in the country drank it at the same rate as the royals.

The warrant was granted by the Queen soon after James White became eligible by supplying Buckingham Palace for the statutory five years to qualify for the honour.

Despite popular belief, the cocktail was not named after Henry VIII's Catholic daughter, Mary I, who ruled Britain between 1553-58 and earned the nickname for burning 200 Protestant men and 60 women at the stake.

Instead it is said to have been invented in 1926 by barman Fernand Petiot at Harry's New York Bar in Paris. It was called Bloody Mary after a ship owner suggested it be named after a prostitute called Mary who frequented the Bucket of Blood Club in Chicago.

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