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The custom of using a celery stick as a garnish for a Bloody Mary supposedly originated at Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel in the 1960s. As the story goes, an unnamed celebrity ordered a Bloody Mary. With no swizzle stick available to stir it, he grabbed a stalk of celery from a nearby relish tray and history was made.
Native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East, celery was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a flavoring. The ancient Greeks also awarded winners of sporting events with a stock of celery. Marathon runners were often seen carrying it.
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