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The History Behind French Lick Resort’s Tomato Juice 

It was an early summer day in 1917 at the French Lick Springs Hotel when Chef Louis Perrin entered his kitchen ready to prepare the morning meal for a crowd of guests at The Springs Restaurant. Things were progressing well until the Chef realized that they had run out of oranges and couldn't make orange juice. Ever resourceful, Chef Perrin simply grabbed a handful of tomatoes and began creating a new beverage – tomato juice. Using ripe tomatoes, a touch of sugar and his secret sauce, the Chef created a new breakfast drink that was a huge success. News of the drink spread quickly throughout the country and people arrived at the hotel just to try the interesting concoction. Soon there were too many orders for tomato juice and The Springs kitchen couldn’t keep up with the demand. A tomato juice company was formed in French Lick and given the secret recipe, in order to make the juice in large quantities for the hotel. But once folks had a taste for it, the demand for tomato juice increased substantially, and by 1928, canned tomato juice was available on the commercial market.

Today, the tomato juice heritage remains ripe all throughout the hotel. The zesty and slightly spicy tomato juice recipe is served as a complimentary starter to every guest at 1875: The Steakhouse. The Steakhouse also serves up its signature Bloody Mary using tomato juice, black pepper-infused vodka, jumbo shrimp, and festive garnishes. Free tomato juice samples are also offered at the hotel during special weekends or occasions, allowing guests to enjoy a little sip of history.

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