In honour of Canada Day, I would like to take a moment and introduce you to the Caesar. I’m not talking about the salad or the famous dead guy from Italy. It’s a wonderfully boozy beverage straight from the heartland of Canada that was made to spice up your weekends.
Originally concocted in 1969, this tasty cocktail was the brain child of Walter Chell, a hotel manager in Alberta, Canada. Asked to create a signature drink for a new Italian restaurant, legend has it that Chell was inspired by his favorite dish, Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams). The Caesar, a mixture of vodka, spices, tomato and clam juices, was born and became an instant hit. Word of mouth spread the recipe across Canada, and it’s popularity has continued to grow over the last 45 years. In fact, it is estimated that 350 million Caesars are consumed every year in Canada. Considering there are only 34 million people in the country, it would not be a stretch so say that it is Canada’s favorite drink!
While a good Bloody Mary can contain many ingredients, a Caesar takes a direct approach. In fact, all you really need to remember is “one, two, three, four”. One shot of vodka, 2 dashes of hot sauce, 3 dashes of salt and pepper, and 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Top that off with Clamato juice, stir, garnish and voila- instant heaven in a glass!
So why has the Caesar not taken off outside of Canada? I suspect that it is the mixture of clam and tomato juices that scares people off. Don’t let it! It is not an overly sharp or even recognizable taste once mixed. It blends in seamlessly with the spices and gives the tomato juice a little extra kick. Clamato juice is ready pre-mixed in your local supermarket’s juice aisle so there is no need to mix your own.
Entertaining Tip: Creating a “Caesar Bar” for your next Brunch or barbecue is an easy and fun way to experience this drink. Label each ingredient with the correct amount to add, give a little explanation to your guests and let them play bartender on their own.