Canadian Secret – The Caesar Cocktail
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This week we wanted to share a Canadian secret with the rest of the world – the Caesar! While the word may conjure up different meanings for different people – some may first think of Julius Caesar, the Roman Emperor, while others may think of the salad – but if you live in Canada you will most likely think of the cocktail. That’s right, in the great white north we like to enjoy a cocktail called a Caesar. In fact, over 350 million Caesars are consumed in Canada every year!
Intrigued by a drink that is so popular in one country, but virtually unknown to the rest of the world?
The Caesar is a spicy and fun cocktail. It is similar to a Bloody Mary, but with an extra kick!
Initially invented in Calgary in 1969 by restaurateur Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant, the Caesar’s popularity grew exponentially. It is now the most popular cocktail in Canada.
The basic ingredients include: Clamato juice, vodka, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper poured into a celery salt rimmed glass and served with a piece of celery. Clamato juice is a combination of tomato juice and clam broth – sounds kinda gross, it’s actually delicious and flavourful.
As the drink’s popularity grew, so did its variations. One of the fun things about Caesars is the variety of garnishes you can include to customize your cocktail and make it unique. For example some restaurants serve a Caesar with pickles, olives, jalapeno peppers, spicy beans, and/or pickled asparagus. Many places double and triple up on garnishes creating your own little buffet on top of your drink.
Other variations include adding different spices to the cocktail including horseradish and wasabi.
The 43rd anniversary of the Caesar is on May 13th. Why not make a date night out of trying one? Hopefully after one taste you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
Below is a recipe for a traditional Caesar, or if you are feeling creative – add a little variation to make it your own. We’re Canadian – we don’t judge.
Classic Caesar Recipe:
- Rim a pint glass with celery salt
- Fill the glass with ice
- Pour Worcestershire sauce into glass (about three shakes)
- Add Tabasco to taste
- Add 1-2 ounces of vodka (or no vodka for virgin Caesar)
- Top with Clamato juice
- Garnish with celery stalk and lime wedge (or dill pickle, pickled bean or asparagus)
Often times we take cultural staples such as the Caesar for granted. Does your province/state/country have culture that you love to celebrate? Tell us about it in the comments!
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Like most Canadians, I am very proud of my heritage and that is one of the reasons why I love the Caesar so much. I find a lot of our culture is 'borrowed' from the cultures that first came to this land so many years ago, but the Caesar is uniquely ours and incredibly delicious.
As Ashley mentioned the Caesar has a lot of variations and most people like theirs done a certain way. My favourite Caesar contains (in addition to the standard vodka and Clamato):
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Frank's hot sauce (Tobasco is awful!)
- Pickle garnish
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