Is there any more Canadian of a cocktail than the Bloody Caesar? And I’ve got a way for you to make it even more of a Canuck treat just in time for National Caesar Day.
The Caeser is such a Canadian drink that in 2010, it earned the distinction of Canada’s National Cocktail. And part of the reason for that is because it was invented right here in Canada. In 1969, a hotel bar manager took inspiration from the classic Bloody Mary, but gave it a special twist. His name was Walter Chell, and he was the bar manager of the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Hotel in Calgary). He was given the task of inventing a new drink for the grand opening of an Italian Restaurant. So, inspired by his love for Spaghetti Vongole, Chell started with a tomato juice, then added vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and clam juice. He played with the recipe for 3 months before getting it just right. Finally, calling on his Italian ancestry, he christened the drink “Caesar”, and the rest is history.
On May 16th, 2009, the drink’s 40th birthday became known as National Caesar Day, made so by Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier. Now, 10 years later, the Caesar celebrates its 50th birthday with the release of a new book featuring Caeaser stories from a slew of prominent Canadians. 50 Years, 50 Stories: Celebrating a Half-Century of Canada’s National Cocktail features stories from Dan Aykroyd, Jason Priestly and more, and is available for purchase online here.
In honor of this auspicious occasion, I wanted to share a little spin on the classic Caesar recipe, to give it an extra Canadian touch. Instead of the standard Vodka, we’ll be using Rye Whiskey to give it a more complex flavor. Check out the recipe below, using only the most iconic of Caesar mixes, Mott’s Clamato.
Caeser, extra Canadian
- 1 oz (30 mL) Jack Daniel’s rye whiskey
- 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dashes hot sauce
- 3 pinches steak spice
- 3 grinds fresh cracked salt and black pepper
- 3 oz (90 mL) Mott’s Clamato
- Flank steak on a skewer for garnish
- Fresh cracked salt and black pepper with steak spice for the rim
- Rim a highball glass with citrus and rimmer.
- Fill the glass to the top with ice.
- Add the ingredients in the order listed.
- Stir well to mix the cocktail, and garnish.
So whether you make yourself a classic Caeser with vodka or a stacked Caeser with rye, enjoy your fair share of Caesar’s this week, and as always please drink responsibly.