The Caesar, for those of you who don’t know, is a Canadian made cocktail based off the Bloody Mary but 1000% times better (according to your average Canadian).
Edmonton may not have created the Caesar, but it is a Provincial boast. In truth Canada’s love affair with this spin on the Bloody Mary cocktail started in Calgary, Edmonton’s southern neighbor. In 1969 a hotel bar manager named Walter Chell decided to create a signature drink for the new Italian restaurant opening up in the hotel. One of the signature dishes at the restaurant was a pasta dish with clams, and in a moment of inspiration and madness he muddled some clams to mix into the tomato juice, added some spices, vodka and BOOM, just like that, the Canadian Caesar was born. The consistency of mushed up clams (eww) did not withstand the times and Motts Clamato juice is used today. Actually, fun fact: Clamato was invented prior to the Caesar and quickly made a staple in many Canadian bars after that. The Caesar cocktail has evolved, and includes a lot of new inventive variations in flavors from horse radish to pickle juice, and over the top garnishes (the list goes on and on and can get outlandish see Buzzfeed’s article), this is known as Canadian peacocking. 😉
Here is a simple quick go-to recipe for folks at home or to take camping:
- Mott’s Clamato
- 1.5oz vodka
- 3-4 dashes worchestershire
- 2 dashes tobasco/hot pepper sauce
- Lime/or lemon wedge
- Salt rimmer (celery salt, but please include various other salts/steakspice/Cajun seasonings etc)
- Garnish options: Celery stalk/pepperoni/peppercini/pickled bean/pickled egg/pickled anything/stuffed pepper/olive/bacon
It is one of those drinks that you either love or don’t care for it, and there are seldom people that fall in between. Most Edmontonians love it, which would explain it being on every bar menu I have ever laid my eyes on in this City. May 18th is National Caesar day, and what better time to try out the many Caesars in Edmonton?
YegCaesars is a website/social media page devoted to scouring the town to find the best Caesars, and they try them all out for we the people of Edmonton, and take photos so we can be jealous and go try new caesars (seriously I want this job). Check out their places visited site (110 to date) and select a venue for your Caesar today.
If I am strapped for time, I often judge a restaurant/bar by the quality of their Caesar, and anytime I am in the states, and they hand me a bloody mary, even a free one… I just can’t. Caesars are just one of those Canadian things that I got used to. A Canadian acquired taste maybe. One of my favorite places for one is the local pub Pint, because they do a mean Pickle Caesar, and Tavern on Whyte, because they give me a meal with my Caesar (Grilled Cheese sandwich, and many pickled garnishes). Today, take the time to try one out if you haven’t done so already, and share your pictures on social media #yegcaesar.
Happy Caesar Day everyone!