Almost everyone is familiar with a Bloody Mary – a tomato juice based cocktail that is popular on brunch menus across North America. However, there is a uniquely Canadian cocktail that is similar to a Bloody Mary but (in my humble opinion) is even better. The Bloody Caesar (or Caesar) was invented in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta. The ingredients sound a bit odd – clamato juice (clam juice + tomato), vodka, worcestershire sauce, tabasco and celery salt – but the sum is greater than the parts. A properly mixed caesar is a thing of beauty and is perfect for a summer barbeque or brunch party.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the caesar’s invention, the Westin Calgary is hosting a celebration. For $199 (CDN) a night double occupancy, you can stay at the hotel and indulge in caesar-inspired drinks and appetizers. For those of us who can’t make it to Calgary, caesars are easy to make at home and the perfect tipple to celebrate the Victoria Day long weekend. In Canada, Mott’s Clamato juice can be found in virutally any grocery store and many liquor stores even sell pre-mixed caesars in bottles. In the United States, clamato can sometimes be found at supermarkets or Latino markets. Occasionally bars in major tourist areas such as Las Vegas will make caesars if you ask. Mott’s also sells a special ‘Caesar Rimmer’ to garnish your glasses but regular celery salt works just as well.
Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Makes 2 drinks – can easily be doubled
- 3 oz. vodka
- 2 X 1/4 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- 8 dashes tabasco sauce (more or less, to taste)
- About 2 cups clamato juice or spicy clamato juice
- 1 Tablespoon celery salt
- 2 lime wedges
- 2 celery sticks for garnish (optional)
- Ice cubes
- Pour celery salt onto a small plate. Cut a small slit in one of the lime wedges and run the wedge around the edge of two highball glasses to moisten the rim. Dip the rim into the celery salt, turning the glass until the entire rim is coated with salt. Repeat with the second glass.
- Place a few ice cubes into each glass. To each glass, add 1-1/2 oz. vodka, 1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce, a few drops of tabasco and top with clamato juice. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
- Garnish with lime wedges and celery sticks.
Cheers and Happy Victoria Day Weekend to all my Canadian readers!