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Libations for All Occasions: The Caesar


The Caesar (or Bloody Caesar, given its close relation to its French sister, the Bloody Mary) is a national treasure for Canadians, but can be enjoyed everywhere.

As we make our way through the last half of 2018, calendars are filling up with all sorts of celebrations, trade shows, and travel—if you’re anything like me, all those occasions are celebrated to the fullest. Produce events, by their very nature, are rather lively affairs. Perhaps even a little too lively, and that’s where this beauty of a cocktail comes in so handy.

Blessed with magical healing properties similar to the Bloody Mary, the Caesar is as much an effervescent, delicious hangover cure as it is a salute to Canadian ingenuity and flavor enthusiasts everywhere. Restaurant Manager Walter Chell invented the Caesar in 1969 as the signature drink for a new Italian restaurant. He’d been inspired to create the Caesar during a visit to Italy—the drink’s profile being based on Spaghetti alle Vongole. For non-Italians, this translates to spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams.

A mix of vodka with clam and tomato juice (Clamato is most widely used today), Worcestershire sauce, fresh vegetables, and spices, it wasn’t long before Chell had patrons at the Calgary Inn bellying up to the bar to try the uniquely spicy, refreshing, yet full-bodied Bloody Caesar. The big difference, for me, between the Caesar and its Mary counterpart is the umami-rich depth the clam juice element adds to the concoction. Though you might think clam would give the drink a tinge of brininess, in reality it is quite subtle. Savory with a kick, just how I like it.



1/4 cup celery salt

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

6 oz vodka

32 oz Clamato juice

5-6 dashes of Worcestershire sauce for each

5-6 dashes of Tabasco sauce for each

4 long pieces of celery

8 pimento-stuffed olives

Ice cubes



Cherry or grape tomatoes and quartered jalapeños—either can be added raw, roasted and swirled, or skewered into the drink.


1 Spread the celery salt onto a small plate. Rub the rim of one 12-ounce glass with a lime wedge. Turn the glass upside down and dip the rim of the glass into the celery salt. Repeat with remaining 3 glasses.

2 Fill each glass with ice cubes. Divide the vodka equally between the 4 glasses. Pour Clamato juice into each glass.

3 Season each Caesar with several dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, to desired spiciness. Stir each cocktail with a stir stick.

4 Garnish with celery sticks, olives, and remaining lime wedges. Serve.

Makes 4 cocktails. Up the ante with the vodka, depending on the “bite” you prefer. 

SOURCE | Food Network and The Globe and Mail