Jan 20

The Caesar Cocktail, aka the Canadian Bloody Mary Recipe



Although the Caesar (the cocktail, not the salad) is a drink reminiscent of my wayward twenties and several queasy morning-afters, I still have a very soft spot for this tomato-based cocktail. Okay, I wasn’t actually that wayward, though perhaps my story about the Kamikaze shots had you thinking otherwise. At the end of a long dinner shift at the restaurant where I worked during some of my university years, the staff would line up at the bar with the vodka, Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce to make some stiff cocktails. Who said these babies need to be relegated to brunch on Sundays?

If you’ve never heard of a Caesar that doesnโ€™t involve romaine lettuce and creamy dressing, you’re not alone. It likely means that you are neither a Canadian nor a regular visitor to my maple-leafed homeland. In fact, you are probably thinking that the drink in the picture looks suspiciously like a Bloody Mary. However, there are several distinct differences, starting with the Clamato juice. This juice, as the name suggests, is a mixture of tomato juice and clam broth and is found on the shelves of most supermarkets in the United States. I know the flavor combination sounds questionable, but you really can’t taste the clams. At least I can’t. In fact, I prefer it over tomato juice because it is not as thick and makes the cocktail go down more smoothly than a Bloody Mary.


The Clamato juice is mixed with vodka, kicked up with Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce (I like mine spicy) and served in a glass rimmed with celery salt. Traditionally, it is served with a rib of celery, but I also toss in a couple of pimento-stuffed olives. The big ones. I always save them to the end because, after marinating in the cocktail, they become little drunken orbs of joy.

So, who the heck thought of this crazy drink combination? As the story goes, the Caesar was invented in 1969 by Walter Chell, who was given the task of coming up with a signature drink for a new Italian restaurant opening in Calgary. Chell found inspiration in the classic Italian dish, Spaghetti alle Vongole (Spaghetti with Clams). The Caesar became an instant sensation and continues to be so popular that, in 2009, a petition was started to make the Caesar into Canada’s national drink. Move over Molson…here comes the Clamato.

If a petition isn’t enough to convince you, then perhaps this purported statistic will: Over 350 million Caesars are consumed each year in Canada. There are only 34 million people living in Canada. So, either we’re filling up the mountain water holes with Caesars (which might explain some of those drunken moose stories) or we think these cocktails are pretty darn tasty. So, get out there and pick up some Clamato juice and I’ll raise my Caesar-filled glass to you. Eh?

The recipe:
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.


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


Season each Caesar with several dashes of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, to desired spiciness. Stir each cocktail with a stir stick. Garnish with celery sticks, olives and remaining lime wedges. Serve.


More of my favorite cocktails:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Kamikaze Cocktail or Shot
Cookin’ Canuck’s Frozen Strawberry & Lime Daiquiri
Creative Culinary’s Grapefruit, Lime & Maraschino Martini
Family Style Food’s Italian Greyhound with Rosemary Sugar
Inspired Taste’s Pear & Cranberry Cocktail

The Caesar Cocktail, aka the Canadian Bloody Mary
Prep time
Total time
From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com
Serves: Makes 4 cocktails
  • ยผ cup celery salt
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
  • Ice cubes
  • 6 oz. vodka
  • 32 oz. Clamato juice
  • Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce for each
  • Several dashes of Tabasco sauce for each
  • 4 long ribs of celery
  • 8 pimento-stuffed olives (optional)
  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.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cocktail

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 claudia lamascolo/aka pegasuslegend January 20, 2012 at 5:26 am

Great photo Dara, candadian bloody cocktail could be on my table right now at 7am looks and sounds delicious! Its healthy too with the vegetables (smile) I want one!


2 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 20, 2012 at 5:43 am

This is a staple at my house whenever I venture home! Oh how I love a good caesar!


3 Blog is the New Black January 20, 2012 at 5:56 am

Interesting… ๐Ÿ˜‰


4 kelley January 20, 2012 at 7:17 am

In my world the olives are NOT optional and this is what Sunday mornings are made of! :)


5 Bruce December 25, 2014 at 11:15 am

This morning anything bigger than an olive would be brunch and besides it matches up with the pizza I have,well I hope its a pizza, HO,Ho,!!


6 bellini January 20, 2012 at 7:36 am

I still have a caesar once in a while. Is Clamato juice available in the States?


7 Branch January 28, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Of course it is available! Right beside all the other tomato juice products. I love the stuff.


8 Maureen January 20, 2012 at 8:17 am

What a great drink. I love the celery salt on the rim and the spiciness of it. It’s pretty to look at too.


9 Julie January 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

My husband claims that making the perfect Caesar is difficult to achieve. I may have to use this recipe to prove him wrong!


10 the wicked noodle January 20, 2012 at 8:34 am

I see I’m not the only one with booze on the brain! This looks fabulous! I love bloody mary’s so I’m certain I’ll love this, too.


11 Bev Weidner January 20, 2012 at 8:41 am

I’m IN. I’m SOOO in.


12 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

Bloody Mary’s are my all time favorite drink (when done well). I’d be ALL over this drink. Clam juice and all!


13 Andrea W January 20, 2012 at 9:26 am

We have a special twist on ours – a tablespoon or so of pickle juice! (We’re partial to Claussen pickle juice, maybe even pickle juice snobs). And of course we garnish with a pickle spear!

I do find quite a big difference in the flavour of US Clamato vs. Canadian Clamato. I really can’t stomach the US stuff, so I suppose I’m a snob in that respect too :)


14 Shirley @ gfe January 20, 2012 at 9:41 am

These look really good, Dara, and that comes from a girl who has never liked Bloody Marys. Hmmm. Love the celery salt on the rim, too!



15 Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com} January 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

Oh my I could use this about now. Pinning now!


16 Kathy January 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

I like a little horseradish in mine!


17 Steve @ the black peppercorn January 20, 2012 at 11:45 am

Great post Dara. Funny I didn’t know that Caesar was a Canadian drink. Growing up in Ontario, I just always knew of this drink and assumed those south of the border drank them as well. They are far better than bloody mary’s (in my humble opinion). Have a great weekend and enjoy the football! Go Giants! Go Eli!


18 Kathryn January 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

This will forever be immortalized as the drink that my sis-in-law made for me every Christmas when our family arrived to visit the in-laws after a long ferry/driving journey. She, and we, add almost anything pickled instead of the celery; green bean, asparagus spear, they all come pickled and ready to spark up this fabulous drink. For those who think it might be weird…just TRY IT ! Remember, at one time in history, pizza was weird too.


19 Dijana January 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

No way can anyone resist a Caesar!

One suggestion, pour Worcestershire & Tabasco on the ice, then add the vodka, then stir, then add the clamato and stir again.

I also add a dash of salt and pepper on top.


20 Judy Bennett January 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Gorgeous photographs! I love Bloody Caesars even though I tend to prefer my Marys on the thick side. Some of those million servings were probably me.


21 Maria January 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Such a pretty drink!


22 Chris @ TheKeenanCookbook January 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Even if I’m not much for drinks, I can appreciate this drink and especially these gorgeous photos.


23 Curt January 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

You’re right, I’ve never heard of the drink, but have certainly heard of the Bloody Mary.

But then, I’ve never made it to Canada yet, and I also don’t care too much for tomato juice. But it sure is a beautiful colorful drink. :)


24 Rae January 20, 2012 at 3:35 pm

You definitely need the salt and pepper on top and a splash of lime juice too. At least according to my husband who makes the best Caesars ever!


25 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Stunning photos Dara!


26 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective January 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm

My hubby would give you big hugs for this!


27 MikeVFMK January 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Hands down my all-time favourite cocktail. And in my days working in bars I probably made thousands of them. Literally. Love the pics, Dara! Really great stuff.


28 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme January 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I love this version of a Bloody Mary! It was already one of my favorite cocktails and I think yours with the Clamato juice might be even more delicious.


29 Kris January 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm

just calling this the Caesar cocktail makes me want it! :) this sounds delicious and the photos are stunning! cheers!


30 Laurie {Simply Scratch} January 20, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Love this!! Almost too pretty to drink… almost :)


31 WineDineDivas January 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

We love your version of Bloody Mary, and the use of cellery salt is just perfect!
Judit & Corina


32 Sandy January 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

What a gorgeous picture! I feel a little left out of all the fun… I wonder how it would taste as a “mocktail?” I think I’ll try turning it into one and let you know how it goes.


33 Drick January 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

one word – might fine…
love a good mary, this one sounds like it hits the spot


34 Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm

My favorite drink ever! I just didn’t know that I had been fixing the Canadian version all along. ๐Ÿ˜€


35 Ashley's Cooking Adventures January 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Bloody Marys are my FAVORITE!!! I am drooling and sad because I have to wait 5 more months til baby is here to enjoy one!!


36 Nikki December 10, 2013 at 5:55 am

lol me too… I’m thinking of making myself a virgin…


37 Lisa@One Cook Two Kitchens January 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

As a confessed Clamatoholic, I LOVE this version. And the olives are wonderful! Thank you Dara! (And Sandy, it does make a wonderful mocktail!)


38 Marly January 25, 2012 at 9:18 am

Love the celery salt edging on the glass. Tomatoes makes this entirely healthy, right?


39 Joanne (Inspired Taste) January 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

These look absolutely stunning! I’m not usually a fan of Bloody Marys but after seeing that photo, I might need to double check!


40 Trisha January 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Motts clamato makes it truly Canadian, and delicious, no other clamato juice I’ve tried comes close!


41 Marla January 31, 2012 at 6:18 am

This is much more sophisticated than those Kamikazes. Thank goodness for that. Pretty miss Dara :)


42 Heidi / foodiecrush January 31, 2012 at 11:56 pm

you read my Superbowl mind and have solved all of my non-football needs. LOVE a BM in the AM! XO


43 maria February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

its my favourite i am from toronto but make it with gin insted of vodka it will give it so much flavour you will never have it with vodka again


44 Danie February 8, 2012 at 12:18 am

Yum. One of my favourites. Better than celery? Pickled spicy green beans, or pickled asparagus.

Also, some people make them with horseradish in them. Also tasty.

Save-on-Meats, a local diner in Vancouver, makes peperoni infused vodka to use in their caesars. Oh man are they good.


45 ruthie February 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I hate vodka, so I make my version of the Bloody Mary with light rum. For the tomato, I use the zippy version of V-8 (how healthy am I?), throw in some Worcestershire and nirvana! I like the idea of the olives, though, maybe some pickled garlic, too. Mmmm, good thinking. If I hadn’t already had dinner, I’d be making a cocktail now!


46 lint April 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

What a delicious collection of recipes. Every single one looks bette than the last.


47 Heather July 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

One of my favourite drinks and a Canadian classic. For garnish though you can’t beat spicy, pickled green beans or asparagus vs. celery.


48 Susie July 20, 2012 at 1:36 pm

A Bloody Mary is the drink of choice at the Hamlin House on every holiday. I’ll have to try it Canadian Style – another AWESOME for them is Zing Zang, and a spear of pickled okra. 2/3 of the Lafayette Trails Runners went this morning, it has finally cooled down in St. Louis and was in the 70s at 7 when we hit the trail. Yay!


49 Rob February 17, 2013 at 7:51 am

American clamato is very different than what can be found in Canada. Here’s a great compromise when in the US – use a spicy tomato juice and mix with about 50% American clamato. Spice and garnish as per your normal recipe!


50 Deb May 15, 2013 at 2:35 pm

We are from the US and have been fishing in Canada for over 20 years. Year before last it was very hot, so instead of cooking we went to a local bar to eat..only 2 places to eat where we fish and one is a bar. So we went eat and saw these people drinking the most wonderful looking drinks WITH DILL PICKLES which I happen to love. We asked what they were at they said they were Caeser’s Canadian Style. The recipe is all the same except…..they used season salt around with rim with lime juice, and instead of celery they put a dill pickle spear down the middle. IT IS WONDERFUL!!! So that is the only way we ever have had them. As a matter of fact, just had one!!! lol Was great!!!!


51 Nikki December 10, 2013 at 5:51 am

Molson Canadian beer is brewed in Belgium. So there’s plenty of room for the caesar to be our drink!


52 ice shanty December 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can
survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.
My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!


53 Tony E. Medlin August 30, 2015 at 1:15 pm

I love the recipe but use Tequila instead of Vodka. I suppose it becomes a Caesaro, a Caesarian? I need help getting the right name for it.


54 Dara August 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm

LOL. I think you’re on the right track, Tony! I’ll have to try it with tequila sometime.


55 Lriq September 1, 2015 at 8:53 pm

Actually in Mexico its quite popular and its called Vampiro.


56 bloody ceaser October 12, 2015 at 11:43 am

Please please please put pickle juice and a pickle in this recipe


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