The Caesar cocktail, Canada's brunch (or anytime) drink is similar to a Bloody Mary, with a few key changes. Once you try one, you'll never go back. 158 calories and 7 Weight Watchers Freestyle SP
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 doesn’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?
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
- ¼ cup celery salt*
- 1 lime cut into 8 wedges
- Ice cubes
- 6 ounces vodka
- 32 ounces 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*
- 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.
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I'm an American & my wife is Canadian. She introduced me to the Caesar in 2007 when we met. It wasn't long after that I gave up bloody marys and I ;loved my bloody marys. Note that in Canada in the grocery stores spices & seasoning section they have Caesar Seasoning.
This really adds to the drink.
I took it on myself to master a good caesar for my Canadian wife. We server them with Celery, Spicy Beans, Olives, and sometimes a pepperoncini. Its a staple drink in this house.
Don't let the "clam" in the clamato scare you. Another interseting variation when you find it is to use Camaranazo which is a tomato & shrimp mixture. This is also very good.
I've made several variations on the venerable Caesar and they're all good.
One ingredient that puts them over the top is an oz or so of kimchi juice.
I made it at home, a perfect beverage!
Hi! I was introduced to the Caesar in 2013 while in Montreal in 2013 awaiting a Marillion 3 day concert weekend. Had asked for a Bloody Mary, to be met with a blank look. She suggested a Caesar, so I said sure... Oh my gosh! Was FAR superior to the US version, truly. I do not deal with "heat" all that well, so unless home made, did not tolerate Bloody Mary's terribly well. But the Caesar? An epiphany. I now drink ONLY that at home here in the States, and twice as much while in Canada for the concert weekends. 🙂
Please please please put pickle juice and a pickle in this recipe
Tony E. Medlin
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.
LOL. I think you're on the right track, Tony! I'll have to try it with tequila sometime.
Actually in Mexico its quite popular and its called Vampiro.
Molson Canadian beer is brewed in Belgium. So there's plenty of room for the caesar to be our drink!
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!!!!
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!
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!
One of my favourite drinks and a Canadian classic. For garnish though you can't beat spicy, pickled green beans or asparagus vs. celery.
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!