Hail, Caesar!

Today’s featured highball is a household name in Canada, but is virtually unknown to the rest of the world.  It is estimated that over 350 million of these are consumed throughout Canada every year.

The Caesar

The Caesar was invented by Walter Chell in 1969 at the Calgary Inn in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  It was developed to be a signature drink at the inn’s new Italian restaurant, and was inspired by the Neapolitan dish Spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams).  While that sounds like a terrible combination for a drink, it is in reality a delicious and spicy concoction that serves as a perfect pre-dinner drink (especially if the imbiber will be eating red meat).  It’s also great for settling the stomach in the event that you had a few too many cocktails the day before.

Nearly every restaurant, bar, and bartender in Canada has their own take on the Caesar.  Many deviate from the ingredients listed below, or add them in different proportions.  It’s commonly served in a Collins glass, but I prefer the flavour balance attained in an Old Fashioned glass.

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 2 dashes hot sauce (usually Tabasco, though any will work)
  • 3 dashes salt and pepper
  • 4 dashes worcestershire sauce
  • Mott’s Clamato juice
  • celery salt
  • wedge of lime
  • celery stalk

Rim a glass with celery salt (wet the rim with water or lime juice in order to make the salt stick).  Add the vodka along with four ice cubes, then add the hot sauce, salt and pepper, and worcestershire sauce.  Top-up the glass with Clamato juice, and garnish with the lime wedge and celery.

To drink your Caesar, squeeze the lime into the glass, stir with the celery stalk, and enjoy. The celery makes a nice quick snack before dinner, and allowing it to soak for a little while in the drink will cause it to soak up some of the spicy tomato flavours.

Do you know of any other drinks that have never caught on outside their country of origin?

Drink up, eh!

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