Canada Day is coming up and, while you’ll no doubt be enjoying a couple cold ones, we encourage you to take a moment to consider our nation’s “official” cocktail: the Caesar.
It’s said that the Caesar was invented at the Calgary Inn in 1969 when restaurant manager Walter Chell created a cocktail inspired by a trip to Italy and his insatiable craving for Venetian spaghetti alle vongole – spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. It’s only logical for a man to want to capture his favourite meal in something he could hold in a glass.
What began as a mixture of mashed clam nectar, tomato juice, vodka and Worcestershire sauce has become Canada’s national drink, with over 350 million Caesars consumed annually.
While virtually unknown outside our borders, Canadians count on cocktail experts like Clint Pattemore (@CaesarClint) to not only satisfy their desire for a deftly made classic but also to surprise their taste buds with new and unexpected flavour combinations. Clint is committed to converting even the staunchest “red juice rejecter,” or the estimated 50% of the population who would rather take shots of Tabasco than touch any drink that’s been near a tomato.
Learning how to make the classic Caesar is a rite of passage for most Canadian men. While it’s hard to go wrong with the standard vodka, hot sauce, S & P, Worcestershire and Clamato, there are still some handy tips for maximum flavour.
Use lots of ice when mixing. Ice is the most important and underrated ingredient in cocktails, as it keeps them cooler longer and makes for a better ratio of booze to mix.
Mix It Up
Feel free to use vodka, but Clint prefers the bolder taste of gin or tequila.
While it’s not a Caesar without Clamato, red juice rejecters might see the light if you cut the Clamato with a lighter juice. Try a 50/50 mix of Clamato and mango juice. Substitute celery with a slice of fresh fruit.
Yes, bacon. Clint concocted a special DailyXY Caesar we sampled in our office last week. Check out the recipe below for this bourbon-and-bacon-infused masterpiece.
DailyXY Bacon and Bourbon Caesar
1.5 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
3 dashes hot sauce
3 dashes Worcestershire
3 grinds fresh cracked salt and pepper
4 oz Mott’s Clamato
Rim celery salt
Garnish lime wedge and bacon strips
Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir or roll three times.
Rim serving glass and fill with ice. Strain into serving glass and garnish.
Will you make a Caesar over the long weekend? The Mott’s Clamato Recipe Finder is your encyclopedia of surprising Caesar recipes. Share yours in the comments!
Image courtesy of Sanctu.