It’s good to be back. And what better way than to introduce everyone to a great Canadian classic cocktail. And not just any cocktail. The Caesar is arguably the most popular cocktail in this country. This country being Canada. Since its invention in 1969, the Caesar has become one of the most notable drinks. And not just here. As of a few years ago I starting noticing Caesars popping up in parts of Mexico, mainly resort towns. Just how popular is it? Some stats say there are more than 350 million of them consumed each year, and our country only has 35 million residents. That adds up to ten Caesars per person per year. More for me. It’s just that good.
The biggest difference between the Bloody Caesar and the Bloody Mary to the south is the addition of clam juice. This creates a savoury, sweet, salty, sour and bitter concoction all in one glass. Heaven. The Caesar has a truly unique flavour profile that couldn’t be any different from the traditional Bloody Mary. Clamato juice is the single, unique ingredient that differentiates a Caesar from the Mary or any other drink for that matter.
The other unique aspect of this cocktail is the use of celery salt for the rim. And as we experiment that rim changes from restaurant to restaurant, bar to bar. I’ve seen so many incredible variations and I’ve made my share as well. There are lemon pepper rims to wasabi pea and scallion rims to Montreal steak spice rims. The options are close to endless. The same as the ingredients. The standard cocktail consists of vodka, clamato juice, salt & pepper, lime, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. But just like with chefs, mixologists and at-home bartenders have experimented with both gin and tequila for the base and endless recipe combinations from salsa to pickle brine to bacon. Everyone has their favourite.
Although I’ve tried gin and tequila, vodka still is still the king for this cocktail. A great tasting vodka, like Hangar 1 Vodka, which happens to be the only vodka I use, will only enhance the flavour profile of the classic Caesar. For this recipe I took my favourite all-time ingredients and used them for one of the best Caesars of my life. I make them at home and at parties. You simply must try it. The rim was a mix of Montreal steak spice, chili powder, salt & pepper. It’s amazing, fresh with a hint of smoke and spice. And the base has a splash of lime-infused barbecue sauce, soy sauce and wasabi and finished with stuffed olives and pickles. And a great tasting clamato juice will kick it up a notch. Nothing beats it. This recipe is the best of salty and savoury.
The next time you sit down on a weekend or have friends over for cocktails, try this. It might even take a couple of tastes before you’ll appreciate just how genius this cocktail is. Try the classic or try my amped up version. Within a few weeks, you’ll be an honorary Canadian and making these for all your friends.
From my bar to yours.
Disclaimer: I was provided Hangar 1 Vodka for my post. I was not compensated in any way for my time. All of my thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.
The Bloody Caesar (My favourite recipe)
1.5 ounce Hangar 1 Straight Vodka
5 ounces clamato juice
0.5 ounce fresh lime juice
dash of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lime-infused barbecue sauce
1 tsp. of soy sauce
pinch of wasabi
pinch of fresh grated horseradish
salt & cracked fresh pepper
rim: equal parts Montreal steak spice, chili powder, salt and pepper
garnish: garlic-stuffed olives and gherkin pickles, skewered
Place all the ingredients, minus the horseradish, into a large glass full of ice. We then do a technique called rolling where we pour the contents into a second glass and back into the first. Do this a couple of times.
Rim your glass by taking a wedge of lime and slicing partially into the lime through the middle. Run that lime along the end of your glass and turn upside down onto a plate of your rim ingredients. Rotate until the rim is fully covered.
One last time, roll the glass back into the new glass with the rim on. Garnish with a skewer of olives and pickles and top with a lime wedge and a pinch of fresh horseradish. A great variation on the classic Caesar.