How to Drink Like a Canadian: the caesar

Canada and America share the world’s longest undefended border, and as you can imagine there are plenty of cultural similarities between the two countries. But beware if you visit Canada and order a caesar — you’re probably not going to get a salad. Instead, you’ll be served a big icy glass of delicious vodka spice. Yessss.

The caesar was invented in 1969 by a restaurant manager in Calgary, Alberta and it’s been a Canadian hit ever since. Similar (but importantly different) to the bloody mary, caesars are traditionally tangy and spicy and often served at brunch or in hot weather. As with any cocktail you can make it in a number of different subtle ways, but the caesar has one essential ingredient and that’s Clamato. Clamato, for Americans not in the know, is a combination of (wait for it)… tomato and clam juice. Hey, where are you going?

For the uninitiated “clam juice” sounds kind of terrifying, I know. But in Clamato it just adds a lovely salty umami taste to the tomato juice. Clamato is also heavily sweetened. Look, I know it sounds weird, but trust me. An entire nation of brunch-goers can’t all be wrong!


Everyone has their own recipe, but this is how I make my perfect caesar:

1. Fill a big glass with ice.
2. Add 1.5 oz of cold vodka
3. Add about 3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce
4. Add about 3 shakes of Tobasco sauce
5. Give a quick squirt of lime juice
5. Add cold Clamato to fill the rest of the glass
6. Sprinkle just a shake or two of salt and some good twists of fresh ground black pepper
7. Stir and enjoy

The caesar is best a few minutes after preparing once a bit of the ice has melted. I like to drink it with a straw.

Much like America’s bloody mary in the last few years caesar garnishes have gotten more and more elaborate, growing from just a celery stick to monstrosities that require their own salad plate to manage. For heaven’s sake, don’t do that. If you want a garnish, I suggest a nice pickled bean, a stalk of pickled asparagus, or just a lime wedge.

Now you’re drinking like a Canadian, eh!


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