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All Hail The Caesar, Canada’s National Cocktail

By FineArtBartender

ultimate-caesar-garnishInvented in Calgary in 1969, the Caesar is Canada’s most popular cocktail, with 350 million Caesars consumed annually. It’s our favorite brunch cocktail, a reliable hangover cure, a preferred aperitif, a standby nightcap and an almost-guilt-free meal replacement.

It typically contains vodka, Clamato (a proprietary blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime.

alberta_caesarBasic preparation of a Caesar follows the “one, two, three, four” rule. The recipe calls for 1–1½ oz of vodka, two dashes of Tabasco sauce, three dashes of salt and pepper, four dashes of Worcestershire sauce and topped with 4–6 oz of Clamato and served over ice. The ingredients are poured into a glass rimmed with celery salt or a mixture of salt and pepper and garnished with a celery stalk and lime.

Every restaurant & bar these days seems to have their own take on the Caesar, hoping to distinguish themselves from the bar down the street, and keep you coming back for their own special version.

caesarcontest-6At Fine Art Bartending School, we teach our students theclassic recipe, & the classic garnish,celery stick & a lime wedge. But we are sure to mention, wherever you go & get a bartending job, that restaurant or bar will have its own house version of the Caesar you will have to learn.

Ingredient Variations we have personally seen in the last few months at local bars:

Fresh grated Horseradish, creamy Horseradish from a jar, Franks Red Hot instead of Tabasco, Cayenne pepper. On the rim, switch the celery salt rim for a fresh cracked salt & pepper rim or even Tim Horton coffee grounds.

13558Vodka can be infused with Pepper, Bacon, Maple Syrup or Citrus. Or, switch the vodka for Gin, Tequila, or various types of Whiskey, including a combo in North Vancouver we saw on a brunch menu with Jack Daniels & bbq sauce.

For garnish, every place you go these days seems to have their own take on the Caesar garnish. We have seen Spicy Beans, Bacon, Prawns, Pickles, Smoked Salmon, pickled garlic scapes, pickled Asparagus, and dozens of other combinations

Love it or hate it, the Caesar Is definitely Canada’s national cocktail, and will continue to be pulled apart and put back together by talented bartenders for at least another 40 years.