Absurd World

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Editor’s Pick
MAY 14, 2009 7:38AM

Caesar Canadanus

Rate: 14 Flag

The Caesar - A Canadian tradition of drunkeness

The Caesar - A Canadian tradition of drunkeness
Photo by hfabulous

40 years ago, in an unassuming bar in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, bartender Walter Chell created a drink that is widely anonymous outside Canada, the Caesar.  While Canadians drink 350 million Caesars a year (do the math on that one ... thats 10 Caesars per year for every Canadian, including newborns), trying to order one outside Canada usually elicits, at best, a dumb stare of non-recognition.

Who else but someone suffering extreme hypothermia (a natural condition in Canada for 9 months of the year, of course) could decide "a concoction of mixing clam juice, with tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and vodka" might make a good cocktail?  Vodka and tomato is one thing, but it takes a special kind of deranged to throw clams in the mix ... who but Canadians (or Klingons) would ever think of putting meat in their drinks?

And yet, its a wonderful taste, smooth and spicy at the same time.  Its the perfect apetizer before a meal, and a great party drink (though don't be the doofas who gets stuck making them for everyone).  So go out today, find a nice Canadian pub, and order yourself a Caesar.  Then explain to the bartender what it is, and finally, come to Canada to try a real one.  You'll like it.

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Does the Canadian bartender squeeze the clam for fresh juice? Or do they get the juice out of a bottle?

I'm all about fresh and natural.
LOL ... well, Mott's is nice enough to make a Clamato juice, just for us Canadians :). I think originally, it was real clam juice though.
You hosers are too funny! Loved the Klingon link!
I LOVE Caesars! It's so funny to try to order one here in The States because they have no idea what I'm talking about. I try to talk them through it and they're even more confused. "Clam juice?!!? WTF!"

Thank god I can buy Clamato at the supermarkets here.

This was hilarious, Lyle! I LOLed at the putting meat in the drink line, because it is so true! Rated!
You think THAT is weird? They mix Clamato with beer up there.
Sounds delish. mmmmm
You've apparently never dosed your hangover in Nevada. I've seen Clamato + real clams in neighborhood bars in both the south and the north.

Go to New Orleans. They'll put pickled okra in your bloody mary. Which is worse, getting okra stuck in your teeth or clams?
Richard: Who can talk about meat drinks without a Klingon link, especially sop close to the new Star Trek movie? :)

wskrz: do you also notice that even if they manage to find all the ingredients for you, its never quite the same taste outside of Canada?

Stellaa: Canadians are DEEPLY patriotic, especially so when we can display it by getting drunk. Thats a good mix for Canadians.

angrymom: Now thats just plain gross. I've seen that done here as well, and that crosses a serious line, IMO. Not enough alcohol content.

ConnieMack: Never dosed a hangover in Vegas, because my Vegas hangovers don't actually occur till I LEAVE Vegas. Oh, and okra in my Caesar is wrong on more levels than this Canadian can count. The only substitution or addition I'll accept is asparagus instead of a celery stick.

JK Brady: ahhhh, B52's. I;d say I remember drinking a ton of those in the 80's, but that would be a bald face lie. There are pictures proving its true, but given that its true, I'm not likely to remember much of it am I?

To Everyone: Thanks for the comments and rates.
Is that a green bean as garnish? And what is on the rim...salt and spices?
SuznMaree: In that picture, the drink has a hot pepper in it. A celery stick is the traditional addition, though different places here use all manner of veggies in Caesar's. My fave is asparagus.
Lyle - YES! I've gone so far as to print out a copy of the recipe and hand it to a bartender. I even bought some of the official Clamato Caesar glass rim seasoning for him to use. I watched him make it and it -still- didn't taste right. I can't figure it out.
As a Calgarian (for the last 10 years anyway) I approve of this posting. Although I've never really liked the drink all that much.
wskrz: Its not a "recipe" kind of drink. "A dash" isn't exactly an exact measurement, and there's a fairly unique way of making them properly that uses two glasses to get the mix right. If you mix it all in the main glass, not only doesn't it mix right, but you mess with the rim salt ... mix it in separate glass, then pour it all into the glass with the salted rim :) ... it's an art more than a science.
John: Always cool to catch up with another Calgarian. I'm a bit east of there now, but Calgary is home :)
"who but Canadians (or Klingons) would ever think of putting meat in their drinks?"

Who, indeed?

Candied bacon martini.

Okay I'm going out to buy myself a big bottle of Mott's extra spicy. So that you American's understand the magic...The ceasar is to alcohol, what thai cuisine is to cooking. You know the way that fish sauce is so stinky until you mix it with something? Clamato does not taste fishy. It just gives the tomato juice a kind of depth and meatiness. Drinking a couple of these is kind of like drinking steak...without the fat.
PADeitsch: Candied Bacon? Even without the martini part of that, thats wrong on a spiritual level here in Canada. Don't mess with our bacon ...

Juliet: You have lyrical way with words on this topic that betrays many hours on Montreal patios sampling Caesar's. Nice to see you're doing your part for the national numbers ;-)
I'm not a huge fan of the Caesar, but I was astounded when I learned only recently that no one outside of Canada knows what it is (or what Clamato is, for that matter.)

Isn't there a traditional cocktail made w/ beef broth? I can't for the life of me remember what it is, though. A little help here?
I'm not a huge fan of the Caesar, but I was astounded when I learned only recently that no one outside of Canada knows what it is (or what Clamato is, for that matter.)

Isn't there a traditional cocktail made w/ beef broth? I can't for the life of me remember what it is, though. A little help here?
I've never been a big fan of Caesars -- I know, that combined with not caring about hockey is just about enough to revoke my Canadian citizenship -- but I do love an extra-hot Bloody Mary with celery. Especially when I'm hungover.
Thanks for the post, Lyle. I suspect my Caesar consumption alone might account for the perception that even newborns are drinking them. What can i say? I like to skew the data where possible.

But they're a cure for hangovers, colds, flus, break ups, make ups, first Sundays of the week...
I want to try one!
Emma Peel: You can hate Caesar's and hockey as much as you want ... anyone who wears a leather unitard is ok in MY books ...

AnneMarie: Happy to see you are picking up for those slacking, suckling babies. And the Caesar is one of the few drinks that mixes vegetables and protein ... very healthy stuff there. With the celery, you've even got fiber.
Some research has turned up the beef broth cocktail I was thinking of : the Bullshot. Not as classic as I remembered.
Siobhan: ummmm, EWWWWWWWW ... clams are weird enough ... thanks for the comment :)
I'm with Suzn - it looks like a green bean. Must be yet another Canadian secret!
Blue: Others have said the same ... I'm going with the majority vote ... green bean it is :)
The rim = celery salt. The best garnish (I have tried) is the pickled spicy asparagus.

My favourite time to enjoy a Caesar is at wedding receptionsl. I'm usually so starved after a long day of churchiness that I sub a couple of these in as a meal replacement.

Congratulations on your first EP! I love clams and I love the sound of that drink, except for the spicy part. No tabasco for me.
R. Bomb: I love the asparagus. and its a good food substitute too :)

ktm: Thanks ... its actually my second editor's pick, but this was my first time on the front page. 2nd EP, 1st FP, lol. Kinda surprised the South Park one didn't get picked as well ... not sure I understand how its done, lol.
Oh, good grief! How could I possibly forget that when I got an EP for the same story? Need more EFAs... Omega-3s....
Hail Caesar indeed! Much more interesting than Mary, in any case. And the spicier the better. For those who want to do things the hard way, you can indeed get bottled clam juice. But spicy Mott's is far more efficient. Now for an added twist, make yourself a Dirty Caesar by throwing in some olive juice and a couple of olives. An excellent meal substitute on a Friday night!
And I have to agree with Juliet on the Thai cuisine comparison...I hadn't thought of it in those terms previously, but then again around here you don't really need to explain the concept all that often...