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TORONTO, June, 2020 – It is widely regarded as Canada’s signature cocktail.


Which, of course, makes the Caesar a natural to enjoy on the celebration of Canada’s 153rd birthday. First crafted in a Calgary hotel 51 years ago, the Caesar is the Canadian cousin of the Bloody Mary, and — much like The Tragically Hip, ketchup chips and poutine — is uniquely Canadian.


The classic Caesar is well established: Rim a tall glass with a lime wedge and celery salt. Add ice, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, salt, pepper, a shot of vodka and top with clamato juice. Garnish with a stalk of celery and lime wedge.


But over the past half-century-plus, Canadians have been playing with the make-up of the Caesar to concoct their own versions of the popular cocktail. By no means a definitive list, here are a few you can try — with the added bonus of featuring Canadian spirits and ingredients:


  • True North Caesar — This version puts some homegrown flavours into the mix. For the glass rimmer, add some maple sugar to the celery salt. Fill the glass with ice, pour in a shot of Polar Ice Vodka and Caesar cocktail mix. Season with a dash of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and hot sauce to taste. Add a stalk of celery to stir and garnish with a piece of bacon.
  • J.P. Wiser’s Prescott Caesar — This version replaces the vodka with J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Whisky, and introduces some new flavours. Add dried and ground basil leaves to the celery salt rimmer for a fresh Canadian summer taste. To the ice, clamato, whisky, Worcestershire and hot sauce, add a squeeze of juice from half a lemon and a shot pineapple juice. Stir and garnish with beef jerky.
  • Bloody Gaspésie — This original take on Canada’s drink shines a light squarely on the Maritimes. Make your rim with sea salt, pepper and dried seaweed powder. Over ice, pour a shot of Chic Choc Canadian Spiced Rum, ½ ounce of Kayak white vermouth, a squeeze of lime juice and ½ teaspoon of Siracha. Top with clamato and stir. Garnish with snow crab slaw and cucumber.


There is also a lot of versatility in what you use to garnish your Caesar. The celery stalk is pretty standard — essentially an edible stir stick. But this is a good place to experiment. Try building a Canadian Skewer — place grilled peameal bacon on a stick with a selection of some Canadian cheese, such as old cheddar or Oka, and strip bacon. Other good garnishes may include olives, Canadian dill pickles, pepperoncini peppers, spicy beans, pepperoni sticks, onion rings, shrimp … really, the limit of the Caesar garnish is the limit of your own tastes and imagination.


Celebrate the Canadian way! A Canadian Caesar deserves a truly Canadian spirit.


What’s your favourite Caesar? Let us know on Twitter @CorbySW.