Celebrate National Caesar Day on May 16

Brian Rung

Do you have plans for the Thursday before Victoria Day? How would you like to join our neighbors to the north as they celebrate National Caesar Day on May 16?
This week we will meet a member of the Bloody Mary family and toast the beginning of summer, Canadian style.
Meet the Caesar, Canada's answer to the Bloody Mary and one of four members of the Bloody Mary family.
Rounding out the Bloody Mary family are the gin-based Red Snapper, the tequila-based Bloody Maria, and the classic Bloody Mary.
The Caesar is a Canadian creation, born in 1969 and hailing from Calgary, Alberta. The drink was created by popular restauranteur Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of Marco's Italian Restaurant inside the Calgary Inn.
Chell figured that since he created the drink for the opening of an Italian restaurant he needed an Italian name, and it doesn't get any more Roman than Caesar.
So, the Caesar was born. The drink quickly became the most popular drink in Canada and much like our U.S. Bloody Mary has inspired countless variants.
The Caesar had been the unofficial cocktail of Canada for decades before Parliament finally made it official nearly a decade ago. How much do Canadians love the Caesar?
Let us count the ways.
There are 419,000,000 Caesars consumed annually in Canada, or about 12 for every man, woman and child.
Mott's (makers of Clamato) reports that over three million Caesars are served with Mott's Clamato each month - over one million per day.
A 1985 study by the University of Toronto showed that drinking a Caesar when taking aspirin could help protect a person's stomach from the damage aspirin causes, as compared with drinking plain tomato juice.
Preparing a Caesar is as easy as 1-2-3-4.
Let's break down the “1-2-3-4”.
The “1” is one shot (one jigger) of vodka, not one ounce. The standard pour of vodka for mixed drinks in many bars is typically 1 1/2 ounce.
The “2” in the recipe is two dashes Tabasco sauce.
The “3” is three dashes salt, three dashes pepper.
The “4” is four dashes of Worcestershire sauce, followed by 4 ounces of Clamato.
The key difference in the Caesar and the American Bloody Mary is the use of Clamato instead of 100 percent tomato juice.
Remember, Clamato is not tomato juice. Clamato is a proprietary blend of tomato and clam that has a unique flavor profile found in no other tomato juice.
That being said, Clamato is commonly served in American Bloody Mary cocktails in the Northeast U.S. which makes it more Caesar than Bloody Mary.
Another discernable difference in the U.S. Bloody Mary and Canada's Caesar is that the Caesar does not use fresh lemon juice whereas a Bloody Mary typically includes fresh lemon juice.
The Caesar rarely appears on American bar menus, and when it does it is typically listed as a Bloody Caesar or a Clamdigger. You may receive a blank stare from your American bartender if you order a Caesar on National Caesar Day.
Even though lemon juice is not listed in the official “1-2-3-4” recipe, it is commonly used to rim the glass before adding celery salt. The sticky citrus juice holds the celery salt to the rim of the glass the same way that lime juice holds salt to the rim of the Margarita glass.
The lines between the four members of the Bloody Mary family get blurrier each year, feel free to mix and match ingredients until you find something wonderful. If your creation catches on you too could have your very own National Holiday.
The Caesar is built in a shaker and served in a Collins (tall) glass.
Rim glass with celery salt, then combine in shaker:
1 1/2 oz. vodka
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
3 dashes each, salt and pepper
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. Clamato
To mix, “roll” ingredients between shaker tin and pint glass until mixed.
Then, strain over ice into a tall glass, garnish with celery stalk and lime wedge.
Until next week, enjoy responsibly.