Most of us in the States are familiar with the Bloody Mary, a spicy mix of tomato juice, Worcestershire, horseradish, hot sauce, and vodka, garnished with a variety of veggies that often depend on the bar or bar tender. However, few of us are acquainted with the Great White North’s answer to this classic summer brunch cocktail: The Bloody Caesar, essentially a Bloody Mary with the addition of clam broth.
According to legend, the Caesar was first invented in 1969 by Walter Chell to compliment the menu of a new Calgary Italian restaurant. While its name conjures images of classic Rome, its moniker was chosen to honor Chell’s Italian heritage and his memories of Venice cuisine:
He recalled that… they served “spaghetti alle vongole,” spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. He reasoned that the mixture of clams and tomato sauce would make a good drink…
Other sources claim that Walter Chell merely named the drink, basing his recipe off a little-known ’50s cocktail, the Smirnoff Smiler. Either way, its popularity didn’t boom until the early ’70s, and it continues to be a favorite among Canadians today.
A Bloody Caesar is garnished with the same celery, olives, and optional lime or lemon that accompany its clam-free counterpart. In a proper Caesar, the clam broth supplies merely a hint of flavor and lightens the consistency of a traditional Mary, resulting in a more refreshing cocktail.
The obscurity of the drink outside Canada is known to irk traveling natives, forcing them to substitute a more viscous Mary for a slamming Caesar. Word of mouth has sent the Canadian classic to the States, where it’s catching on as a perfect compliment to any Mediterranean meal. Try Canada’s beloved twist on a summer staple for yourself with our new Clam and Tomato mix – ideal for a chilled, savory Bloody Caesar. Contact us for more information on our wide range of mixers, all made from natural ingredients to guarantee authentic flavor.