This cocktail is a Classic Canadian Caesar Recipe, perfect for brunch or to cure a hangover. This cocktail consists of vodka, clamato juice, spices and a few secret ingredients, similar to a Bloody Mary, but so much better!
On my travels I’ve been asked “What are some classic Canadian dishes?” and after many years of repeating the usual suspects: poutine, Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, etc., I’ve started to realized that maybe the Caesar truly is the greatest culinary contribution my country has given the world.
What, you’ve never heard of the Caesar? It is like a Bloody Mary – but so much more. It is a hangover cure in a glass, the quintessential patio sipper, and my personal welcome home gift to myself whenever I land back on a Canadian airstrip.
This drink was invented in the city I call home, Calgary. I spent years slinging this cocktail behind a bar and can proudly say that this Caesar recipe, as strange as it may seem at first, makes me patriotic like nothing else in this world.
Ingredients You Need
No, we aren’t going to just throw some vodka into some tomato juice – we deserve better even if we may not realize it yet. Our Caesar recipe begins with our Caesar mix, don’t doubt the ingredient list just yet instead just learn to trust the process – have I led you wrong yet?
- Worcestershire sauce – A fermented condiment used to enhance savoury food and drinks. Essentially bottled umami.
- BBQ sauce – Any will do, whether it be generic superstore brand or some specially blended craft sauce. Personally I like something a bit on the sweeter side with some rich colour.
- Pickle juice – Any recipe worth its salt will introduce an element of acidity and this right here is a splash of that. That pickle juice at the bottom of the jar full of pickling spices is the ideal scoop so don’t shy away from the floaties.
- Soy sauce – I’d recommend low sodium as the base of our drink, Clamato, is plenty salty on its own. If regular sodium is all you have though just use a bit less.
- Tabasco sauce – Caesars should burn going down, that’s just a fact of life. I love to use half green and half red tabasco for this recipe but either color will do. In fact you can use any colour you want, as long as that sauce comes packaged in a bottle with tabasco on the label.
- Horseradish – I always keep a bottle of well loved extra hot in the fridge. This ingredient is in my opinion, the hangover cure key. Even if you feel fresh as a daisy be sure to add a dollop.
- Onion powder – Just a little will go a long way.
- Steak spice – In an ideal world I would make sure every home had a little bottle of Montreal steak spice for any and all occasions, but if it’s not available where you live any old kind will do.
- Vodka – The flavors here are so strong that the taste profile of nice vodka will get completely lost. I just use whatever’s laying around.
- Clamato juice – The star, the foundation on which our cocktail desires are built, the mighty but humble Clamato. A combination of tomato and clam (yes, clam) juice. Don’t be scared of it, there’s a reason this cocktail is a national treasure and clamato is that reason.
How To Make A Caesar
- Assemble: Measure Caesar mix ingredients into a bowl and combine thoroughly. In a glass filled to the brim with ice, pour an equal amount of vodka and Caesar mix. Top with Clamato juice and garnish as your heart desires, information on garnishes listed below. That’s it! Now just sit back and enjoy!
- If you are not on speaking terms with vodka, gin or tequila are perfectly good substitutions.
- Rim your glass! Before adding any ice, place a lime wedge with a slit cut in the middle on the rim of the glass and slide it around the rim full circle, then dip the glass head down in powdered Caesar rim, proudly displayed in most Canadian grocery stores right near the front door. Can’t find any? Mix a heaping spoonful of steak spice with half a teaspoon each coarse salt and black pepper as well as a quarter teaspoon garlic powder.
- Garnishes are optional but highly encouraged. Most pubs here at home will throw a stick of celery and a wedge of lime in your glass but we’ve also been treated to extreme beans, pickle spears, beef jerky sticks, bacon strips, pickled onions, etc. A busy local downtown bar even throws in a big cube of cheese.
- Are you a fan of Mexican Micheladas? Or American Red Eyes? Well the Caesar is your new best friend, just add clamato juice, tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to your beer along with a healthy squeeze of lime wedge.
This Caesar mix recipe can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
Looking for More Cocktails? Try These:
- Mulled Wine
- Grenadine Sunrise
- Pomegranate Elderflower Spritzers
- Red Grapefruit and Basil Mimosas
- Sangria Blanco
- The Best Mojito
Looking for more recipes? Follow on…
Classic Canadian Caesar Recipe
- 2 cups ice
- 4 ounce vodka
- 4 cup Clamato juice (tomato juice with spices and clam broth)
- Combine all the caesar mix ingredients and mix well.
- Wet the rim of 4 glasses or jars (you can either use water, or use a fresh lemon or lime) then dip the glass rim into a plate with caesar rim seasoning. See video.
- Fill all glasses half way with ice. Divide the caesar mix equally among the 4 glasses. Add 1 oz of vodka in each glass and a cup of the Clamato juice. Mix well using a long spoon.
- Garnish with extreme beans, pickles and lime wedges. Enjoy!
- You can use tequila or gin if you don’t want to use vodka. Alternatively, this cocktail can be made virgin with no alcohol.
- You can use anything you like for garnish. Traditionally, Caesars are made with a lime wedge and a stalk of celery.
- Clamato juice is tomato juice that is seasoned with spices and clam broth. If you can’t find it, you can use this Caesar mix for a Bloody Mary and just use tomato juice.
- If you don’t like your Caesars spicy at all, you can leave out the tabasco.
- Use more or less of the Caesar mix depending on how dirty you’d like it.