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Clam and tomato? Brilliant!
October 6, 2012 11:39 AM   Subscribe

Often hailed as Canada's favourite cocktail, the Caesar is a combination of vodka, Clamato, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce served in a glass rimmed with celery salt. It is almost unheard of outside of Canada.

The Caesar, sometimes referred to as a Bloody Caesar, was invented in Calgary in 1969 and was intended to be the signature drink at the Calgary Inn's new Italian restaurant. Walter Chell, the inventor of the drink, was inspired by spaghetti alle vongole when he decided that a mixture of mashed clam and tomato juice would make a good base for the new cocktail.

While Chell's original recipe didn't include hot sauce, the Caesar is famous for it's 1-2-3-4 mixing method: 1oz vodka, 2 dashes hot sauce, 3 dashes salt and pepper, 4 dashes of Worcestershire, all topped up with Clamato.

The Caesar is so popular in Canada that both Mott's and Smirnoff sell premixed versions, and the Toronto Institute of Bartending runs an annual Caesar School that teaches bartenders how to make a wide range of variations on the popular drink.
posted by asnider (119 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
That sounds delicious. Never heard of it.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:42 AM on October 6, 2012


sounds like a bloody marry
posted by cupcake1337 at 11:44 AM on October 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


First time I heard of this drink was on a bike trip to Canada in 1996. We were busy drinking La Fin Du Monde which wasn't available in the US at the time. The bartender kept making these drinks with Clamato (which I love) and we finally asked "what the hell is that?" She looked at us like we had two heads.

On preview, must resist urge...
posted by fixedgear at 11:47 AM on October 6, 2012


Oh my god, they are amazing. I had them in Cambridge one evening because of the guys was celebrating Canada Day. He had to buy in the clamato juice especially since it's hard to find it in the UK.

Oh, and they're *miles* better than Bloody Marys.
posted by Scottie_Bob at 11:47 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


My own introduction to the Caesar came via one of the best comix/cookbooks ever to emerge from Canada, Scrambled Brains by Robin Konstabaris and Pierre Leblanc. (Scroll up to page 20 for the beginning of the recipe.) When I first read the recipe, I was horrified by the idea of adding Clamato juice, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try it. Which I did. They are, as Scottie_Bob says, amazing.
posted by bakerina at 11:51 AM on October 6, 2012


It is delicious. Not only can we buy pre-mix in the grocery store in the tomato juice department, it comes in various degrees of spiciness. And Frank's Red Hot even has a Caesar flavour of hot sauce.
posted by thecjm at 11:51 AM on October 6, 2012


I love Clamato, but this entry from the Clamato web site FAQ is, uhm, weird. Mollusk reanimation? Engineers? WTF?

How do you add the clam flavor to Clamato®?

Using a top-secret process for mollusk reanimation, our engineers add a small amount (less than .01 percent) of clam broth at just the right moment to give Clamato its unique taste.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:57 AM on October 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


I love Clamato, but this entry from the Clamato web site FAQ is, uhm, weird.

Ha! I came here to say that! I was also taken with:


Why is there so much sodium in Clamato?

The use of tomatoes increases the presence of sodium.


Um... what?
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:59 AM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Using a top-secret process for mollusk reanimation,

Clamato was always popular at Miskatonic U.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:02 PM on October 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


I suspect the drink is more widely traveled than the name. That's how almost every Bloody Mary I've had has been made.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:03 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I went off Mott's after buying a bottle rather than just drinking 'pint caesars' (with up to 4.5 oz of vodka) at bars. The Mott's ingredients include glucose and msg, as I recall (I'm not trying to scare up a return to the great mefi msg debate). I really didn't enjoy it at home as much as I did in the bars, and ended up throwing out half the bottle.

I am looking forward to trying my own mix of clam and tomato juices... a great project for this Canadian thanksgiving weekend, come to think.

Thanks for the post - I had never heard of the 1,2,3,4 thing.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 12:05 PM on October 6, 2012


I never heard of Bloody Caesars until I immigrated here and my husband mentioned it - reverently, as you Canadians do.

But for me it's an intersection of two things I can't stand:
1) it's Bloody Mary-ish (I hate vodka and Bloody Marys are super nasty - so salty and yuck)
2) it involves, y'know, clam pee *shudder* (I hate seafood)

Great post for the Thanksgiving long weekend though!
posted by flex at 12:08 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suspect the drink is more widely traveled than the name. That's how almost every Bloody Mary I've had has been made.

If someone made you a Bloody Mary with Clamato juice in it then you should stop associating with said someone.

(I think Caesar's are disgusting but hey, Go Canada)
posted by Cosine at 12:11 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I once tried to invent a vodka martini with oyster garnish. I called it 'the Kraken'. At one point I thought perhaps the addition of clam juice would help.

It didn't.

I was also totally surprised how hard it is to find it in cans; old drink books list it as a standard stock item but it appears to have disappeared from the USian diet.

The Caesar sounds delish.
posted by mwhybark at 12:14 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I adore Bloody Caesars, I've never had a Bloody Mary that even comes close. I'm actually really surprised that they're not popular elsewhere, I think people just cringe at the thought of the Clamato.
posted by Hazelsmrf at 12:14 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I suspect the drink is more widely traveled than the name. That's how almost every Bloody Mary I've had has been made.

Isn't a Bloody Mary supposed to use normal tomato juice?
posted by asnider at 12:17 PM on October 6, 2012


Why is there so much sodium in Clamato?
The use of tomatoes increases the presence of sodium.

Um... what?
That's not that crazy. Tomatoes are high in sodium, hence their umami-rich flavor.
posted by peacheater at 12:19 PM on October 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ugh. I can't even be downwind of someone drinking one. There are six drinks:

1. Beer (default)
2. Wine (dinner)
3. Gin and tonic (summer cocktail party)
4. Martini (any cocktail party)
5. Whiskey (winter)
6. Vodka (tragedies, disinfectant)

Anything else means you don't really like alcohol - you're just looking for a delivery system.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:20 PM on October 6, 2012 [18 favorites]


I tried to spread the love for this at a recent Seattle meetup. It turns out that Ivar's Salmon House has Clamato, which this Canadian ex-pat really appreciated.

I've had a few good Bloody Marys, but they're not even a patch on a proper Caesar.
posted by ChrisR at 12:20 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anything else means you don't really like alcohol - you're just looking for a delivery system.

Right, if I drink Lillet, or a Campari and soda, I'm just looking for a delivery system.

(?!)
posted by kenko at 12:30 PM on October 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is a very popular drink here in Monterrey, Mexico, except we also add lots of lime juice. We ask for a "clamato", "clamato preparado" or "clamato con cerveza". It's very common to see it as a sort of appetizer at seafood places. My dad likes to drink it as an after-excercise pick-me-up. Yum!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 12:31 PM on October 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Anything else means you don't really like alcohol - you're just looking for a delivery system.

Right, cause people who like Mezcal are basically drinking wine coolers.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:36 PM on October 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Tomatoes are high in sodium, hence their umami-rich flavor.

I have learned two things today!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:37 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I like Vodka and Spicy V8 with a couple dashes of worcestshire. I'll have to see if the local grocery even has Clamato.
posted by Mojojojo at 12:40 PM on October 6, 2012


"clamato con cerveza"

A beer & clamato mix is called a Red Eye -- I've never seen anyone drink one, but I think they are popular in some parts of the country (Calgary?)

Caesars gross me out most of the time, but occasionally I get a craving for one (or more!) with brunch. The premixed ones are disgusting.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 12:45 PM on October 6, 2012


It is a very popular drink here in Monterrey, Mexico, except we also add lots of lime juice. We ask for a "clamato", "clamato preparado" or "clamato con cerveza".

Isn't that a michelada?
posted by fixedgear at 12:46 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Only found out they were a Canadian thing last Saturday, when I was out at the pub with three girls -me drinking my beer, and all 3 of them on the caesars.

I can only get into them if they're ultra spicy, like to the point where my eyes water. But hmmm now that I'm thinking of them....
posted by mannequito at 12:55 PM on October 6, 2012


You can just buy clam juice on the shelves in grocery stores in Canada. It's odd.
posted by angerbot at 12:56 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Beer and clam" though very very wrong is quite popular in Saskatchewan. Never heard it called anything else.

My uncle once tried to order a Caesar at a bar at LAX. They looked at him like he was from space.

Fun fact: Motts Clamato ran a commercial during Super Bowl III.
posted by evilcolonel at 12:57 PM on October 6, 2012


Being endemic to Canada doesn't mean it's our "favourite cocktail." I'd be willing to bet rum & coke outsells it by a factor of ten at the very least. And then there's the rye & ginger, which, while not endemic, and probably not even native, is twice as Canadian by volume.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:57 PM on October 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


I love these. Like a Bloody Mary with panache. Along with poutine, my favorite thing about Canadian cuisine.
posted by Capybara at 1:00 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can just buy clam juice on the shelves in grocery stores in Canada. It's odd.




In the US, too, but what is so odd about it? It goes in spaghetti with clam sauce.
posted by fixedgear at 1:01 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Caesars are popular enough in Juneau, AK, that it's the first mixed drink I learned to make behind the bar at the local Eagle's Club. That and the strange practice of tomato juice/Clamato in a pint of beer.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:04 PM on October 6, 2012


My wife and I went through a lot of these last year with lots of hot sauce. We found the recipe on the Clamato bottle we were using for Cheladas. Good times! Also, best wife ever.
posted by xorry at 1:06 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Love me a Caesar, perfect apres ski drink! Gives me an idea for the next Calgary meet up.
posted by arcticseal at 1:17 PM on October 6, 2012


Clamato wouldn't be so bad if the name didn't sound like an STD for tomatoes.
posted by orme at 1:19 PM on October 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Clamato wouldn't be so bad if the name didn't sound like an STD for tomatoes.

Also, it's an anagram of "camalto."
posted by Sys Rq at 1:26 PM on October 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


jimmythefish: "
1. Beer (default)
2. Wine (dinner)
3. Gin and tonic (summer cocktail party)
4. Martini (any cocktail party)
5. Whiskey (winter)
6. Vodka (tragedies, disinfectant)
"

Pardon me. You forgot brandy/cognac.
posted by workerant at 1:48 PM on October 6, 2012


No bourbon or Scotch (ahem, whisky)?

This shall not stand.
posted by flex at 1:51 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


You allow people to drink 6 kinds of alcohol? Pssshhht. Amateur. People are allowed two things: mouthwash from the dollar store and pruno. THAT'S ALL
posted by 23skidoo at 1:58 PM on October 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


as a recent resident of canada, i can confess of having never heard of a caesar before, but now it's a standard drink for me at brunch. i really don't have a taste for one at nighttime, but it's a real pleasure just before a nice omelette. the spicier the better, and screw it, put olives in there, maybe some celery, i'm down.
posted by oog at 1:59 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Caesars? Digusting. To each his own, I suppose. But, man. ...Why? Clam juice? Horrible. Weekend brunch cocktail? I'll take a mimosa, thanks.

...Also missing from the list of essential alcohols: Eau de vie!
posted by Bartonius at 2:03 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, Caesars, because no drink is complete without meat juice...

Honestly, it sounds like maybe McDonald's could get into selling these.
posted by starfishprime at 2:18 PM on October 6, 2012


Can anyone comment from experience on whether clam juice + tomato juice yields a replacement for Clamato? (In the back of my mind, I think someone I know tried this and it was awful, but now I don't remember who or what the problem was.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:24 PM on October 6, 2012


This drink is a staple at my local ski hill in Montana (Showdown Ski Area). Never knew it wasn't well known elsewhere, since they're such a normal thing there. Of course, something might be wrong with th e ski hill. Last year while there, I sat down in the lodge for lunch and the lady sitting next to me had beer in a pint glass with something long and green in it. On closer inspection, it was a huge section of a pickle. Blech. The lady claimed it was normal in North Dakota, where she was visiting from, but I don't believe that either...
posted by msbrauer at 2:29 PM on October 6, 2012


Tomatoes don't naturally have all that much sodium, maybe 20 or 30 milligrams in a cup. That's more than most vegetables, but it's not really 'a lot' by any reasonable standard. (A teaspoon of salt is about 2,300 mg, by way of comparison.)

I think the Clamato people are, in other words, lying their heads off.
posted by Malor at 2:32 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. Mr. Sunny gives me a hard time about just how much I hate clamato. *shudder*

I love a spicy hot bloody Mary tho.
posted by annsunny at 2:33 PM on October 6, 2012


I'm surprised that clamato is the only savory seafood drink that's ever really taken off. oh wait actually I'm not at all
posted by threeants at 2:38 PM on October 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ah yes, growing up in small town British Columbia this does indeed bring back memories. Mostly terrible ones as I seem to recall every single person I knew, myself included, getting violently ill at various times after drinking way too many of these in one sitting during our senior year high school days.

Blecchhhh. Even after all these years of sobriety. Blecchhhh.

That being said, great post.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 2:41 PM on October 6, 2012


It's not exactly unheard of to see a bloody mary garnished with a shrimp in the states, I'm not sure why people are shocked at the clam juice thing.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:43 PM on October 6, 2012


I've had them solely to desire more water. They're really quite good at that, making you want to drink more water.

They're also delicious.
posted by Slackermagee at 2:49 PM on October 6, 2012


No bourbon or Scotch (ahem, whisky)? This shall not stand.

Hmm I was being slightly 'get off my lawn' but I will point out that Scotch is 'scotch whiskey' (and yes whiskey is perfectly acceptable - see www.jamesonwhiskey.com for example). Calling it 'scotch' instead of 'whiskey' is throwing out a whole bunch of alright whiskeys that aren't Scottish (like Jameson).
posted by jimmythefish at 2:55 PM on October 6, 2012


OH IT'S ON
posted by flex at 3:15 PM on October 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's not exactly unheard of to see a bloody mary garnished with a shrimp in the states

The first time I ever tried a bloody mary was when my friend ordered one and it came with a shrimp, and I really, really wanted a shrimp, and my taste of her bloody wasn't terrible. Been buying bloody mary mix regularly ever since. Would like to try a Caesar, and might well go out and buy the ingredients next week.
posted by cthuljew at 3:22 PM on October 6, 2012


mmmm breakfast.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 3:23 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am propose we refer to these cocktails as "Canadian Cosmopolitans" henceforth
posted by Bwithh at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


LIME!!!

A proper Caesar has a wedge of lime in there, squeezed then just dropped in. It's essential.

I just bought two jugs of Clamato (regular, and spice yourself; do NOT buy the spicy Clamato. yecch) for my Mom, who adores them and has me make them whenever we visit.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:30 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being endemic to Canada doesn't mean it's our "favourite cocktail." I'd be willing to bet rum & coke outsells it by a factor of ten at the very least.

Rum and coke is a highball, not a cocktail.
posted by asnider at 3:43 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am propose we refer to these cocktails as "Canadian Cosmopolitans" henceforth

I'm sure you mean Chatelaines.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:59 PM on October 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


It turns out that Ivar's Salmon House has Clamato, which this Canadian ex-pat really appreciated.

This is in fact where I began to try to invent the Kraken. Clamato they had. Clam juice, nope. Thank god, it really was a terrible idea to try it with the clam juice.
posted by mwhybark at 4:13 PM on October 6, 2012


Dude, Canada is almost unheard of outside of Canada.
posted by davelog at 4:15 PM on October 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Substitute good smoky tequila for the vodka for a César.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:28 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Savory cocktails. Probably going to be the next big thing, if it hasn't already taken off. I'm not talking about bacon martini's or manhattans.

Based on my bartender friends doing shots of fernet with a roasted ox bone luge, bone marrow and bitters* will probably be this winters go to drinks.

As for the 'mixed drinks are for people who don't want to taste alcohol' crowd, you have poor imagination and lack of experience with good mixed drinks.

Theres a name for a hip restaurant right there.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:39 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I am a massive fan of the Caesar, although Clamato has gotten progressively saltier as the years have gone by, along with most things. I still enjoy many of them when I go back to Canada for a visit, because it is impossible (or nearly so) to get the required ingredients here in Korea.

The way to make a truly Celestially Delicious Caesar, however, involves adding a half-teaspoon or so of creamy white horseradish and stirring it in vigourously. Aiiii I am drooling a bit just thinking about it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Beer and clam" though very very wrong is quite popular in Saskatchewan. Never heard it called anything else.

In BC, we always called it a 'clam eye', after 'red eye' of course. I am also very fond of those.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:47 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Being endemic to Canada doesn't mean it's our "favourite cocktail." I'd be willing to bet rum & coke outsells it by a factor of ten at the very least.

Rum and coke is a highball, not a cocktail.


Come now, you know as well as I they meant a Cuba Libre, which is a cocktail.

"Beer and clam" though very very wrong is quite popular in Saskatchewan. Never heard it called anything else.

I can confirm, though I have also noticed that you can buy them premixed in a tall-boy in SoCal.

Lastly, where are the OTHER seafood/juice mixes? When can I order up a glass or Orange-Halibut or Squid-Grape?
posted by Cosine at 4:58 PM on October 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Caesars are terrific. I like that you can walk into any decent bar in Canada and get a good one. I've given up on Bloody Marys in the states; either you get some garbage swill or you get something with a pickled salad perched on it, celery fronds tickling your nose while you drink. And for those confused the Caesar is quite different from a Bloody Mary; not just the clam flavor, but the lack of black pepper and horseradish, the extra presence of celery salt.

I've been told that real snobs make a Caesar with actual clam juice, not clamato. Is that true? Does it make a difference?
posted by Nelson at 4:58 PM on October 6, 2012


Hm, I don't think I've ever seen clam juice for sale in this country. Maybe I'll try this with fish sauce. It's all pressed harbour-floor scrapings anyway. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:01 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always figured Clamato was the most horrifying thing in the world...until I found this.

Try making a cocktail with that, Canada!
posted by sonascope at 5:02 PM on October 6, 2012


Often hailed as Canada's favourite cocktail, the Caesar is a combination of vodka, Clamato, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce served in a glass rimmed with celery salt.
...
Isn't that a michelada?

Oh yeah, well we Americans have the Bud Light Chelada! Beat that!

No, I mean really, please, beat it until it goes away. It is an abomination.

I've had a Caesar, they're good, but then I love salt and shellfish.

I'm thinking a Caesar with Sriracha makes perfect sense. But then again everything makes more sense with sriracha. Also, it would be fun experimenting with regional variations of the Caesar. Use creole seasoning and crayfish broth or oysters and bayleaves / paprika, etc.
posted by formless at 5:03 PM on October 6, 2012


I imagine, sonascope, that the kraut juice is where they go after the pickleback is played out.
Krautback?
(What is that? Some kind of Americanized vision of an Australian-German Fusion drink?)
posted by Seamus at 5:22 PM on October 6, 2012


I always figured Clamato was the most horrifying thing in the world...until I found [kraut juice].

I agree that Clamato is disturbing, but a bit of kraut juice in a Bloody sounds pretty good, in fact.

(I tried the Bud Light Chelada once. It is the single most disgusting thing I have ever consumed from a can.)
posted by neckro23 at 5:23 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't see why anyone would think this drink disgusting. It's just an alcoholic Manhattan clam chowder smoothie.
posted by zippy at 5:27 PM on October 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


What is that shit they sell 'round these parts - those tallboys that're a premixed concoction of Bud Light and Clamato?

Those things are only produced because of a group of beer executives' game of truth or dare gone horribly, horribly evil.
posted by item at 5:33 PM on October 6, 2012


What is that shit they sell 'round these parts - those tallboys that're a premixed concoction of Bud Light and Clamato?

The one's I've seen are marketed as "Chelada" - and I reckon it's an attempt to market some canned version of a Michelada in Spanish speaking neighborhoods.

And while a Michelada is refreshing and wonderful, a Chelada is garbage.
posted by device55 at 5:37 PM on October 6, 2012


Isn't that a michelada?

No, a Michelada doesn't have any Clamato in it. Technically, some people call a "Clamato preparado con cerveza" (not called a Caesar here) a "sangre de cristo" or blood of christ.

A michelada is beer with lime, Maggi sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sometimes Tabasco and/or chili powder and salt, over ice.

A chelada is just beer with lime juice, salt, and ice.

Sol beer has a Clamato version and a lime and salt version. But of course, the real thing where you mix things yourself is better.

....one more recipe: my mom and I sometimes drink mineral water (or club soda) with beer, lime juice and a splash of grapefruit juice. So refreshing!
posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:05 PM on October 6, 2012


I just looked it up, and Clamato has a serving size of 250 milliliters (very slightly larger than one cup), and 890mg of sodium. That's about a third of a teaspoon of salt per cup.

There is no way that's coming from the tomatoes. Absolutely no way. They're either using salted tomatoes to start with (many canned tomatoes come with a lot of salt), or adding salt themselves.

Almost hit post, but then I actually looked up a picture of the ingredient list: they're definitely adding salt. Worse, there's more MSG in Clamato than salt..... whether or not you're MSG-intolerant, there's a bunch of sodium in that, too. At least they're honest about it being there.
posted by Malor at 6:29 PM on October 6, 2012


I don't do Clamato because of the vegetarian thing but I've had absolutely wonderful feedback on serving a Bloody Mary variant made with Aalborg Akvavit (basically caraway seed-flavored vodka, although there are a couple of other minor spice notes in it). Make your standard very spicy Bloody, do the celery salt on the rim thing and substitute the Akvavit for your regular vodka. There's something about the combination of caraway seeds, celery salt and tomato juice that is beyond tasty. Now that I think about it, there's the basis for a really wonderful fresh tomato salad there, with the last of this year's vine-ripened tomatoes.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 6:46 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's only one place outside of Canada where I've never gotten a raised eyebrow ordering a Caesar, not even once: Las Vegas. Not sure what that means.
posted by loquax at 7:04 PM on October 6, 2012


Caesars are excellent. I really don't eat seafood at all, never have, but by the time I found out Caesars had 'clam juice' in them, I had already had hundreds so just chose to ignore that fact. They are WAY better than bloody marys. When I go 'home' I always make a point of having a Caesar. Or three. And the bar bills kill NYC's anyday. Drink happy, leave happy.
posted by bquarters at 7:12 PM on October 6, 2012


LobsterMitten - whether clam juice + tomato juice yields a replacement for Clamato

Not quite. Most tomato juices that I've had are rather thicker and more pulpy (grainy) than Clamato. Then again, I did try to recreate it in college (in IA) by dumping in the water from a can of clams (about 1:10 clam water to tomato juice) and using much more vodka than usual.

It did the trick, but it wasn't really a real Caesar (but being expat, nostalgia might have made me even more snobbish). Maybe strain tomato juice through a few layers of muslin/cheesecloth?

Anyways, the Midwestern palates I shared it with were, er, hostile to fruits des mer and it was a total debacle.

Maybe its a regional thing, but I find that the choice of rimmer (essentially celery salt; before pouring the drink, wet finger and wipe around rim of glass, upturn glass into a plate of celery salt) certainly confounds whether a Caesar is a good Caesar.

Traditionally (?) the garnish is a stick of celery but I'm a big fan of pickled string beans or even pickled asparagus, so what the heck do I know?
posted by porpoise at 7:37 PM on October 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I seem to recall having heard of ceasars before moving to Canada....
posted by eviemath at 7:48 PM on October 6, 2012


Yeah, a couple of my friends are nuts for those Bud Light Cheladas. I guess drowning it in Clamato makes a Bud Light almost drinkable?
posted by xedrik at 8:09 PM on October 6, 2012


A Caesar can be a fantastic meal. As mentioned above, a squeeze of lime is a must, but so is a good stick of celery, or a spicy pickled bean or any other vegetable. Along with an oyster shooter (oyster, hot sauce, tequila or vodka). I've had many an interesting time with both of those drinks/foods at hand.
posted by ashbury at 8:21 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh, clamato. I would rather drink actual human blood than clamato. THE HORROR.
posted by elizardbits at 8:23 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


or a spicy pickled bean

Huh. Well apparently my local bar was serving straight-up Caesars as Bloody Marys.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:30 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"One large tomato, measuring 3 inches in diameter, contains 9 mg of sodium. One cup of cherry tomatoes contains just 7 mg. A 1/4-inch-thick slice of tomato on your burger or sandwich costs you a measly 1 mg of sodium.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/441180-salt-content-in-fresh-tomatoes/#ixzz28aPOO19O
"

Not very high in sodium then.
posted by SuzySmith at 9:59 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Using a top-secret process for mollusk reanimation, our engineers add a small amount (less than .01 percent) of clam broth at just the right moment to give Clamato its unique taste.

Yeah, reading about "Flavor Scientists", "Flavor Engineers", and the science and engineering behind modern mass-production of food was one of the greatest parts of Fast Food Nation.

Just a quick Google search on flavor engineers brought up this passage from McClancy:

McClancy flavor engineers solve problems and create new opportunities for our valued clients every day.

So much 50s optimism in those Clamato and McClancy blurbs. The Future!

Sorry for the derail. Canada has brought us the great cocktail the Caesar, and Poutine, the ultimate bar/pub/club after-hours food. I don't think this is a coincidence.
posted by formless at 11:18 PM on October 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


So do people take home whatever Canadian Cosmopolitan/Bloody Caesar they can't drink at the bar and boil up it as piping hot soup for the next icy Arctic day's family breakfast ?
posted by Bwithh at 12:12 AM on October 7, 2012


A Caesar can be a fantastic meal
like I said, breakfast.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:46 AM on October 7, 2012


I had no idea this was a Canadian drink. It's not common at all in the UK - as in I've only seen it on a bar menu about twice in my life - which is a shame. The Bloody Mary is basically a deranged umami fist fight between strong flavours, so adding a bit of lipsmacking shellfish juice makes perfect sense to me.

Hmm I was being slightly 'get off my lawn' but I will point out that Scotch is 'scotch whiskey' (and yes whiskey is perfectly acceptable - see www.jamesonwhiskey.com for example). Calling it 'scotch' instead of 'whiskey' is throwing out a whole bunch of alright whiskeys that aren't Scottish (like Jameson).

That's not right, is it? Jameson is an Irish whiskey, which isn't the same thing as Scotch whisky (nor an American whiskey). As far as I know, drinks called 'whiskey' are only made in Ireland and the US, though there are some American brands that most folk would think of as whiskeys or bourbon whiskeys that use the 'whisky' spelling on their labels, like Maker's Mark.

'Whiskey' doesn't include any Scotches, and 'Scotch whiskey' is just a spelling mistake (unless we're talking about an Irish-style whiskey made by a Scottish distillery, which probably isn't a thing that exists).
posted by jack_mo at 3:21 AM on October 7, 2012


I hated Clamato when I lived in Canada, but it became one of those weird things I started to miss when I moved abroad. One day, after I told everyone at the office about this weird concoction, my boss ordered a bottle from the local US food importer. This was American Clamato, which has HFCS (apparently the Canadian version doesn't) and tasted a bit different, but it was so good to have that taste of home.

Of course, even the co-workers who gagged at the thought of clam juice had no trouble downing a Caesar or two..
posted by third word on a random page at 3:46 AM on October 7, 2012


There does not seem to be any mention of a pepperoni stick garnish in these comments. Spicy Bloody Caesar + Pepperoni Stick Garnish = Awesome.
posted by alby at 4:15 AM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Alternatively, you can have a Fuzzy Caesar, which is Clamato, Tabasco and peach schnapps. If you like that you might also enjoy the legendary Tuna Colada.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:22 AM on October 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am Canadian and had no idea this atrocity was specific to my homeland.

I am sorry world, it certainly wasn't MY idea.
posted by biscotti at 5:11 AM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am Canadian and had no idea this atrocity was specific to my homeland.

I am also Canadian and had some vague notion they were primarily Canadian, but I agree with you absolutely that they are atrocious.

I don't see any mention about how elaborate garnishes can get. At one time, I'm sure it was just celery salt and a stalk of celery. But now there seems to be some rivalry involving bars getting more and more outrageous in their invention. We were at a restaurant last night and a tray of Caesars went by that looked like they had tiny platters of tapas perched on top. Among the garnishes were smoked sausage and BBQ rub.
posted by looli at 7:41 AM on October 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would rather drink actual human blood than clamato. THE HORROR

THE HORROR
1oz vodka
2 dashes hot sauce
3 shakes salt and pepper
Top off with actual human blood. Mm!
posted by dirtdirt at 8:12 AM on October 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


For some reason a Caesar is my favorite airplane drink. I almost never drink them anywhere else, but get a compulsion to drink one as soon as I step foot in an airplane. Or even the airport, often. But now I'm gonna have to go buy some clamato and have one at home.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:37 AM on October 7, 2012


Wait, what kind of hot sauce, THIS IS IMPORTANT.
posted by elizardbits at 9:25 AM on October 7, 2012


sriracha will work in a pinch if you for example work in an asian restaurant and don't carry tabasco... wasabi too if you're feeling fun.
posted by twist my arm at 9:33 AM on October 7, 2012


pruno

no... just... no

i don't know what got grossed out the fastest-- my eyes, my mouth, or my stomach. but if i ever need an image to help me puke...
posted by twist my arm at 9:37 AM on October 7, 2012


Wait, what kind of hot sauce, THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Traditionally it is Tabasco, but Frank's Red Hot makes a "Caesar flavour" hot sauce which is what usually ends up in my fridge.
posted by asnider at 9:55 AM on October 7, 2012


jimmythefish: There are six drinks:

Nuh uh. Five. Vodka is for preserving fruit and vegetable juices.
posted by dmayhood at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2012


The Bloody Caesar/Canadian Cosmopolitan Crisis: A Young Nation Searches For Identity


Also, Beefamato
posted by Bwithh at 10:57 AM on October 7, 2012


The Caesar is Canada's favourite cocktail? Not a chance!

Here's your man:

Brew
to a 10 gal (more or less) bucket of lake water, add
5 lb sugar
(2 lb raisins)
1 packet Fleishman's yeast, stirred in
park covered (or not) beside Yukon stove in your canvas frame tent
decant (or not) after 3 days, or to taste

All measures approximate; raisins are optional and may be dispensed with if required for fancy bannock instead.

Serve in chipped Melmac mugs (no garnish, please -- wimps! The incorporated active yeast will suffice.)

Serves 1 - 24, possibly more.

Thanks to colleague DBD for the recipe, who credits (?) certain pals at Fort Chipewyan for this delightful Northern concoction. Wildly popular throughout the boreal zone.
posted by dmayhood at 11:15 AM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Serve in chipped Melmac mugs
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:02 PM on October 7, 2012


Ha, it's pretty funny to see this story. I just got back from a cruise to Bermuda and all the Canadian's were delighted to find that they stocked Clamato. There would have been fights over the last Caesar when they ran out ... but you know we're Canadian's so it turned into a "You take it", "No you, I insist" :)
posted by cirhosis at 1:16 PM on October 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tomatoes are high in sodium, hence their umami-rich flavor.

Double what. Wouldn't being high in sodium mean a salt-rich flavor? Alternatively, wouldn't an umami-rich flavor mean they are high in glutamate?
posted by DU at 7:03 AM on October 9, 2012


Also: "Clamato" has to be the most disgusting idea for a drink EVAR.
posted by DU at 7:04 AM on October 9, 2012


Mmm... Caesars. We usually have the stuff to make them in our fridge (and get a two-pack of the party sized Clamatos from Costco when we go), so sometimes I've even been known to make and drink a virgin Caesar. Of course, it's also important that it have a at least three spicy pickled green beans in it. I have a list of bars in town that have tried to serve me one with celery... and of those who will gladly give me more than one bean.

I'm not talking about bacon martini's or manhattans.

A restaurant in town has Caesars made with whiskey and a bacon/brown sugar rim salt. And beans! Sooooo good.

(Hooray for the edit window!)
posted by urbanlenny at 10:47 AM on October 9, 2012


OK, now I want to figure out some variations on the classic Caesar. I have all the ingredients except for vodka. I've used white whisky in the past, and it was an acceptable substitute, but I don't have any of that either. I could certainly go get some, but I don't really feel like trekking to the liquor store right now.

Can I successfully use tequila, rum, or bourbon in place of vodka?
posted by asnider at 3:33 PM on October 9, 2012


Yes.

If the intent is to get drunk. It probably won't be a Caesar though. You could call it a Brutus?
posted by arcticseal at 4:10 PM on October 9, 2012


rum and bourbon may be too sweet - I'd go with the tequila, but make sure to add a good squeeze of lime
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:15 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the intent is to get drunk. It probably won't be a Caesar though.

The intent is for it to still taste good and reasonably Caesar-like. And to get drunk.
posted by asnider at 7:49 PM on October 9, 2012


The intent is for it to still taste good and reasonably Caesar-like.

Hey, go nuts, but using anything other than vodka (although gin *might* be interesting) kind of sets off an imagination-gag-reflex in me, so.

Bourbon or rum may mix well with tomato juice, but I have doubts.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:02 PM on October 9, 2012


I don't think anything overtly sweet would work.
posted by Bovine Love at 5:07 AM on October 10, 2012


I have successfully used both gin and tequila in Caesars. Both make for a tasty drink with a smidge more character.

Fynn's Temple Bar in Toronto offers a number of variants, including gin and bourbon based. They have a 'breakfast Caesar' made with "bacon-infused vodka" that sounds... intriguing.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:09 AM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking about this, and I wonder if a really smoky, peaty scotch might be interesting.

The only downside to Scotchius Ceasar would be that it would be an unforgivable insult to the scotch (if it's any good), so: perhaps best not.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:49 PM on October 10, 2012


A Bloody Mary variant made with tequila instead of vodka is known as a Bloody Maria. I see no reason why tequila wouldn't work in a Caesar variant just as well. (Call it a César, perhaps?)

(And now I see somebody already suggested that way back in the thread. Oh, well.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:31 AM on October 11, 2012


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