From St. John’s to Vancouver Island, the one thing most Canadians can agree on is the Caesar. So this month, we’re celebrating our home and native land with spirit (get it?) and the country’s national cocktail: the Caesar.
While there seem to be several stories hinting to Caesar-like predecessors, the birth of Canada’s cocktail can definitively be traced back to the 1969 opening of Marco’s Italian restaurant at the Calgary Inn in Alberta.
Walter Chell, a Montenegrin immigrant to Canada and the inn’s restaurant manager and head bartender, was tasked with mixing an original cocktail to celebrate the grand opening of their new restaurant. Inspired by his favourite pasta, spaghetti vongole, Chell set out to mix hearty tomato flavours with clam juice, vodka, lime, salt and spices to create a deliciously unique cocktail. And in a matter of months, Canada’s first-ever Caesar was born.
Since then, bartenders across the country have been reinventing the Caesar, decking it out with all manner of toppings from the classics like celery, citrus and the newer spicy bean variation, to cocktail weenies and mini burgers. Swapping out the horseradish or Tabasco for Sriracha, wasabi or chipotle have also become a common means of internationalizing the flavour palate and, pardon the pun, spicing up the original recipe.
At the heart of the cocktail — and let’s be honest, the part that makes it fun to drink — is the alcohol. Traditionally, the Caesar is made with vodka and, while many great Caesars have been made unique with bacon or cucumber-infused vodkas,here at Urban Barrel Company, we’re rather partial to a barrel-aged tequila for a full-bodied, well-rounded and unconventional edge. After all, a good spirit is the foundation of any great Caesar.
But as any great Caesar drinker knows, the rim is where it all comes together. Our newest product, Rim Rimma Premium Caesar Rimmer, continues the work that Chell began by masterfully blending the salt, spices, garlic and herbs of the spaghetti vongole with a touch of sugar and coffee for the pick-me-up kick that any hangover truly deserves. Rim Rimma is the perfect addition to any Caesar no matter the base or the topping.
So this summer, raise a glass with your 10 closest friends and family members and let’s celebrate Canada and the amazing flavours we have created together. Whether salty or sour, savoury or spicy, the Caesar’s tapestry is as rich and diverse as the country that gave it life, and for that we give it an “Eh plus!”