A friend sent me an email the other day, telling me that May 13th was National Caesar Day in Calgary – they actually created a day to honour the day the classic Canadian cocktail was first mixed. Makes sense, actually! The drink’s so popular (apparently we drink 350 million Caesars every year in Canada) that lots of downtown restaurants have their own special spins on the recipe. So to celebrate this very important holiday – and the fact that patio weather has FINALLY arrived – I took some clamato-loving friends out to taste as many of downtown’s unique Caesar recipes as we could and find our favourites.
The restaurant: Rudy’s Eat & Drink
The drink: Rudy’s Signature Caesar
Why try it: Rudy’s blends a signature red pepper & horseradish puree into the standard Clamato and Worcestershire. Results – there’s a whole extra layer of flavour, body and yum. Bonus – snackable pickled green bean garnish!
The restaurant: Tavern United Downtown
The drink: Build Your Own Signature Caesar Menu
Why try it: Because the brand-new build-your-own Caesar menu has more than 30 different options – meaning you can go crazy creating an almost infinite number of custom combos. You pick what you want on the rim, what hot sauce, your juice (classic Clamato, or tomato, pickle, or olive), your garnishes, and which liquor you want (we all considered the Guiness or tequila but chickened out). Our friendly bartender Matt created thsee two beauties for us:
Top: Sea salt, tomato & pickle juice, Frank’s Red Hot, dill pickle, and vodka.
Bottom: Lemon pepper rim, horseradish, Worcestershire, chipotle Tabasco, clamato, pickle juice, and gin with lime and pepperonccini garnish.
The restaurant: Earl’s on Main
The drink: Caesar, Baesar
Why try it: The Earl’s signature spice mix plus Valentina hot sauce made the classic Caesar here a hit with all of us – we couldn’t convince the bartenders to tell us everything in the mix, but they did reveal red & green tabasco, garlic, and pickle juice are all in there. Extra points for serving it out of a jar with a slice of jerky as a garnish!
The Baesar is beer + Caesar. The beer is their lightest signature lager, and it makes the whole drink lighter and super-refreshing – perfect for patios this weekend! (Caesars are also on special for $4 on Sundays!)
Tomorrow, part 2!