The Caesar Cocktail: A Canadian Classic from Calgary

There is no Canadian who doesn't know what a Caesar is. For those who is not from around here, it is a cocktail that is similar to the Bloody Mary. Similar, but definitely better! It is typically made with vodka, clamato juice (a blend of tomato juice and clam broth), Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and a variety of spices, and is garnished with a celery stalk and sometimes other toppings such as olives or pickled vegetables.

The Caesar was invented in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1969 by a man named Walter Chell. Chell was a bartender at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Calgary) and was tasked with creating a new cocktail to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the hotel. Inspired by his love of spaghetti alle vongole (spaghetti with clams), he decided to combine clam broth with tomato juice and add in some spices and vodka to create the Caesar.

The Caesar quickly became a hit in Canada, particularly in Western Canada, and has since become a beloved national cocktail. It is typically enjoyed as a brunch or daytime drink, but is also popular as a savory option for those who prefer their cocktails less sweet.

Today, there are many variations of the Caesar, with some people adding in additional ingredients such as horseradish, pickle juice, or even bacon-infused vodka. The Caesar is a true Canadian classic and a favorite of many who enjoy a savory, spicy cocktail.

Caesar vs Bloody Mary

When it comes to brunch cocktails, the Bloody Caesar and Bloody Mary are two of the most popular choices. But which one is the better option? Let's take a closer look.

The Bloody Caesar, also known as a "Canadian Bloody Mary," adds a unique twist to the classic recipe with the addition of clam juice. Some may turn their noses up at the idea of fishy flavors in their cocktail, but trust me- it's surprisingly delicious. Plus, it's a great way to get in some extra protein (just kidding).

On the other hand, the Bloody Mary is a classic for a reason. It's spicy, savory, and packed with vitamins thanks to the tomato juice. Plus, there are endless ways to customize it to your liking - add more horseradish for a kick or throw in some pickled veggies for a tangy twist.

So, which one should you choose? It ultimately depends on your personal preference, but if you're feeling adventurous, give the Bloody Caesar a try. After all, as they say in Canada, "when in doubt, add clam juice."

Here are some of the main differences between the two:

Base: The Bloody Mary is typically made with tomato juice as its base, while the Caesar uses clamato juice, which is a blend of tomato juice and clam broth.

Spice level: The Caesar tends to be spicier than the Bloody Mary, thanks to the addition of hot sauce and sometimes horseradish.

Garnish: While both drinks are typically garnished with a celery stalk, the Caesar often includes other toppings such as olives, pickled vegetables, or even shrimp.

Origin: The Bloody Mary is believed to have originated in the United States, while the Caesar was invented in Canada.

About the rim- what can be used?

The rim of a Caesar cocktail is often coated with a mixture of salt and celery salt, which adds an extra layer of flavor to the drink. To create the rim, the rim of the glass is first moistened with a wedge of lime or lemon, then dipped in the salt and celery salt mixture, which sticks to the moistened rim.

There are many spices that can be used to enhance the flavor of the Caesar cocktail rim, in addition to the traditional salt and celery salt mixture. Some examples of spices that can be added include:

Black pepper: adds a spicy, peppery flavor to the rim.

Chili powder: adds a slightly sweet, smoky, and spicy flavor to the rim.

caesar cocktails in jars with garnishes

Paprika: adds a slightly sweet, smoky, and mild spicy flavor to the rim.

Garlic powder: adds a savory, garlicky flavor.

Onion powder: adds a savory, slightly sweet, and oniony flavor.

Cumin: adds a warm, earthy, and slightly spicy flavor.

Cayenne pepper: adds a very spicy and hot flavor.

The choice of spices used for the Caesar cocktail rim can vary depending on personal preference, and some people may also experiment with different combinations to create their own unique rim mixture. If you feel like it's a bit too much, you can always purchase a well-nalance spice mix designed exclusively for a Caesar cocktail.

Caesar cocktail recipe - options


  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 4 oz clamato juice
  • 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 dashes hot sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Glass rim spices
  • Garnishes such as celery stalk, olives, lime wedge, and/or pickled vegetables 


  1. Rim a highball glass with the spice mixture by moistening the rim with a wedge of lime or lemon, then dipping it into the mixture.
  2. Fill the glass with ice.
  3. Add the vodka, clamato juice, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and black pepper to the glass.
  4. Stir well to combine.
  5. Garnish with a celery stalk, lime wedge, or olives.
  6. Enjoy your classic Caesar cocktail!

Note: You can adjust the spiciness level to your taste by adding more or less hot sauce and black pepper. You can also experiment with different garnishes to make your Caesar your own.

Caesar cocktail- Alambika way

Ultimate Caesar life hack! Simply add Caesar Booster to tomato or clamato juice for a fol-proof verytime Bloody Caeser.

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