Caesar: Not The Salad
Canada, Calgary

Bloody Caesar In the U.S. if one asks for a Caesar, people think of a salad. When in Canada, the first thought is a cocktail. A Caesar or Bloody Caesar is a cocktail created in Calgary and primarily consumed in Canada. It typically contains vodka, Clamato (a proprietary blend of tomato juice and clam broth), hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, celery salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime.

It was invented in Calgary, Alberta in 1969 by restaurateur Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the city. It quickly became a popular mixed drink, but remains virtually unknown outside Canada. It is claimed that over 350 million Caesars are consumed in Canada annually, and it has inspired numerous variants.

Chell said his inspiration came from Venice, Italy where they served Spaghetti alle vongole. This is spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams. If it worked on food it would make a good drink, and mashed clams to form a "nectar" that he mixed with other ingredients.

His Italian ancestry led him to call the drink a "Caesar". The longer name of "Bloody Caesar" originated not from comparing it to the US counterpart a Bloody Mary, from a regular English patron at the bar who often ordered the drink said one day "Walter, that's a damn good bloody Caesar".

The largest Bloody Caesar Competition takes place every year at the PEI Shellfish Festival


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