All hail the Caesar!

The Bloody Caesar is a true Canadiana Cocktail. While some cocktails wither and fade into relative obscurity after decades on the menu, the Caesar continues to thrive. It continues to be Canada's #1 selling cocktail, with more than 250 million sold each year and the percentage of cocktail orders that include Caesars continues to grow year after year. The most recent review of menu incidence of Caesars shows a growth of 5.4 % based on 2013 Canadian menus*. That is some serious staying power.

Canadian roots

The Bloody Caesar is the official cocktail of Canada. It was invented by bartender Walter Chell in 1969 to celebrate the opening of a new restaurant in Calgary, Alberta called Marco's. Chell spent months exploring various concoctions before he came up with a spicy drink made of Clamato juice, vodka, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of oregano. The oregano is more commonly replaced by hot sauce these days, but this classic version is no longer the only option available to Canadians.

Staying current

The secret to the Caesar's success just might be this cocktail's knack for staying current. Caesar experts keep creating twists on the original recipe that excite the taste buds of Canadians, making them more loyal than ever to this classic cocktail. For example, casual restaurant operator Original Joe's adds a twist to the expected with their Joe'lius Caesar that combines blonde lager with vodka, Clamato juice and just the right blend of spices.

Here are some ideas for exciting twists to mix up your Caesar:

  • Reinvent the rim - Turn up the excitement on the traditional Caesar rim by incorporating black pepper corn or you can add an ethnic twist with variations of Indian spices or curries.
  • Turn up the heat - Adding a spicy version of the Caesar to your menu is sure to keep you on trend. You can try incorporating different spicy hot sauce varieties to give your Caesar a unique taste profile that distinguishes it in the minds of consumers. 
  • Get a little saucy - A surefire way to bring out the bold of this cocktail is by incorporating BBQ sauce varieties. This is also a great option when pairing Caesar with a specialty burger during patio season.
  • Go wild with garnishes - Replace that old, tired celery stick with spicy peppers, fresh citrus or variations of pickled vegetables like stuffed olives. Want to make it even more premium? Try wrapped meats and seafood, like prosciutto-wrapped scallops!

Get inspired

With patio season right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about adding a signature Caesar to your menu. You can use the following recipe to get started:

  • Rim a highball glass with steak spice and add ice
  • Add 4 dashes of Lea & Perrins, 2 dashes of Heinz Hot Sauce, salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour 1 ½  oz (45 mL) Jack Daniel's and 5 oz (150 mL) Clamato juice
  • Add ½ oz (15 mL) Ultimate Smoky Barbecue Sauce
  • Garnish with spicy beans
  • Stir and enjoy!

*Source: Technomic Menu Monitor 2014

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