Thursday Night Loaded: All Hail Bloody Caesar!

Canada Day 2010 comes mere days after our Calgary-educated Prime Minister made like some bloody Caesar in his handling of the G8 protests. What better way to celebrate then than with a drink from out of Calgary called the Bloody Caesar?

Bloody Caesar
6 oz clamato juice
1 1/2 oz vodka
2-5 dashes Tabasco Sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
celery salt
fresh ground pepper
lime wedge
celery stalk
Rim edge of highball glass with lime wedge then with celery salt. Fill glass with ice then add vodka and clamato. Season with Tabasco, Worcestershire and pepper. Stir and garnish with celery stalk.

The story goes that this, Canada’s most beloved cocktail, was invented by bartender Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn in 1969. He was casting about for a drink to go with Mediterranean food and found inspiration in Spaghetti alle vongole, that being spaghetti with tomato and clams.

Thing is, even though Wikipedia follows the line that the Caesar was born north of the 49th, it wasn’t. Squeezing some clam juice into a Bloody Mary was a New York bartender trick that predated Chell’s Caesar by decades. In fact, down south, our beloved national cocktail, while not nearly as popular as it is here, is often referred to as a clamdigger.

Be that as it may, we Canucks guzzle our Bloody Caesars as though they were promises of more tax cuts. “Pour me another, bartender, and damn the consequences!”  And our affection for the red stuff has become a source of bafflement for the drinkers of other nations.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the Bloody Caesar. I just don’t understand how it has come to be regarded as our national drink when there’s nothing especially Canadian about it. I mean, if it’s going to contain seafood, for crying out loud, couldn’t we at least replace the clam juice with cod squeezings?

Or maybe it’s time to toss the drink entirely and start casting about for something that better represents us. Of course, I think that’s just about as likely as our swapping out that other bloody Caesar any time soon. Still, one can hope.

Happy Canada Day!

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5’10” tall and he was born in a place. He’s not there now. He’s sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It’s “Girl From Ipanema”, thanks for asking.

You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

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