Bloody Mary vs. Bloody Caesar - Is it Caesar or Ceasar? Recipe
Bloody Caesar - Only in Canada, eh? Pity.
When my late husband and I were in Atlantic City years ago, I happened to order a "Bloody Caesar" which was my favourite drink. The waiter quickly said "You mean Bloody Mary." It was not a question at all... it was more like correcting an obvious mistake. But the poor waiter was not to be faulted. After all, little is known, if at all, about Canada's most popular cocktail drink elsewhere in the world.
The cocktail was invented by bartender Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the Calgary Inn, which is now the Westin, in Calgary, Alberta in 1969. In its original form, it contained tomato juice and mashed clams. Nowadays, this concoction is known as Clamato (tomato juice and clam broth mixture) made by the Mott's company and is mainly available in Canada. As the Queen would likely say, "Only in Canada, eh? Pity." (This Canadian popular culture catchphrase originated from Red Rose's old commercials "Only in Canada, you say? Pity...")
According to Chell's granddaughter Sheena Parker, her grandfather named the drink "Caesar" because of his Italian ancestry. How the "bloody" got in the bloody name is somewhat hazy, and so for the bloody moment, we'll just bloody go with this bloody story...
"There was a British man at the bar at the time and he said, 'That's a bloody good Caesar', and that's where he came up with the Bloody Caesar."
Chell died in 1997 but his classic Caesar recipe has become a staple of just about every bar in Canada, with more than 350 million Caesars quaffed every year, according to Mott's. Only in Canada, eh? Pity.
Many Canadians, including myself, still ask for "Bloody Caesar" when ordering our drink, as a young waiter might likely bring us a salad instead of a drink.
To this day, most attempts to order a Bloody Caesar outside of Canada are answered with blank stares or an attempt to steer one toward a Bloody Mary, which is made with tomato juice.
Here's the basic recipe for Bloody Caesar:
- One ounce of vodka.
- Two dashes of hot sauce.
- Three dashes of salt, pepper.
- Four dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
- Top it up with Clamato juice.
"Use the proper preparation method, which is called rolling. Use two glasses and just pour it back and forth and give it a good mix. The last rule is always use fresh ingredients," said Len Fragomeni, dean of Mott's Clamato Caesar School and founder of the Toronto Institute of Bartending.
Rim the glass with lime and dip in celery salt or caesar rimmer. Add a stalk of celery and wedge with lime.
Other names for a Caesar include Bloody Caesar, Canadian Caesar, Salted Caesar, and Clamdigger.
Rather than celery salt, the glass can be rimmed with: a mixture of salt and pepper, wasabi, cayenne pepper, horseradish, seasoning salt, or lemon pepper.
Lime juice can be added to taste.
In place of the celery stalk garnish, a dill pickled cucumber or a spicy pickled green bean or asparagus spear can be substituted. A prawn (especially in seafood restaurants) or crisp bacon strip is sometimes used as well.
Although there are many versions on how the Bloody Mary cocktail drink came to be known, this version is most likely the correct one.
The Bloody Mary was created by Fernand "Pete" Petiot, a bartender at Harry's NY Bar in Paris. When the recipe for the Bloody Mary traveled to New York City with "Pete" Petoit after repeal of prohibition to work at the King Cole Bar in the St Regis Hotel, his new bar felt the name would be offensive. So the Bloody Mary became known as the the Red Snapper for many years, but eventually it was again known as the Bloody Mary.
Here is the basic recipe for Bloody Mary as taught by the New York School of Bartending:
- 1 oz. to 1½ oz. (30-45 ml) vodka in a highball glass filled with ice.
- Fill glass with tomato juice
- 1 dash celery salt
- 1 dash ground black pepper
- 1 dash Tabasco sauce
- 2-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
- Dash of lemon or lime juice
- Garnish with celery stalk.
May be shaken vigorously or stirred lazily, as desired. Garnish with a celery stalk; a skewer of olives, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, or other vegetables; or even meat or fish (salami, shrimp, etc.) and cheese. Occasionally, pickled asparagus spears or pickled beans are also used.
Please take the following little bit of information with a grain of salt...
Using a celery stick to garnish a Bloody Mary originated in the 1960s at Chicago's Ambassador East Hotel. An unnamed celebrity got a Bloody Mary, but no swizzle stick. He grabbed a stalk of celery from the relish tray to stir his Bloody Mary.
And the rest as they say is history.
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