Friday, June 24, 2011

Respect the Caesar: Caesar Toast 2011

If you read my entry on my Baked Jalapeno Poppers you'll know just how excited I was to hear from Mott's Clamato a few months ago asking me if I would like to come up with a special signature Caesar recipe for them. Being a massive fan of what is known as Canada's Cocktail, I literally jumped at the chance to be involved. As excited as I was to get started on my recipe, I found myself in a bit of a pickle (no I'm not talking about a pickled caesar, although they are delish!), my issue was that I loved the classic caesar so much, I didn't want to stray too much from the original. I personally have a belief that one should respect the caesar, a belief that unfortunately not all bars in Ontario seem to agree with. After having been served numerous undrinkable caesars at various bars and pubs across the province, I became extremely frustrated with how many Canadian bartenders were absolutely butchering Canada's signature cocktail (I'm talking about you York University hockey rink bar! Worst caesar EVER!). I'm talking about watered down, too spicy, too sweet, "ew what the hell did they put in here?" kinda caesars, that could very well leave me in a grumpy mood for the rest of my day. I didn't understand how so many people could get something normally so delicious, so very, very wrong. I mean a caesar has only 5 easy steps:

Rim glass with lime.
Season with Clamato Rimmer salt, fill with ice and add vodka.
Spice the ice with Worcestershire sauce and Franks Redhot Caesar Spicer.
Pour Mott's Clamato into the glass.
Garnish and enjoy with friends.

Even though I knew the basic steps, I was nervous that my signature caesar would go down in the books with the rest of the undrinkable lot. Luckily an outside vodka infusion project inspired me to come up with a delicious Mexican-themed caesar that I like to call my Borracho Caesar, which I will be posting for you very soon! I was so happy with how my caesar had turned out, believing that I had truly done my favourite cocktail justice...that is until I attended the Coast to Coast Caesar Toast this past Tuesday at the Spoke Club. Little did I know that I, myself was one of those Canadians that was disrespecting the caesar. Despite the fact that my friends, family, and I all loved my Borracho Caesar, I felt like there was a little somthin' missing. No it wasn't in the ingredients I put into my caesar, it was all in the preparation. I learned from the Caesar Toast that there are a few caesar rules that are crucial to follow if you want to make a killer caesar. I'm not one for following rules but these simple steps truly make a world of a difference when preparing a caesar. They are as follows:

  • Garnish your glass with what's in the drink, this gives people a visual cue as to what's they will be drinking, as well as activating all of your senses as you drink.
  • When mixing your caesar use the roll method. After all of your ingredients are in the glass, pour the drink back and forth a few times between 2 glasses for a perfectly mixed caesar. This also creates the signature sound of the caesar.
  • Fill your glass with ice 3-cubes over, meaning get as much as as possible into your glass. This tells you how much Mott's Clamato cocktial to pour into the glass.
  • Unless making a variation on the classic caesar, use the 2 finger method for measuring your vodka. Place your forefinger and your middle finger together at the bottom of the glass, pour vodka so that it hits the top of your forefinger. I like to be a little flexible with this rule. I like a nice free pour.
  • Use Mott's Clamato Cocktail for the best tasting caesar!
So now I bet you're wondering what exactly is the Coast to Coast Caesar Toast? The Coast to Coast Caesar Toast is an annual celebration of Canada's cocktail, the caesar, featuring a selection of specially created caesars that represent what makes us Canadians proud. Guests were invited to watch live demos on how to make the four Canadian-themed caesars, and of course taste them all!

I've certainly had my share of caesars over the years, but never before have I had such unique and inventive ones! We began the 11:30AM tasting (yup you got it, drinking before noon! You know I'm ALL for that!) with a punch bowl filled with the Social Caesar, a great variation on the classic that is perfect for entertaining. Like I said, I love the classic, so the Social Caesar, with it's kicked up citrus flavour was right up my alley! We then moved onto the Royal Caesar, which was created in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's upcoming Canada Day visit. This elegant caesar was a far cry from the classic, but delicious nonetheless. Served in a sea-salt rimmed champagne flute, the Royal Caesar was light and refreshing with the fresh taste of freshly muddled cucumbers mixed in. To wake up our taste buds once again, we moved onto the Sounds of Canada Caesar, a zesty, spicy, punch of flavour caesar that is surely not for the timid caesar drinker. I liked the big punch of flavour this caesar delivered, but would have preferred if they had strained out the jalapeno, garlic, and green onion pieces. To finish off the tasting, we were served the most daring and unique caesar of the bunch, the True North Caesar. The True North Caesar was inspired by many caesar drinkers in Calgary who like to mix the classic caesar with...wait for it...a margarita! I know, I know, it sounds absolutely crazy! I was definitely skeptical to try this wild-sounding caesar, but let me tell you, it was one of my favourite in the bunch. I couldn't believe how well the two drinks combined to create such a beautiful and tasty caesar.

I walked out of the tasting with a belly full of tasty caesars (and awesome hors d'oeuvres from the Spoke Club!) and a fresh new perspective on the caesar. Who would have thought that I my love for the caesar could grow even more! I now appreciate it more than ever, knowing how limitless the possibilities for invention truly are. Thank you to Mott's Clamato for inviting me to take part in such a nice event and being such great hosts! I look forward to toasting the caesar once again next year! Cheers!

Glass: Punch Bowl and rocks glasses rimmed with Mott's Clamato Rimmer

500 ml Canadian vodka
1 bottle Mott's Clamato The Works cocktail
2 limes
2 lemons

Pour Mott's Clamato The Works cocktail and vodka into a large punch bowl without ice. Slice lemons and limes into thin wheels and float for extra citrus flavour. Allow friends to add ice to their own pre-rimmed rocks glasses so as not to water-down the punch.

Garnish: Lime wedge and celery stalk

Glass: Champagne

1 oz. gin
1 oz. Pimm's
2 dashes Angostura bitters
4 oz. Mott's Clamato Original Cocktail
4 cucumber sticks (skinned, 4" long)
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes freshly ground salt and pepper

Muddle cucumber, Pimm's, gin, bitters, Worcestershire and salt and pepper together in a mixing glass. Add ice and Mott's Clamato Original Cocktail. Stir well and strain into fresh ice into a champagne glass rimmed with freshly ground salt.

Garnish: Cucumber crown

Glass: Pilsner

1.5 oz. silver tequila
5 oz. Mott's Clamato Original Cocktail
1 dash hot sauce
1/2 minced fresh clove of garlic
1/2 minced fresh green onion (hollow stem portion)
1/2 minced jalapeno pepper
2 dashes freshly ground salt and pepper

Rim glass with freshly ground salt and pepper. Gently muddle garlic, green onion, jalapeno, hot sauce, salt and pepper in the bottom of the glass. Fill glass with ice, add all ingredients and mix well.

Garnish: Jalapeno wrapped chili pepper and chives

Glass: Margarita

1 oz. Polar ice vodka
4 oz. Mr and Mrs T Margarita mix
4 oz. Mott's Clamato Extra Spicy Cocktail
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes freshly ground salt and pepper

In a blender, combine 4 oz. of Mr and Mrs T's Margarita Mix with 3 cups ice. Blend until smooth. In a separate glass, mix Mott's Clamato Extra Spicy Cocktail, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper over ice. Place an "iceberg" of margarita slush in the middle of the glass and carefully pour Clamato mixture around it.

Garnish: Lime wheel

  • The caesar is actually a punch
  • The caesar was invented in Calgary in 1969 by Walter Chell
  • Canadians consume approximately 355 million caesars per year!
  • The caesar is known as canadas cocktail, so be warned if you order a caesar in the US they will bring you a Bloody Mary

Listening To:
Modest Mouse - Gravity Rides Everything

Powered by

No comments: