Homemade Clamato - and Bloody Caesars!
The Caesar (or "Bloody Caesar") is the one of - if not THE - most popular mixed drinks in Canada.
... and it was definitely the most requested alcoholic beverage recipe, when polling expats over what I should be including in my More Than Poutine cookbook!
As I was preparing to photograph my recipe for it, I hit a bit of a snag: I couldn't find Clamato at any of the local grocery stores at the time.
So, the Caesar recipe became 2 recipes - the Caesar itself, and the tomato-clam cocktail juice to make it with!
I'll be honest - I didn't try a Caesar until I learned to make them at the Toronto Institute of Bartending, as Clamato sounded pretty gross to me before then.
I would imagine the “Clamato sounds gross” thing - as well as the sketchy availability of Clamato in many areas - contributes to Caesar's lack of popularity outside of Canada / areas with a lot of Canadians.
If you can find Clamato where you are, use it for the cocktail mix.
If not, see my recipe for tomato-clam cocktail mix, at the bottom of this post.
Anyway... I've since learned the error of my thinking, though I still prefer fruity tropical drinks.
This tastes like home, though... and rum drinks don't.
History of the Bloody Caesar Cocktail
It was first created in the late 60s, by a Calgary restaurant manager.
In the initial incarnation, whole ingredients - tomato juice, clams, etc - were brought together to create the signature drink.
Later on, the Mott's company came out with Clamato ® cocktail mix, which made things easier for everyone.
Customizing a Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Like its cousin the Bloody Mary, Caesars are very customizable.
While unflavoured, high quality vodka is the standard, feel free to play with savoury flavoured ones - cucumber vodka, pepper flavoured vodkas, horseradish infused vodka, etc all work beautifully.
Additionally, you can have just as much fun with the garnishes as you do with Bloody Marys.
A celery spear, slice of lime, and stick of olives is pretty traditional - as a set - but there are restaurants that garnish the drink with entire meals.
Sandwiches, burgers, onion rings, a whole roasted chicken, etc - you can find gravity-defying Caesars everywhere!
How to Make a Bloody Caesar
1 Lime wedge
Coarse ground black pepper (optional)
1 Celery stalk
1- 1 ½ oz Vodka of choice
2 dashes ofTabasco sauce
3 shakes of Salt
3 shakes of Pepper
4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Tomato-clam cocktail mix - Clamato or homemade (Below)
Use the lime wedge to wet the rim of a tall glass, and invert it onto a plate of celery salt.
(I like to mix a little coarse ground pepper into the celery salt, but that's entirely optional.)
Fill glass to just above the rim with ice, place celery stalk in class.
Pour vodka over ice, followed by Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
Fill glass with tomato clam cocktail mix, stopping just below the celery salt rim.
Garnish as desired, serve immediately.
Homemade Clamato Juice Ingredients
Homemade Clamato cocktail is easy to make, and most of the ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now:
Ground black pepper
My Canadian Cookbook!
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”. "More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada! Order your copy here on this site, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller!
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- 1 ½ cups Tomato juice
- 1 cup Clam juice
- 5 teaspoon Granulated sugar
- 2-3 teaspoon White vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Garlic powder
- Pinch Ground black pepper
- Pinch Cayenne
- Pinch Celery seed
- Whisk everything together, taste.
- Adjust seasonings for personal taste.
- Chill until use.