Canada’s “national cocktail” is the Bloody Caesar, invented by bartender Walter Chell in Calgary, Alberta in 1969. The Caesar originally contained mashed clams, but the introduction of Clamato made it substantially easier to prepare. Clamato* contains MSG, which makes me feel a little wonky, so I use 1 part tomato juice + 1 part clam juice with a splash of lemon juice, and then I use a little extra hot sauce if I’m feeling spicy. I usually am.
Adjust the hot sauce to suit your palate, and feel free to play with the garnishes; the lime wedge and celery are traditional, but the sky’s the limit: I took my inspiration from the Caesar’s briny flavors and doubled down on the seafood.
You’ll want to make sure your hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce are gluten-free, of course.
*Clamato is also a key ingredient in one of Mexico’s most popular cocktails, the Michelada. Make one by combining a gluten-free beer, Clamato and a squeeze of lime in a salt-rimmed glass.
Bloody Caesar Cocktail Recipe
- 3 pinches celery salt
- 1 pinch cracked black pepper
- lime wedge
- 1 shot vodka
- 3-4 dashes gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 dashes gluten-free hot sauce
- 5 ounces Clamato juice, if you don’t have Clamato, use 1 part tomato juice + 1 part clam juice combined with a splash of lemon juice
- Celery stalk, shrimp, crab claw or clams for garnish
- Combine celery salt and pepper on a small plate. Rub the rim of a pint glass with the lime wedge and then dip it in the celery salt and pepper to coat. Fill the rimmed glass with ice, then add vodka, Worcestershire and hot sauce, and top with Clamato. Squeeze the lime wedge into the glass, and stir to combine. Add the celery stalk and seafood garnishes, then serve.
photos by my friend Katie Roletto