The Bloody Caesar is the unofficial drink of Canada. Created in Calgary in 1969 by restauranteur Walter Chell it is a combination of clam and tomato juice (Clamato), vodka, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of horseradish. The whole thing is garnished with a salt and spice mix rim, a stalk of celery, wedge of lime and sometimes olives.
The unofficial holiday to celebrate Canada’s unofficial drink is held on the last Thursday before the Victoria Day long weekend in May. For 2019, National Caesar Day is May 16th.
To mark the occasion, I’ve teamed up with the good folks at the Heart & Crown to create a variation on the classic for their #HailCaesar menu that will be on offer at their ByWard Market location on Thursday, May 16th. I’d encourage you to stop in to sample this Taste & Tipple original for yourself.
The variation I’ve developed for the menu swaps out the classic Clamato juice for a combination of carrot, mango, and lemon juices. Served in a rocks glass instead of a 16 oz beer glass, this is a little less filling than the standard Caesar. I’ve built complexity by supplementing the traditional base spirit (vodka) with a half ounce of Dolin dry vermouth. I prefer Dolin because it’s slightly more floral than other brands out there.
I’ve named this carrot Caesar the “What’s Up Doc?” in honour of the carrot-loving cartoon character, Buggs Bunny. If that wasn’t immediately obvious to you, you are probably too young to be reading this blog.
Instead of celery salt and spice, I’ve rimmed this concoction with a freshly ground caraway seeds, dried dill, and salt. For garnish, I’ve rolled a ribbon of carrot and skewered it on a cocktail pick. You could also just toss the ribbon directly into the glass, bonus points for colourful heirloom carrots in purple – adds a nice visual contrast.
This version of the Caesar isn’t quite as savoury as the standard iteration, the splash of mango and lemon juices makes it reminiscent of that delectable V8 Splash of yesteryear.
If you’re in Ottawa, I hope you’ll get the chance to stop into Heart & Crown in the ByWard Market to try one for yourself. But, if you’re not in Ottawa or you can’t make it, I’ve included the full recipe below so you can recreate the What’s Up Doc? Carrot Caesar in the comfort of your own home.
What’s Up Doc? Carrot Caesar
- 1 tsp caraway seeds ground in a spice grinder
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 oz vodka
- 1½ oz carrot juice
- ½ oz dry vermouth
- ½ oz mango juice
- ½ oz lemon juice freshly squeezed
- ½ tsp horseradish
- 1 ribbon of carrot peel for garnish
Combine on a small plate ground caraway seeds, dried dill and salt. Rim a rocks glass with lemon juice and the caraway-dill rim mixture and fill with ice. Add 1 oz vodka, 1½ oz carrot juice and ½ oz each dry vermouth, mango juice, and lemon juice. Stir and garnish with a small spoonful of prepared horseradish and a carrot ribbon.
I’m flying from Edmonton to Halifax today with a four-hour stopover in Ottawa. I wish you could deliver!