When my uncle returned from a recent trip to Mexico, his only complaint was “there were no Caesars.” He also complained about the lack of a blow dryer in his room, but that is neither here nor there. The Caesar thing should not have come as a surprise for a few reasons:
1) Caesars are the beloved drink of many Canadians, but this enthusiasm stops at the US border. The Caesar stubbornly remains a Canadian phenomenon.
2) As a result of the first point, if you go looking for a Caesar south of the border, you’ll end up with a Bloody Mary, which is less than ideal.
3) My uncle has been to Mexico a dozen times and knew all of this.
Caesars have always been there for Canadians. Well, ok, not always. The generally accepted history is the drink was invented in 1969 in Calgary, at a restaurant named Walter Chell. From there, the drink took off. It came, it quenched, and it conquered Canada.
In addition to using distinctive spirits, spices and attention-grabbing garnishes, the key to any good Caesar is the mix. Aptly named, Walter is Canada’s first premium all-natural craft Caesar mix.
Friends, fellow Canadians: lend me your ears! Here are 6 things you need to know about Walter Craft Caesar Mix:
- It is all spiced up and ready to drink, and is made with vine-ripened tomatoes, various spices, grated horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and clam juice from the North Atlantic. Simply add your spirit of choice and it is ready to drink. Since it has everything you need in a Caesar mix, it is perfect to take with you camping or on any other trip.
- Walter is available in two flavours – classic spice and mild spice. My favourite was the classic spice. I like a little kick in my Caesar, and the classic spice provides it.
- Every bottle is crafted in small batches in Canada, a fact that I love. I also appreciate they are packaged in glass bottles. No plastic is a beautiful thing.
- There is no MSG added like other tomato-clam juices on the market, and no artificial flavours or colours.
- They also have a craft Caesar rim in their product line, made with a whole host of seasoning and spices including flake salt, organic cane sugar and smoked paprika. I recommended rimming your glass with some lime juice and the Walter Caesar rim, or mixing it with a pinch of Montreal Steak seasoning to amp it up. The Walter spice mixture is lovely on its own as well.
- The ability to be creative and personalize your Caesar is one of the drink’s most endearing qualities. While I often crave simplicity, my favorite is the original Caesar but with a little twist. It is also fun to mix it up a bit. Below are two of my go-to Caesar recipes, the classic Caesar with a pickle twist and something a little different. Note the proportions and garnishes are based on personal preference. Feel free to modify them to fit your taste. Enjoy!
Classic Caesar Cocktail with a Pickle Twist
1/2 a lime, cut into wedges
Walter Craft Caesar Rim
2 oz vodka of choice
2 oz pickle juice, or more to taste
6 oz Walter Craft Caesar Mix (I use classic spice)
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
2-3 dashes Tabasco, or more to taste
¼ tsp Montreal Steak Spice (or Walter Craft Caesar Rim)
Garnish: pickles, bocconcini, pepperoni, lime wedge
Take a lime wedge and run it around the top rim of your glass, then dip it in some of the Walter Craft Caesar Rim. Fill the glass with ice.
Pour in the vodka and pickle juice. Squeeze in some lime juice (I use two to three wedges). Fill the glass with Walter Craft Caesar Mix.
Add the Worcestershire and tabasco, and sprinkle in the Montreal Steak Spice. Stir.
Garnish with a lime wedge, pickles, bocconcini and pepperoni.
Bloody Queen Caesar Recipe (courtesy of waltercaesar.com)
2-3 lemon wedges
Walter Craft Caesar Rim
1 ½ oz gin
½ oz stout beer (I used Guinness)
4 oz Walter Craft Caesar Mix (I used mild spice in this one)
1 tbsp HP sauce
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
Garnish: fresh cucumber, lemon wedges
Rim the glass with lemon juice and Walter Craft Caesar Rim.
Fill the glass with ice, gin, stout, Walter Craft Caesar Mix and remaining ingredients. Stir gently.
Top with salt and pepper. Garnish with cucumber and lemon wheel
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