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Bloody Caesar Cocktail

Canada’s Bloody Caesar is a delicious brunch drink whether you sip the tasty tipple in the Great White North or elsewhere. It’s also the most famous vodka cocktail crafted with Clamato juice.

Bloody Caesar Cocktail with Black Background from Above
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Beloved in its home country of Canada, the Bloody Caesar flies under the radar in the US and around the world. In fact, many Americans have never heard of the classic Canadian cocktail or consider the Bloody Caesar to be weird since it’s crafted with Clamato juice.

We’re not like most Americans.

We have a sweet spot for Canada’s Bloody Caesar just like we have sweet spots for the country’s maple syrup, peameal bacon, poutine and smoked meat. Plus, we often have Clamato on hand since we use the clam-spiked tomato juice to make Mexican shrimp cocktails at home.

What Is the Bloody Caesar?

Bloody Caesar Cocktail with Peach Background
The Bloody Caesar is an excellent brunch drink that doubles as a hangover cure. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

The Bloody Ceasar is essentially a Bloody Mary that’s crafted with Clamato (clam-tomato) juice instead of tomato juice. The cocktail’s other key ingredients include vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and celery salt.

The savory red cocktail is wildly popular in Canada where Canucks sip Bloody Ceasars both at home and at bars. Some even imbibe the savory cocktail as a hangover cure. And, while it’s not the country’s official drink, Canadians celebrate the libation on National Caesar Day each year on May 24th.

Discover more red cocktails.

History of the Bloody Caesar

Bloody Caesar Cocktail with Black Background
Hail Caesar! The bloody cocktail conquered Canada more that a half century ago. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Not surprisingly, the Bloody Caesar has Canadian roots. However, the cocktail wasn’t invented in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver as you might expect.

Instead, Calgary gets credit for being the city where Walter Chell concocted the first Bloody Caesar with an unusual roster of ingredients. Legend has it that Chell channeled his Italian heritage, drawing inspiration from Spaghetti alla Vongole, a classic Italian dish that’s topped with tomatoes and clams.

Pro Tip
Order a Bloody Caesar at Calgary’s Westin Hotel. This is the spot where Chell invented the drink in 1969. Back then, the hotel was known as the Calgary Inn.

Ingredients

Bloody Caesar Cocktail Ingredients
The Bloody’s Caesar’s ingredients include vodka, Clamato, Tabasco, horseradish, celery salt, a lime wedge, a celery rib and ice cubes (not pictured). | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Despite its obscure status in the US, you don’t need a lot of special ingredients to craft a Bloody Caesar cocktail at home. Our recipe calls for the following items:

  • Vodka
  • Clamato
  • Tabasco
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Horseradish (optional)
  • Celery Salt (for rim)
  • Lime Wedge (for rim)
  • Celery Rib (garnish)
  • Ice Cubes

While you can get creative with most of these ingredients, Clamato juice, vodka and celery salt are non-negotiable. Together, they combine to create the drink’s unique melange of flavors.

Clamato

Bloody Caesar Cocktail Next to Clamato Juice Bottle
With its savory combination of tomato juice and clam broth, Clamato is the Caesar’s bloody element. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

As its name suggests, Clamato is a juice made with both tomato juice and clam broth. Its other ingredients include corn syrup, salt and a mix of spices.

Clamato is produced by Mott’s, a company more famous in America for its apple juice. However, to be clear, there are no apples in Clamato, just a pleasant dose of seafood-tinged umami.

You can buy Clamato from Amazon if you can’t find the savory juice at your local market.

Vodka

Bloody Caesar Cocktail Next to Vodka Bottle
Vodka transforms the Bloody Caesar from brunch drink to brunch cocktail. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Any vodka will work in this Bloody Caesar recipe. We typically use Absolut Vodka since that’s the vodka that has a permanent spot in our liquor cabinet. The Swedish vodka has an ABV of 40%.

Discover our favorite vodka cocktails.

Celery Salt

Celery Salt with a White Background
Celery salt enhances the Bloody Caesar’s earthy flavors. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

While we usually associate celery with crudités, stews and stocks, celery salt is different. Its mix of salt and celery seeds brings earthy undertones to every sip of the Bloody Caesar.

To us, even though this unique spice powder is of the earth, its salty, herby flavors almost taste like something from the sea. It’s a fantastic Clamato foil.

Additional Ingredients

While Clamato, vodka and celery salt are non-negotiable when it comes to Bloody Caesar cocktails, additional ingredients add to the drink’s potent punch.

We include Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce in our Bloody Caesar recipe as well as horseradish. Feel free to follow our lead or experiment with your favorite hot sauces and condiments.

How to Craft a Bloody Caesar Cocktail

Bloody Caesar Cocktail Mise en Place
We went shopping in our pantry to assemble this Bloody Caesar mise-en-place. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Once you gather the ingredients and tools, the first step is to create a celery salt rim on your glass. Start by rubbing a lime wedge around the top of the glass and then dip the glass on to a plate topped with celery salt. Swirl the glass in a circle until the rim is fully coated.

Fill the celery salt-rimmed glass half way with ice.

Adding Ice to a Bloody Caesar Cocktail
You don’t need fancy ice when you craft a Bloody Caesar at home. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Measure the vodka and Clamato using a jigger or angled measuring cup. We use a Japanese jigger since it give us accurate measurements and minimizes spillage.

Buy a Japanese jigger from Amazon if you need a jigger or want an inexpensive upgrade.

Measuring Vodka for a Bloody Caesar Cocktail
We use 2 ounces of vodka in our recipe but feel free to go lighter or heavier based on your mood. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Pour the vodka and Clamato directly into the celery salt-rimmed glass.

Add dashes of Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco.

Optionally add a teaspoon of horseradish for an extra kick of flavor. We prefer our horseradish to be nose-clearing hot but you do you.

Adding Horseradish to a Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Adding horseradish is an optional step that we recommend. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Gently stir. Be careful not to disturb the celery salt rim.

Stirring Bloody Caesar Cocktail
A quick stir combines the ingredients into a cohesive drink. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Garnish with a celery rib.

Bloody Caesar Cocktail from Above
We like to garnish our Bloody Caesar with a simple celery rib that doubles as an edible spoon. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Feel free to ramp up this classic Bloody Caesar recipe. Options include using your favorite hot sauce brand instead of Tabasco and adding garnishes like bacon strips, okra, olives and pickles.

Variations

Crafted Bloody Caesar Cocktail
Will the Bloody Caesar be your new favorite brunch cocktail? | Image: ©2foodtrippers

If you’re like us, you’ll love this classic Bloody Caesar recipe. However, we’ll understand if you want to make the Canadian drink your own. Here are some ideas if you’re feeling experimental:

  • Replace the Clamato with tomato juice to craft a Bloody Mary.
  • Meet at the border by blending the Clamato with tomato juice.
  • Replace the vodka with beer to craft a Michelada.
  • Replace the vodka with another liquor like gin, rum or tequila.

Discover 10 essential bar tools for the home mixologist.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Bloody Caesar?

The Bloody Caesar is popular Canadian cocktail crafted with vodka, Clamato, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and celery salt.

Where was the Bloody Caesar invented?

The Bloody Caesar was invented in Calgary, Canada.

What are the ingredients in a Bloody Caesar?

Vodka, Clamato, Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce, Horseradish (optional), Celery Salt (for rim), Lime Wedge (for rim), Celery Stalk (garnish) and Ice Cubes

Is the Bloody Caesar shaken or stirred?

The Bloody Caesar is stirred, not shaken.

What’s the difference between a Bloody Mary and a Bloody Caesar?

The Bloody Mary and Bloody are similar vodka cocktails with one key difference. While the Bloody Mary is crafted with tomato juice, the Bloody Caesar is instead crafted with Clamato juice.

Did you craft this cocktail? If so, please rate the recipe below.

Bloody Caesar Recipe

Bloody Caesar Cocktail with White Background
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Bloody Caesar Recipe

Canada's Bloody Caesar is an ideal brunch drink that doubles as a hangover cure. It's super easy to craft at home and tastes great.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Drink
Cuisine: Cocktail
Servings: 1
Calories: 171kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Run a lime wedge around the rim of a high ball glass and then dip the glass into celery salt, swirling the glass until the rim is well coated.
  • Fill the glass half way with ice cubes.
  • Pour vodka and Clamato juice into the glass.
  • Add dashes of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Optionally add horseradish.
  • Mix with bar spoon.
  • Garnish with a celery rib.

Estimated Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2782mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft this cocktail.

Original Publication Date: October 29, 2023

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