TV & Movies

National Caesar Day Recipe Smackdown!

In honour of National Caesar Day, we turned to our favourite Canadian cocktails manual—the aptly named A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails—for two takes on the classic, just in time for May 2-4

National Caesar Day

CLASSIC East Meets West Coast Caesar
Dulse-Salt Rimmer (see recipe below) or celery salt
1 lemon or lime
Handful of ice cubes
1-1⁄2 oz vodka
1 tsp freshly grated horseradish
2 dashes hot sauce, preferably Cholula
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Generous grinding black pepper
4 to 6 oz chilled Tomato-Clam Juice (see recipe at bottom of post) or Mott’s Clamato
1 cooked large BC shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail-on, for garnish
1 steamed clam and/or 1 fresh Canadian East or West Coast oyster, for garnish (optional)

Place rimmer on a small plate. Cut 2 lemon wedges, one of them large. Use large lemon wedge to moisten the rim of a large highball or pint glass. Turn the outside rim of the glass in rimmer. Fill glass with ice. Pour in vodka.

Add horseradish, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Sprinkle with pepper and squeeze in juice from large lemon wedge. Top with Tomato-Clam Juice. Stir to mix and chill drink. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Skewer shrimp and clam, if using. Garnish Caesar with a lemon wedge, seafood skewer and a freshly shucked oyster, if using, balanced over the ice. Makes 1 drink

Dulse-Salt Rimmer 
Dulse is a red-tinged dark purple seaweed that grows on rocks on the shorelines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It’s hugely popular among Maritimers as a sea-vegetable snack. It carries intense umami taste that’s also salty and earthy and sings of sea flavour, making it an excellent base for a Caesar rimmer. We would like to give a shout out to Patrick McMurray’s The Ceili Cottage in Toronto, the place where we first tried it in a Caesar. To make our dulse rimmer simply place 1⁄2 cup coarsely broken dulse and 1 Tbsp coarse kosher salt in a spice or coffee grinder. Pulse until broken down. Add another 1 Tbsp salt. Pulse just to mix. Rimmer will keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 months. Makes 2 tbsp rimmer

National Caesar Day

NEW SCHOOL The Great White Caesar
Lovage-Salt Rimmer (see recipe below) or celery salt
1 lime or lemon wedge
Handful of ice cubes
1-1⁄2 oz vodka
2 dashes hot sauce, preferably green or Cholula
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
Generous grinding black pepper
4 to 6 oz chilled Tomato-Clam Juice (made with Great White tomatoes; see recipe at bottom of post) or Mott’s Clamato (but then drink won’t be white, obvi)
Half lime or lemon wheel, for garnish
1 sprig of lovage or cilantro, for garnish

Place rimmer on a small plate. Moisten the rim of a large highball or pint glass with lime wedge. Turn the outside rim of the glass in rimmer.

Fill glass with ice. Pour in vodka. Add hot sauce and Worcestershire. Sprinkle with pepper and squeeze in juice from lime wedge. Top with Tomato-Clam Juice. Stir to mix and chill drink. Taste and adjust flavouring to your liking. Garnish with half lime wheel. Makes 1 drink

Lovage-Salt Rimmer 
Preheat the oven to 200°F. Lightly pound 1⁄2 cup finely chopped lovage (a British herb) or cilantro leaves (1 small bunch) with 1⁄2 cup coarse kosher salt using a mortar and pestle. Spread out over a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until herbs are very dry and brittle, 30 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Rimmer will keep well in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 6 months. Makes 2/3 cup rimmer

Tomato-Clam Juice
2 very large Great White or 6 medium red tomatoes
1 sprig fresh lovage or 1 celery rib
3 tbsp store-bought clam juice
1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Dashes hot sauce
Pinches salt, freshly ground pepper and granulated sugar

Core tomatoes. In a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped. You should have 2-3/4 to 3 cups. Pour into a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened slightly, about 6 minutes. Carefully return to food processor. Add lovage and whirl until puréed. Sieve through a fine-mesh sieve. Using the back of a spoon or a ladle, push through as much juice as possible. Pour juice into a jar or pitcher. Stir in clam and lemon juices and seasonings. Taste and adjust to your liking. Juice will keep, sealed and refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Makes 22 oz (2-3/4 cups)

Excerpted from A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails. Copyright © 2015 Scott McCallum and Victoria Walsh, photography by Juan Luna. Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd. a Penguin Random House company. All rights reserved.

Related: 
10 Totally Genius Caesar Garnish Hacks
Bar Raval Booze Genius Juliana Wolkowski’s Pins & Needles Cocktail
Meet Hunky Toronto Chef Michael Hunter
Custom GRAMMY Cocktails Inspired By Our Favourite Nominees