On this beautiful evening after a long day of work, I find it appropriate to write about a topic that is very dear to my heart (and currently at my side).
It’s that sweet, spicy, tangy, zesty, satiating beverage. That Canadian tradition so delicious that we deem it worthy of celery salt and stalk, lemon, lime, pickles, olives, bacon, shrimp, pepperoni, radish, cheese, and so on (the possibilities are endless). That crowd pleaser with the Christmassy colour palate that we all know and love… the CAESAR!
Disclaimer: Americans, I know that you have something called a “bloody mary” and I’m sure it’s good, but it’s not a caesar. It’s just not.
Vodka meets its natural ally in Clamato juice, its bitter subtleties masked by Clamato’s spicy-sweet tang. Lemon and lime add citrusy zest. Next you have the refreshing crunch of the celery, to be dipped in the caesar and enjoyed as a precursor of what comes next, or to be slowly enjoyed post-caesar as an act of celebration of the deliciousness which you were so recently blessed with.
Finally, have your tastebuds tickled as celery salt graces your lips, or – if you prefer to enjoy your caesar through the cylindrical confines of a straw – use a lemon/lime wedge to travel the circumference of the cup, scooping up all of the delicious salt in the process and dropping it into the caesar with a triumphant splash.
Let’s be honest: if you don’t like caesars, you’re weird. Too spicy? Ask for less Tabasco. Allergic to clam? Suck it up. Nothing is worse than not drinking caesars.
What makes the caesar great is how dynamic it is. The vast range of factors which blend inconspicuously in the caesar make it an elusive and enticing beverage. A good caesar requires patience and care in its preparation, and should be enjoyed as such.
The caesar also possesses an infinitely dynamic range of drinking opportunities, aka there is no truly inappropriate time to have a caesar. Indeed, it is one of the few beverages which can be enjoyed with breakfast, lunch or dinner, at the bar, on the beach, on the slopes… anytime, anywhere, and all within the boundaries of social acceptability (that’s what I’ve been telling myself, anyways).
Another endearing quality of the caesar is how damn beautiful it is. Aesthetically, the caesar is a masterpiece, one of the only drinks on earth that can be enjoyed by observation alone. Possibly the most Instagramed Canadian cultural artifact in existence, the image of the caesar is celebrated frequently – and for good reason.
Remember those Mott’s Clamato commercials, the ones where a guy orders a caesar and suddenly everybody in his vicinity goes ape-shit crazy for them? Back in 2009 when I was younger, foolish and naive, and did not yet drink caesars, I thought these commercials were stupid. I said, “You know what? If I was there I’d still want a beer. A drink with celery in it? Caesars are weird.”
To my old self I say, “You’re stupid.” Honestly, watch this commercial and tell me you can’t relate. It’s like Mott’s was foreshadowing the rest of my life. If you watch it and still can’t relate, you probably have never tried a caesar or are just a bad person. Either way, figure it out and guzzle some vodka infused clam juice, it will change your life for the better.