Where to Drink Caesars in Calgary
Get the iconic Calgary drink with cake as a garnish, served in a boot, with some Japanese flavour, or at the hotel it was invented in. Or, make it at home. We have the recipe for the updated version of The Westin Caesar.
The Caesar was invented by Walter Chell at The Westin in 1969. The 2017 version of the drink includes smoked tomato puree.
Photograph courtesy of The Westin Calgary
The answer to where to drink a Caesar in Calgary is basically anywhere that serves drinks. It was invented in this city after all. Walter Chell came up with the concoction in 1969. He was the bartender at The Westin and was asked to create a cocktail that complimented dishes at the hotel’s new Italian restaurant. And so the clam, tomato and vodka juice was created.
Chell’s basic Caesar recipe includes 1.25 ounces of vodka, six ounces of clamato juice, a dash of Worcestershire, a squeeze of lime and salt and pepper to taste served in a glass with a celery salt rim.
The Westin Calgary’s current director of bars and restaurants, Daniel Boychuk, created an updated version of the drink. The recipe is below. Or, make your way to one of these Calgary restaurants that each has its own spin on the Caesar.
Weekend Caesar Bar at The Beltliner
A classic Caesar is always on the menu here, but on Saturdays and Sundays the drink gets extra special. The Beltliner’s Weekend Caesar Bar, available Saturday and Sunday, starts with the base of Walter’s Craft Caesar Mix, Bad Dog Bloody Mary Bitters and spices. Then you have options. Choose gin or vodka. Decide if you want pickles, pepperoni, celery, spice and lime. Then come the garnishes. For an additional $3, your options include perogies, bacon, smoked beef, chocolate cake and chocolate peanut cookie. For an additional $5, your options are a breakfast sammie, chicken and waffle, caprese salad, a shrimp skewer or a shot of tequila.
243 12 Ave. S.W., 587-955-1555, thebeltliner.com
Life is Ceasy at The Coup
Is a Caesar a Caesar if it doesn’t have clam juice? Purists say no. The Coup says it’s close enough. Its Life is Ceasy cocktail has a base of tomato, cucumber and citrus. It spices it up with smoked paprika, sriracha and pepper. The booze is your choice of gin, tequila, mezcal or vodka. The drink is finished off with alder smoked salt and “bacon” of carrot and cucumber.
924 17 Ave. S.W., 403-541-1041, thecoup.ca
Samurai Caesar at Ki
This Caesar is infused with Japanese flavour. In addition to vodka, it has shochu (a distilled alcohol made in Japan). And, it combines yuzu juice with the clamato juice.
308 4 Ave. S.W., 403-264-1133, kijapanese.com
El Caesar at Local
Sundays are for Caesars and football. We got the best Caesar on 8th Ave, made with freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice, Valentina hot sauce, a kick of horseradish and topped off with a wicked snack! If you haven't had it yet come try it out, on special all day! #localon8thave #whoweare #localislocal #elcaesar #thewaywepour #brunchyyc #sundayfunday #sundayfootball
The drink itself is traditional — vodka, clamato juice, hot sauce and spices. What makes this Caesar different is that it is served in a boot. It also comes with a pepperoni stick.
310 8 Ave. S.W., 403-264-7808, localon8thave.com
NTNL Caesar at National
The skewer on this drink is a sizeable snack that includes a pickle, chorizo and cheddar cheese. National also adds a splash of IPA to its Caesar and gives it an extra kick with horseradish.
Four locations in Calgary, ntnl.ca
Brunch Caesar at Oxbow
photograph courtesy of kensington riverside inn
You’ll find the Caesar on Oxbow’s brunch menu. It’s $5 and garnished with house-made pickles and beef jerky as its garnish. Oxbow also rims its Caesars with Montreal steak spice, which is a tip to use when you make the drink at home. The drink sums up Oxbow’s local, Canadian, comfort food approach to its menu.
1126 Memorial Dr. N.W., 403-228-4442, kensingtonriversideinn.com
The Westin Caesar at The Westin
Image courtesy of the westin calgary
For the mother of all Caesars go to where it all began. The new version of The Westin Caesar, created by Daniel Boychuk, goes above and beyond Walter Chell’s original blend and includes cherry wood to create a smoked tomato puree. Making this drink is a process, but can be done at home. The drink also tastes delicious when ordered and consumed in The Westin's Liquid Lounge.
The Westin, 320 4 Ave. S.W., 403-266-1611, westincalgary.com
Recipe for The Westin Caesar
2 oz premium vodka
5 oz. Walter Craft Caesar Mix in classic spice
1oz smoked puréed tomato (see instructions below)
Cherry wood chips
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Celery salt and sea salt
To make the tomato puree, place a handful of cherry wood in water and soak it for 30 minutes. Drain the cherry wood and make an aluminum pouch for the wood. Seal and poke several holes on top of the pouch with fork. Place the pouch in you barbecue on the heat plate above the burners or on coal. Cut vine ripened tomatoes in half and season with sea salt. Place the salted tomatoes on the top rack of your barbecue (not on the grill). Close lid and smoke tomatoes for 30 minutes. Cool tomatoes to room temperature, place in blender and blend until smooth.
To make the Caesar, fill shaker with scoop of ice, add vodka, a dash of Worcestershire, smoked tomato puree and chilled Walter Craft Caesar Mix. Roll the drink into another shaker three times. Pour into a glass rimmed with celery salt. Garnish with celery and a lime wedge. Serve.