Saturday, June 4, 2011

oh Walter!

In 1969, at what is now the Westin Hotel in Calgary, Alberta, an ingenious restaurant manager named Walter Chell created a drink in honour of the opening of a new Italian restaurant.  The story varies slightly: was tomato/clam the soup of the day? or did Walter draw from his Italian background creating his own 'clam-ato' in the style of spaghetti alle vongole?  Either way the result of his efforts could arguably be called Canada's Official Cocktail!

So how does our little town do when it comes to the Caesar?

I've investigated and I have to say, though every bar in town does serve a Caesar, I'm more than a little disappointed at the distinct lack of ingenuity!

Is celery salt really so delicious that it need not be improved upon?

I think not.

Due to the fact that I refuse to pick a 'winner' from the average Caesars available, I'll skip straight to the honourable mentions...

Molly Blooms: kudos to your $3 Sunday Caesars, delicious and a steal (perhaps made tastier by the Jazz?).

The Pour House: you surprised me with a spicy bean and an inventive rim, a round of applause!

Foster's: best garnish - though I think you get it from a jar?

Bentley's: your choice of glassware is the most satisfying/appropriate, good thick glass that somehow suits the beverage.

I encourage all of our local restaurants - step up your game a little, there are some great cocktails in this city, why has the Caesar been left as a regular old clamato/vodka concoction?

Where's the tequila?

The gin?

Why not Jack friggin' Daniels?


Freshly grated horseradish perhaps?

Try making your own rim?

Use a local/interesting hotsauce?

C'mon Stratford, there are millions of possibilities, we can do better!


  1. I just think the best caesar comes with a bit of smoke. CHIPOTLE HOT SAUCE. It's really the best. And ANY pickled vegetable. yum.

  2. Oh - OR fresh horseradish. not original but certainly delicious!!!!

  3. ...I make it dirty with pickle juice and lot of Worcestershire sauce...haven't had a complaint yet ;)

  4. did you forget to check out the parlour?
    they have a few choices and the one's i've tried are good.
    I hear Foster's has local pickled asparagus up it's sleeve.

  5. When I was the bartender at Avoca, we did a lot of those things... pickled our own spicy beans, I infused vodka with dill, lemon, lime and garlic just for caesars, horseradish...I now have a new twist using a bit of smoked tomato juice left from smoking tomato for puree, also delicious!

  6. Dave, that sounds delicious! And to Anonymous, I didn't forget the Parlour but found theirs to be good but not in any way particularly interesting - perhaps I'll try there again.

  7. I love the Caesars at the Dominion ... and I've tried them all around town. Lots of garnish, spicy or not, and it comes in a mason jar. Bonus is that the Doho's usually empty on a Sunday afternoon, and there's always a pool table free ...

  8. Ever tried a Caesar from DTS chew? They've got the best celery salt around, don't know whats in their secret recipe but i wan't to know.

  9. Make your own Caesar Bar should so be in Stratford by now. It's a Sunday afternoon competition in many cities.