CBCnews

Hail Caesar!

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by Andree Lau, CBCnews.ca

We've all done it. Travelling in a foreign country, seized by a thirst for a Caesar, but answered by only a blank stare, or a suggestion of a (much lesser) Bloody Mary.

The Bloody Caesar is a uniquely Canadian cocktail, and you either love it or hate it. Me, I love it.

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The Caesar was invented in Calgary in 1969. (CBC)

Created in 1969 by bartender Walter Chell to mark the opening of an Italian restaurant at the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Hotel), the Bloody Caesar sounds admittedly strange when you try to describe it to someone.

"Vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Clamato juice — you know, tomato and clam juice."

But it does make for a delicious concoction. Mott's, which liked Chell's idea so much it started producing Clamato juice later in 1969, says more than 350 million Bloody Caesars are served every year in Canada.

This year marks the savoury drink's 40th anniversary. The Westin in Calgary held a special event for the cocktail on Wednesday, inviting the mayor and the creator's family to unveil a plaque and sip on, what else, Caesars.

Mott's has created an online petition to get the Caesar declared Canada's national cocktail.

I know Clamato is also used in another cocktail, popular in the Prairies — the Red Eye, which mixes Clamato with beer. I don't think that one's going to give the Caesar much of a run for its money.

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