• Shelley Boettcher

Drinks to celebrate National Caesar Day


You could call it Canada's national cocktail. The Caesar — beloved by Canucks, little-known outside the country — has myriad variations and flavours.

Invented by Calgarian Walter Chell in the late 1960s, the drink is now found in restaurants, bars and homes across the country.

Here are three fresh new takes from Grey Goose Vodka brand ambassador Stephanie Lamb, just in time for National Caesar Day on May 17.

While a typical Caesar is garnished with a stalk of celery, or maybe a pickled bean or asparagus stem, she suggestions going a little bigger than that. Stick a pickled egg on a bamboo skewer, or maybe slivers of spicy charcuterie. (Pepperoni sticks work. We've tried 'em.)

Or go a little more gourmet, Lamb says. "Step it up a notch, with eye-catching garnishes like shaved celery ribbons, lobster claws, jumbo crab legs, dehydrated tomato slices and more," she says.

"The Caesar makes for the perfect snack; scallops, mini sliders, caviar and oysters are also great."

Grey Goose Strawberry-Rhubarb Caesar

1.5 oz Grey Goose L’original

1/2 oz lemon juice 1 oz strawberry/rhubarb shrub (see method, below)

3 oz caesar mix

1 pinch smoked paprika 1 pinch black pepper corns

Method: Rim one rocks glass with salt-chili blend (see below) and set aside. Add rest of ingredients over ice to cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour over fresh ice into your rimmed Rocks glass. Serves one.

*To make Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub: Cut onw pint of strawberries into halves. Cut 8 oz (about two stems) of rhubarb into half-inch pieces. Cover with 1 cup (250 mL) of sugar and let it macerate for at least 2 hours to a day in the refrigerator. Add 1 cup (250 mL) of apple cider vinegar and let it sit an additional 2 days in the fridge. Strain out, bottle and refrigerate.

Garnish: toasted cherry tomatoes still on the vine or dehydrated tomato slice

Rim: salt, chili, pepper, cracked black pepper

Grey Goose Beet Caesar

1.5 oz Grey Goose l’Orange

1 blood orange 1 oz beet root juice 1/2 oz lemon juice

3-4 dashes tabasco

3-4 dashes Worcester sauce

3 oz caesar mix

Method: Rim glass with Za'atar blend (see below) and set aside. Fill tall glass with ice to the top, add rest of ingredients and stir well. Serves one.

Garnish: bouquet garnish of herbs with parsley.

For rim: dehydrated parsley root blitzed with Za’atar spice and salt. (If you can't find dehydrated parsley root, a blend of Za'atar and salt will work nicely by itself.)

Grey Goose Thai Caesar

1.5 Grey Goose Le Citron

1 Thai chili, crushed 1/2 oz ponzu (see recipe below, or buy ready-made in the international foods section of many grocery stores) 2-3 dashes of rice vinegar

1/2 oz fresh cucumber juice

3 oz clamato juice

Method: Muddle Thai chilli in your glass. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice and stir, and ensure everything is combined. Serves one.

Garnish: cucumber ribbons Rim: sesame seeds & Togarashi spice mix

Ponzu:

1/2 cup fresh lime or lemon juice (or combination of both)

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 Tbsp light brown sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

Whisk together juice, vinegar, mirin, brown sugar and soy sauce. Let sit for at least 15 minutes so flavours to can blend. Store in refrigerator and use within three days.


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