3 Twists on Canada's Favourite Cocktail: The Caesar


Is there anything more Canadian than sipping on a Caesar on a patio before any rational human being would consider patio season underway? 

If there is, then I haven’t come across it yet. 

As Canadians, we take pride in our own creations and the Caesar might be one of our most beloved creations. It’s hardly as important as say the Canada Arm or the telephone but without question, it’s one of our favourites. 

Vodka, clam, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lime, rimmer, garnish and a sprinkle of seasoning. There’s nothing else like it. It’s so Canadian that even most Americans don’t even know about it. 

While the classic is the classic for a reason, there are more ways than ever to spruce up your Caesar and try something new. 

For starters, the easiest way to give your Caesar a different taste is to switch up the liquor in the drink. Vodka is the most popular spirit in Caesar, mostly because it’s a pretty tame flavour that lets the other flavours shine while still giving you a boozy kick. 

However, you can also make Caesar’s with just about any other liquor you want. Adding whiskey, gin or tequila can help make one of your favourite hair of the dog drinks even better. Whiskey adds more of a smoky taste, gin adds a nice floral touch, and tequila complements the spicy and citrus notes. 

If you want to try something different but don’t want to stray too far from the original, then a flavoured vodka might be for you. 

One of the most popular flavoured vodka’s for Caesar’s is dill pickle. For obvious reasons, of course. Pickles are one of the most popular Caesar garnishes and pickle brine has often been added as an ingredient too. 

In Saskatchewan, we've gone so far as to make dill pickle vodka a thing. I'm pretty sure we can take bragging rights on being the first to do so too. There are a few local distillers that have experimented creating this pickley spirit including Last Mountain Distillery and Lucky Bastard.

Dill pickle may be the most obvious flavoured vodka to add to your Caesar but there are certainly other options such as spicy or citrusy vodkas. A sweet vodka might not work as well, but I guess you never know. 

Another easy way to put a twist on your Caesar is to try something different when it comes to the other ingredients like spices, rimmer, hot sauce or even something you've never tried in a Caesar before. 

At Happy Hour’s mixology section, we have all kinds of different things to take your cocktails to the next level including horseradish extract and Lucky Bastard’s bacon bitters. Some restaurants and bars use horseradish in their Caesars, so a couple drops of this could be the new flavour you’re looking for. And as for the bitters, who doesn’t love bacon? It’s sweet and smoky flavour works well with any classic Caesar recipe.

What are some of the different things you’ve tried in a Caesar? What’s worked? Maybe more importantly, what hasn’t?