The birthplace of the Caesar is Calgary, where it was invented in 1969 by barman Walter Chell to mark the opening of a new Italian restaurant. The flavours do indeed reflect those of Spaghetti alle Vongole, or clam pasta. (This is where Caesar mix Walter Caesar gets its name, by the way.)
May 13 is considered Caesar Day in Calgary; some may contest the origin story (or at least Chell’s originality) but that can’t stop Calgarians from taking pride in their city’s part in creating a country-wide classic.
The “holiday” is as official as these things get. Now in its sophomore year, we’re learning that May 14 isn’t a fixed day, but rather the day is meant to be “observed” on the Thursday before our May Long Weekend. That means National Caesar Day 2016 is Thursday, May 19.
Canada’s signature cocktail in its purest form is made with vodka, Clamato juice, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, and is served in a glass rimmed with celery salt and a celery or olive garnish. Plenty of restaurants (and at-home barkeeps) take their Caesar game to the next-level, though, coming up with all sorts of variations on a winning theme.
Not surprisingly, it’s not hard to find a bloody good Caesar in Calgary. Hit up the revamped Unicorn Superpub‘s Classic Calgary level for their Stephen Avenue Caesar; it’s got Clamato, Worcestershire, Tobasco, pepperoni stick, pickle slice, olive, house spiced rim lime mixed with your choice of booze: Vodka, Gin, Whiskey or Tequila.
You’ll also find local favourites at Local on 8th Avenue, National‘s locations, State & Main, or Caesar’s Steak House (hey, it’s in the name)–though it’s hard to beat mixing up your own to your own liking.
Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t celebrate the Caesar any day, but if you’ve been looking for the perfect excuse, mark May 19 on your calendar this year.