Celine Dion, beavers, hockey, and Bloody Caesars.
That pretty much sums up Canada in a flash.
On Thursday, May 16, Canadians are encouraged to celebrate our signature drink with National Caesar Day and what better way to cheers the Canadian cocktail than some local spots.
Created in 1969 in Calgary, the signature drink is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.
The recipe is simple: vodka, Clamato juice, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, and the ironic salted rim. But the creativity is what makes it great.
Every restaurant puts its own little spin on the classic cocktail and whether it’s a simple mix or an elaborate mug, they’re all mighty tasty.
To celebrate National Caesar Day, here are eight spots around Montreal that do the popular Canadian cocktail some justice.
This cozy little pub toes the line between NDG and Westmount and has one of the best wing deals in Montreal on Sundays.
But, don’t let those 29 cent wings fool you – they also make a mean, classic Caesar.
So good in fact, they offer ‘Bottomless Caesars’ on weekend afternoons for $25.
Their take on the Caesar isn’t too complex, they keep it simple but they do simple well. It’s served in a celery-salt-rimmed stem glass and every sip is a balance between flavours.
They’ll even add a touch of horseradish at your discretion if you’re feeling zesty. Try to get there early on Sunday afternoons and fuse their ‘Bottomless Caesar’ deal with the wing special and you may never leave.
Where: 5175A Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Hours: 11 am – 3 am (Monday -Thursday), 10 am – 3 am (Friday – Sunday)
You can’t go to an oyster and seafood restaurant without expecting their Caesars to have a little something floating beneath the surface.
Lucille’s is beautifully decorated to give you that Maritime feel and they dress their Caesars in a similar fashion. Lucille’s Caesar may seem ordinary. It’s garnished with a celery and a lime but submerged in the Clamato juice is an oyster, shrimp, and crab leg. With Lucille’s, it’s clearly what lies beneath that counts.
Where: 5669 Avenue Monkland
Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm
Head to Reuben’s Deli for a traditional Montreal smoked meat sandwich and toss in a Caesar on the side, that way you’re getting layers of Montreal and Canadian specialties.
Reueben’s approaches their Caesar in the traditional form in a high ball glass but they season the rim with Montreal Steak Seasoning. The Reuben’s Caesar isn’t overly spicy but it’s subtle and refreshing, perfect for if you’re looking for a conventional Caesar.
Plus, Reuben’s has very accommodating hours for those you know, early Caesar fans.
Where: 1116 Rue Saint-Catherine Ouest
Hours: 8 am – 12 am
Arthurs Nosh Bar is a traditional Jewish deli. They’re known for sandwiches, breakfasts and shared tables in a stylish and open space.
They also have block-long lines of hungry and thirsty patrons every weekend for brunch. Well worth the wait.
For a restaurant that specializes in sandwiches, don’t be surprised when your Caesar arrives with a lox and bread cream cheese bagel attached to it. It’s served in a cooler glass, rimmed with steak spice and is secondarily garnished with a pickle and citrus. It’s heavy on the horseradish side and definitely gives a kick. If you’re in the mood for a loaded Caesar – Arthurs is your spot.
Where: 4621 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest
Hours: 8 am – 3 pm (4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays)
If you’re playing the Caesar game, you’ve got to give the Old Port some love. Especially when world renowned chef Chuck Hughes owns the place. Garde Manger’s Caesar mimics its Old Port local – classy and elaborate.
It’s served in a medium tumbler and the cocktail’s crab leg makes it seem like it just might tumble. Rimmed with their in-house steak spice, Garde Manger’s Caesar is a bit heavier and spicier than most but everything is made internally and you can definitely taste the difference.
Where: 408 Rue Saint François Xavier
Hours: 5:30 pm – 11 pm
Kampai feels like a magical garden get-away right smack in the middle of downtown.
They’ve done a nice job fusing the business crowd with students and customers can go to Kampai to eat, drink, play pool, dance or relax in the calm gardens. They’ve approached their Caesar the same way.
It’s served in a white wine tumbler, topped with olives and a lime. It’s balanced perfectly with flavor and a bit of spice. They also offer it with Hendrick’s premium gin if you want to change up the order a bit.
Where: 1616 Rue Saint-Catherine Ouest
Hours: 5 pm – 1 am (5 pm – 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays)
L’Gros Luxe is well known in Montreal for its grilled cheese and macaroni and cheese. They’re also the most extensive Bloody Caesar builders in town.
It’s served in a variety of sizes and glasses ranging from mugs to steins. Each Caesar is made the same but is garnished completely different. The Caesar itself is very flavorful thanks to the heavy dose of Worcestershire sauce but you go to L’Gros Luxe for the toppings.
The smaller-big Caesars are topped with cheese sticks, onion rings, burgers or grilled cheese and the Gros Luxe Caesar features it all. It’s nice to know there’s a cocktail in Montreal that can substitute as a full meal.
Where: 2472 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 5942 Sherbrooke Ouest, 451 Avenue Duluth Est, 150 rue Bernard Ouest
Hours: 5 pm – 10 pm (Monday – Wednesday), 11:30 am – 11 pm (Thursday – Sunday)
Despite offering phenomenal views of Montreal from Place Ville Marie, Les Enfants Terribles will make you feel the opposite of terrible with a few gulps of their Caesar.
Served in a stemless wine glass, this spicy, tasty cocktail is garnished with oysters, a lemon, and an olive is is just barely overflowing with flavour.
Address: 1 Place Ville Marie Entrée, 1490 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Hours: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm (10 am – 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays)