Image via Elsie Hul on Flickr
[twitter]It was May 13, 1969 when bartender Walter Chell concocted the world’s first Caesar for the opening of a new restaurant. Marco’s Italian Restaurant was opening at the Calgary Inn and Chell was championed with creating something that would pair with the Italian fare.

The original Caesar recipe had mashed clams, tomato juice and vodka. The clams being the twist on the already popular Bloody Mary. The clam / tomato idea was drawn from the flavour of Spaghetti Vongole (tomato sauce with clams).

Later Chell would help market Clamato juice, a blend of clam nectar and tomato juice from Mott’s that’s a truly Canadian creation and a key ingredient of any Caesar.

Caesar garnishes, however, are open to interpretation. Celery stalks, asparagus, prawns, even bacon have been seen adorning celery salted rims of Caesars.

Happy Birthday, Caesar! You’re dinner in a glass.

UPDATE: In 2015, National Caesar Day was born with the purpose of promoting the cocktail and campaigning to have it become Canada’s national drink.

May 14 is National Caesar Day

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  1. Kirsten June 26, 2012 at 8:51 am

    In the eighties I worked in a restaurant called “Savvy’s” in the Calgary Place building. Before it was Savvy’s it was Marcos Itialian Rest. Marcos was never located in the Calgary Inn and the bartender who created the Ceasar worked at Hys Steak House on 3St SW.
    My parents frequently went to Marco’s for dinner and dancing in the seventies, I was a co owner of Savvys , my wedding reception as well as my sisters was held there as well. Many restaurant/hotel servers that worked in downtown Calgary back in the day can attest to Marco’s location and the mythology of the birth of the Ceasar. Please check out the old Hy’s downtown and do a review of the classic, iconic steakhouse in Calgary, before all the chain/homogenous/eatteries invaded Cowtown.

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