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Bloody Mary vs. Bloody Caesar - Is it Caesar or Ceasar? Recipe

A Bloody Mary photo from Wikimedia Commons

A Bloody Mary photo from Wikimedia Commons

 Bloody Caesar - Only in Canada, eh? Pity.

When my late husband and I were in Atlantic City years ago, I happened to order a "Bloody Caesar" which was my favourite drink. The waiter quickly said "You mean Bloody Mary." It was not a question at all... it was more like correcting an obvious mistake. But the poor waiter was not to be faulted. After all, little is known, if at all, about Canada's most popular cocktail drink elsewhere in the world.

The cocktail was invented by bartender Walter Chell to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant in the Calgary Inn, which is now the Westin, in Calgary, Alberta in 1969. In its original form, it contained tomato juice and mashed clams. Nowadays, this concoction is known as Clamato (tomato juice and clam broth mixture) made by the Mott's company and is mainly available in Canada. As the Queen would likely say, "Only in Canada, eh? Pity." (This Canadian popular culture catchphrase originated from Red Rose's old commercials "Only in Canada, you say? Pity...")

According to Chell's granddaughter Sheena Parker, her grandfather named the drink "Caesar" because of his Italian ancestry. How the "bloody" got in the bloody name is somewhat hazy, and so for the bloody moment, we'll just bloody go with this bloody story...

"There was a British man at the bar at the time and he said, 'That's a bloody good Caesar', and that's where he came up with the Bloody Caesar."

Chell died in 1997 but his classic Caesar recipe has become a staple of just about every bar in Canada, with more than 350 million Caesars quaffed every year, according to Mott's. Only in Canada, eh? Pity.

Many Canadians, including myself, still ask for "Bloody Caesar" when ordering our drink, as a young waiter might likely bring us a salad instead of a drink.

To this day, most attempts to order a Bloody Caesar outside of Canada are answered with blank stares or an attempt to steer one toward a Bloody Mary, which is made with tomato juice.

A Bloody Caesar from Wikimedia Commons

A Bloody Caesar from Wikimedia Commons

Here's the basic recipe for Bloody Caesar:

  • One ounce of vodka.
  • Two dashes of hot sauce.
  • Three dashes of salt, pepper.
  • Four dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
  • Top it up with Clamato juice.

"Use the proper preparation method, which is called rolling. Use two glasses and just pour it back and forth and give it a good mix. The last rule is always use fresh ingredients," said Len Fragomeni, dean of Mott's Clamato Caesar School and founder of the Toronto Institute of Bartending.

Rim the glass with lime and dip in celery salt or caesar rimmer. Add a stalk of celery and wedge with lime.

Other names for a Caesar include Bloody Caesar, Canadian Caesar, Salted Caesar, and Clamdigger.

Rather than celery salt, the glass can be rimmed with: a mixture of salt and pepper, wasabi, cayenne pepper, horseradish, seasoning salt, or lemon pepper.

Lime juice can be added to taste.

In place of the celery stalk garnish, a dill pickled cucumber or a spicy pickled green bean or asparagus spear can be substituted. A prawn (especially in seafood restaurants) or crisp bacon strip is sometimes used as well.


Bloody Mary

Although there are many versions on how the Bloody Mary cocktail drink came to be known, this version is most likely the correct one.

The Bloody Mary was created by Fernand "Pete" Petiot, a bartender at Harry's NY Bar in Paris.  When the recipe for the Bloody Mary traveled to New York City with "Pete" Petoit after repeal of prohibition to work at the King Cole Bar in the St Regis Hotel, his new bar felt the name would be offensive.  So the Bloody Mary became known as the the Red Snapper for many years, but eventually it was again known as the Bloody Mary.

A Bloody Mary photo from Wikimedia Commons

A Bloody Mary photo from Wikimedia Commons

Here is the basic recipe for Bloody Mary as taught by the New York School of Bartending:

  • 1 oz. to 1½ oz. (30-45 ml) vodka in a highball glass filled with ice.
  • Fill glass with tomato juice
  • 1 dash celery salt
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 2-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. horseradish (pure, never creamed)
  • Dash of lemon or lime juice
  • Garnish with celery stalk.

May be shaken vigorously or stirred lazily, as desired. Garnish with a celery stalk; a skewer of olives, pickles, carrots, mushrooms, or other vegetables; or even meat or fish (salami, shrimp, etc.) and cheese. Occasionally, pickled asparagus spears or pickled beans are also used.

Please take the following little bit of information with a grain of salt...

Using a celery stick to garnish a Bloody Mary originated in the 1960s at Chicago's Ambassador East Hotel. An unnamed celebrity got a Bloody Mary, but no swizzle stick. He grabbed a stalk of celery from the relish tray to stir his Bloody Mary.

And the rest as they say is history.


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Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on November 08, 2011:

Hiya Sarah, thanks for dropping by. That is so true. lol Sometimes I'd ask for a bloody.. and pause.. because I couldn't decide if I want Mary or Caesar. lol Cheers!

Have a nice day,


Sarah on October 27, 2011:

It was never called a bloody ceasar, always just a ceasar. You order a bloody ceasar in Canada, and people will know you're form the US. :)

Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 07, 2011:

Hiya greg, thanks for the info. Good to know.

Hiya imatellmuva, oh if you like clams and spicy Bloody Mary, you might like Bloody Caesar.

Have a nice day,


imatellmuva from Somewhere in Baltimore on January 04, 2011:

I never tried that. I do enjoy a good Bloody Mary with Pepper Vodka, and I like clams, so why not combine the two. It sounds interesting...I'm going to give it a try!

greg g zaino from L'America- Big Pine Key, Florida on January 04, 2011:

Hey Rosie, just asked Libby if anyone orders the "Bloody Caesar" in Key West and she says definitely. She added that there is not a big call for them, but a call nonetheless.

Peace Lady ~ greg

Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 03, 2011:

Hiya Greg, thanks for dropping by. Oh please let me know. Usually where Canadians gather outside Canada, there is a possibility that Caesars are being ordered. It's true about the salad, so we always specify "Bloody Caesar" because nowadays Caesar is usually Caesar salad.

Have a nice day,


greg g zaino from L'America- Big Pine Key, Florida on January 03, 2011:

Hey Rosie, always up for something new here in the Keys. My woman works at the Sunset Pier,Tiki Bar in Key west- i'll ask if any canadians order the Caesar.

Ha, bringing a salad instead.

fun read, write on!

peace ~ greg

Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 01, 2011:

Hiya Susan, thanks for dropping by. lol I thought about Caesar when I picked up champagne at the liquor store and found Mott's ready-made caesars. I got the extra-spicy ones.. bloody delicious! I'm glad you found my bloody hub bloody awesome. Thanks.

Happy New Year!


Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on January 01, 2011:

Hiya sunnyo, thanks for dropping by. Thank you so much.. I'm glad you enjoyed my bloody hub. lol I hope you enjoyed your Bloody Caesar!

Happy New Year!


Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on January 01, 2011:

Hi Rosie and Happy New Year! Caesars are in the top ten of my favorite drinks. Very nice hub, I would never had thought to write about Bloody Caesars. Bloody awesome. :)

Sonya Oprel from Brampton, Ontario on December 31, 2010:

Enjoyed your writing style. Since it is New Year's Eve and I am home, I am going to give it a try. Happy New Year.

Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on December 31, 2010:

Hiya my dear friend Rhonda, our Bloody Caesar is very similar to your Bloody Mary except for the Clamato. But here in Canada, they don't make good Bloody Mary. Enjoy your New Year's Eve! hugsss

Happy New Year!


Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on December 31, 2010:

Hiya my darling handsome cowboy Gets, no pic? lol You mean Asti? Asti is my favourite champagne-like drink, better than a champagne. But my favourite cocktail is the Canadian Bloody Caesar. hugsss

Happy New Year!


Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on December 31, 2010:

Hiya Will, thanks so much for dropping by. Well, if you can find Mott's Clamato, that's good. But you can mix one yourself with clam juice and tomato juice, and if you like clams like I go, add some clam in your drink as well. Enjoy!

Happy New Year!


Rosie Rose (author) from Toronto, Canada on December 31, 2010:

Hiya my dear friend tnderhrt, I'm glad you enjoyed my bloody drink hub. Tequila Bloody Mary with green olives sounds like something I might bloody enjoy too! Oh gf, you should come to Canada and I will definitely introduce you to Bloody Caesar. Have a wonderful bloody New Year's Eve.

Happy New Year,


Rhonda Musch from The Emerald Coast on December 31, 2010:

Wow. It looks yummy Rosie. Thanks for sharing. Have a Great New Year.

Gets on December 31, 2010:

I thought you always drank Asanti wine or maybe a rum and coke on

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on December 31, 2010:

Sounds good!

I may try that tonight.

Thanks Rosie.

tnderhrt23 on December 31, 2010:

Rosie, Girl! I love this hub! I'm not a big drinker any more, but My favorite drink in the whole world is a Tequila Bloody Mary with Green olives! That may be because I have never experienced The Bloody Caesar! Never been to Canada, obviously...a one never knows what the future holds! This was a fun read! If I ever get to Canada I shall look you up and perhaps you can introduce me! Hugs and a "bloody" Happy New Year to you!!!

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