Thursday, December 15, 2011

Best Holiday Cocktail

When I was a kid, Dad worked at the Westin Hotel in Calgary Alberta. The Westin Hotel is where the Caesar cocktail was invented in 1969 (several years before Dad worked there).  I'm pretty sure my Dad met Walter Chell, the drink's originator, and in my most humble opinion Dad learned how to make THE BEST Caesar. 

When Jill and I were kids, Dad would make us virgin Caesers on special occaissions....mostly around Christmas  It always made me feel important, special and oh so grown up.

The Caesar, for you Yanks, is like a Bloody Mary but INFINITELY better! It's a savory drink that is a perfect replacement for appetizers.  Over the years I've become something of an expert Caesar maker, with a few Leslie variations.  My father in law often requests this cocktail when I visit.  It means so much to me that I am able to share a part of my Dad through this drink.

Daddy Lou's Classic Caesar
Celery Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce
Mott's Clamato Juice

With your lime wedge (or lemon in a pinch) moistened the edge of the glass.  Then in a shallow dish, rim the glasses in either celery salt or Caesar rim mix. 

Fill the glass about half way with ice. Add about 4 dashes of Worchestershire sauce, 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce, and fresh ground black pepper.  Pour 1 1/2 ounce of vodka over spices.

Top off with Clamato and garnish with a fresh stalk of celery.

Through the years I've come up with a few variations that I think improve this already yummy drink.

Leslie's Caesar
Moisten edge of glass with lime wedge and rim in celery salt.  Fill glass half way with ice.  Squeeze lime wedge and place in the glass.  Pour 6 dashes of Worchestershire over ice.  Pour in 1 1/2 ounces of Silver Tequila. Top with Clamato. Add about 1 teaspoon of prepared horseradish and stir well.  Garnish with a spear of pickled asparagus.

It's basically a drink in a glass!  I like to make mine with Silver Tequila, because it's delicious!  You can use vodka, silver tequila or white rum in your Caesar.  Other variations include using more Tabasco (I always omit it), or garnishing with pickled beans, olives, pickles, or peperoncini .

I know it seems like a weird drink, but give it a try.  This cocktail has definitely become something of a legend in my family and certainly a beloved holiday tradition.
It's a Keeper


Jen said...

Jordan loves caesars! I'm going to make him one of your dad's tonight. Thanks!

sarah said...

Yum! There are my favourite! When I'm not pregnant, obviously.