Most countries around the world have their own signature cocktail, one that is unique to them, is inspired by their spirits, cuisines, and culture, and is known and enjoyed by just about everyone who lives there. For Canada, that cocktail is the Caesar; a salty, spicy glass of deliciousness that, if you’ve ever lived in Canada, you’ve tasted at one point or another, often while trying to cure a hangover. Created in Calgary in 1969 by Walter Chell, this drink drew inspiration from the classic cocktail the Bloody Mary, but also from the traditional Italian dish Spaghetti Alle Vongole, or spaghetti with tomato and clam sauce. From there, its popularity took it across the country, appearing on menus from coast to coast. Nowadays, you are hard-pressed to find a restaurant or bar that does not have a Caesar (or multiple Caesars) on their menu, and even more rare, a Canadian who hasn’t enjoyed one. Because we are also native to Calgary, we at Crafty’s had to salute this icon of Canadian cocktail history by creating this month’s box HAIL CAESAR. This fun, flavorful box builds on the foundations of the classic Caesar recipe to create three unique versions that showcase this drink’s versatility and complexity.
The Chuckwagon Caesar is inspired by this drink’s birthplace, boasting a big, smoky, profile, reminiscent of the foothills of Alberta, while also possessing layers of sophistication and culture, just like the city from which the original came. Putting a tropical twist on things, the Solaris Caesar balances the salty quality of Clamato with fruity elements such as pineapple and lime hot sauce and is perfect for those who like a Caesar at brunch. The Loka Mundo Caesar is an award-winning Caesar from the bar of our Director of Recipe Curation and features a custom Caesar sauce with a world of flavors such as curry, harissa, pickles, and za’atar.
With so many different flavor profiles, the HAIL CAESAR box will change your perception of the potential for a simple Caesar to incorporate a wide variety of ingredients into the already wonderful flavor profile of our favorite national drink. Have some friends over for a Sunday brunch and enjoy mixing our unique trio of Caesars, which may just inspire you in your own quest for the perfect Caesar.
Caesars are meant to be enjoyed in the morning, curing a hangover around a table with friends after a night of rambunctiousness. The Solaris Caesar brings light to an otherwise gloomy dawn by incorporating a splash of pineapple juice and a dash of delicious Chetty’s Pineapple Habanero hot sauce into the classic taste of Clamato juice. It may seem like these flavors contradict themselves, but the sweet pineapple balances extremely well with the salty, zesty Clamato and brings a refreshing zing that will mix well with your morning hangover vibes. Add a rim of seasoned pepper and you’ve got a drink with a blast of flavor that is of cosmic proportions.
Calgary, AB is the birthplace of the Caesar and because Crafty Cocktails hails from the same city, we decided to pay homage to its beginnings by creating a Caesar which draws inspiration from this city’s cowboy heritage. When taking a springtime stroll out in the foothills that surrounds the city, it is not uncommon to catch a whiff of the unmistakable scent of a bonfire burning in the distance, just as it is not uncommon to be impressed by the complexity of the food, wine and cocktail culture of the city center. The Chuckwagon Caesar plays on both these elements, using ingredients such as Chardonnay Oak smoked sea salt, smoky Front St. Heat hot sauce and Token Muskoka Smoke bitters to create a Caesar that delivers a big, smoke-filled hit of flavor off the bat, progressing into layers of subtle complexity, such as oak, chili, and citrus. Throw in a delicious piece of beef jerky to munch on, and you’ve got a drink that will take you right into the heartland of Alberta, no matter where you are in Canada.
Nestled in the Selkirk mountains of British Columbia, the small city of Nelson boast many fantastic restaurants, most of which are found around historic Baker Street. In the heart of this district is Loka, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Gin Bar where you can find the Crafty Cocktail’s Director of Recipe Curation, Duncan Peck, slinging fantastic gin cocktails (when he’s not out shredding powder). This is his take on the Caesar, inspired by the worldly flavors that are often found at this cozy and memorable bar. This recipe features a custom Caesar mix which uses exotic ingredients, including curry, harissa paste, and za’atar spice, as well as more classic Caesar flavors such as lime, pickle juice, and Worcestershire. This drink is inspired and new age, while staying true to classic Caesar flavors. On top of it being delicious, it also took home all the awards from Nelson’s 2019 annual Caesar Throwdown, so it made sense to include it in our Hail Caesar box.
Trust your Bartender
Everybody has their favorite spirit, but also have spirits they’re not so crazy about. These opinions are built over a lifetime of experiences; that bartender who made you the most amazing vodka cocktail you’ve ever tried, that one time you drank too much tequila… there are endless factors that may contribute to our own personal opinions towards particular types of alcohol. While these biases are completely understandable, a Crafty Cocktails box subscription is all about education in the world of cocktail creation, and it is very hard to learn new things if you don’t step outside your comfort zone. We strongly encourage you to make your cocktails with the recommended spirit for the month, even if you think you don’t like it. If a recipe is well balanced and acutely aware of the flavor profile of its given base spirit, the result can surprise even the most discerning of palettes. Conversely, an attempt to substitute the recommended alcohol for another simply because of personal preference can result in disaster, as flavor profiles tend to clash rather than compliment each other. The recipes in a Crafty’s curated box are just that, curated to suit a particular base spirit. Trust our bartenders, they know what they’re talking about; let them show how something you thought you disliked, can become something you absolutely love.