The Bloody Caesar drink is a Canadian version of the Bloody Mary! Clam juice makes this signature brunch cocktail unique.

Bloody Caesar drink

All hail, the Bloody Caesar! This classic brunch drink is a variation on the Bloody Mary invented in Canada, and here’s the thing: it’s arguably more delicious. The secret? Clamato juice adds an intensely savory undertone to what’s an already umami-packed drink. This drink was inspired by a plate of Italian spaghetti with clams, and while that might sound a bit off, but let us assure you: this spicy, savory, tangy drink is pure flavor. If you love a Bloody Mary (and we do), the Caesar is the cocktail for you.

Caesar cocktail ingredients

The Caesar drink, aka Bloody Caesar, is a variation on the Bloody Mary invented in Canada in 1969. The classic Bloody Mary stems back to 1920’s Paris. But this version was a later spin created by a restaurant manager at the Calgary Inn. He claimed to be inspired by the flavors in the dish spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams (spaghetti alle vongole), and named his invention after this Italian heritage. The drink took off immediately and within a few years was the most popular cocktail in Calagary.

What’s in a Bloody Caesar drink that makes it so irresistible? The Caesar cocktail ingredients are:

  • Clamato juice
  • Vodka
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Black pepper

Of course if you eat vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to try one of our other Bloody Mary Variations!

Bloody Caesar drink

More about Clamato juice

What’s Clamato? This bright red beverage is a combination of tomato juice, clam broth, and spices. What’s in the name? As you might guess, it’s a combination of “tomato” and “clam.”

Clamato was first produced in the 1930’s, and rose to fame in the 1960’s. It’s popular in Mexico, where it’s often used in the Michelada, a beer cocktail, and Canada where it’s used in the Bloody Caesar. It’s not as well known in the United States, but it’s growing in popularity.

How to make a Bloody Caesar drink (basic method)

This recipe results in a Bloody Caesar drink mix that makes 4 drinks. Because you’re probably not enjoying the Caesar cocktail alone! But if you want a single serving, refrigerate the remainder and the flavor improves over time. Here are the basic steps for a Bloody Caesar drink:

  • If you can, chill the Clamato juice and vodka first. This lets the drink get cold without having to use too much ice to dilute it. If you forget, it’s not big deal!
  • Stir the Caesar drink ingredients in a pitcher. The best way to make a Bloody Caesar is not shaking or stirring it with ice, like you would with a normal drink. This dilutes the mix too much and makes for a watery consistency. Simply mix the mixture without ice, then serve it over ice. This results in the perfect consistency.
  • Rim the glass and garnish! Serve the drink over ice with the garnishes of your choice. Speaking of…
Caesar drink

Caesar drink garnishes

The best part of a Bloody Caesar drink? Just like the Bloody Mary, go big on the garnishes! This drink is is all about unusual, pickled, vegetal garnishes: the weirder the better. Here are some of the best items to spear into a Caesar:

  • Celery stalks 
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pimento stuffed olives
  • Cocktail onions
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Pepperoncini
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers
  • Pickled okra
  • Pickled cauliflower
  • Pickled asparagus

The easiest way to add these to a drink? Cocktail picks! This is especially nice for entertaining. Thread all your garnishes onto picks or skewers, which looks lovely and helps to keep them contained. Here are the bamboo cocktail picks we use.

Bloody Caesar cocktail

More variations on a Bloody Mary

The Bloody Mary was born in the 1920’s, and spawned all sorts of variations (including this Bloody Caesar drink). Once you’ve tried the Caesar, hit up all these variations:

This Caesar drink recipe is…

Gluten-free and dairy-free.

Print
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Bloody Caesar drink

Caesar Drink (aka Bloody Caesar!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 drinks 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

The Bloody Caesar drink is a Canadian version of the Bloody Mary! Clam juice makes this signature brunch cocktail unique.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups clamato juice, chilled
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan as desired)
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco hot sauce, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) vodka, chilled
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • For the rim: Old Bay seasoning (purchased or homemade) and kosher salt
  • For the garnish: celery stalk, lemon wedge, olive, cocktail onion (use cocktail picks if desired)

Instructions

  1. If time allows, chill the clamato juice and vodka. Shake the clamato juice before pouring.
  2. In a pitcher, combine the clamato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery salt and black pepper. Stir. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 1 day. 
  3. To serve, on a plate place a mixture of roughly half kosher salt and half Old Bay seasoning (or celery salt). Cut a notch in a lemon wedge, then run it around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of salt.
  4. To each glass, add 2 ounces (¼ cup) of vodka and ½ cup of bloody caesar mix and stir gently to combine. Fill the glass with ice and add the garnishes.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Caesar drink, Bloody Caesar, Caesar cocktail, Caesar cocktail ingredients

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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