As a child, I remember thinking how amazing it would be to visit Ottawa for Canada Day, without realizing that I would one day call our nation’s capital my home. On July 1, Ottawa breathes red and white. Parliament Hill almost sparkles in the midst of everyone’s excitement as they come together to celebrate the country’s birthday.
Usually, the city is bursting with tourism, ByWard Market is normally a frenzy on the weekends, and the city is covered in many flyers and signs that indicate something big is happening all throughout June. However, COVID-19 has completely turned the norm of celebrating Canada Day on its head.
The traditional fireworks that many look forward to viewing on Parliament Hill are being hosted online, with the option to try out the augmented reality version…just take that in. Despite the fact that we can’t celebrate all together, I know that Canadians anywhere and everywhere are celebrating in their own way. When I look back at one of my favourite memories — I’m reminded of an event that happened in 2017 when we were celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday.
I was stuck with my friends on a city bus heading downtown, sitting in the thickest of humidity, and squished in between a sea of red and white rowdy Canadians. Somehow, in the middle the noise and commotion, a person started singing the national anthem.
By the 2nd verse, everybody had joined in. Even the cars driving next to the bus decided to chime in with their occupants, and to us, it was hysterical and the highlight of the day. It was honestly just that moment of belonging to the same common denominator with total strangers that made all the difference, and is still up there on my list as one of the best Canadian moments I’ve ever experienced.
With all of that being said and done, I’m toasting the festivities by sharing a recipe for the iconic national drink we all love to stick our tongue out to: the almighty Canadian Caesar!
Yes, it really is the national cocktail, and yes, pairing alcohol with tomato & clam juice typically sounds revolting… but you know what? It’s a perfect summery brunch drink and that is exactly when I’m going to be enjoying it on this beautiful day.
- 2 oz vodka/white tequila if you’re feeling spicy
- Mott’s Clamato
- Pickled Beans (A MUST), + dash of pickling brine
- Worchestshire sauce, to taste
- Hot sauce/tabasco, to taste
- 1 tbsp of lime juice
- Rimming Salt
- Fun skewer options — cherry tomatoes, lime wedge, cured meat, celery stalk, cucumber stick, your choice my friend
Pour the rimming salt onto a small plate and spread out. Run a lime wedge along the rim of the glass and then turn upside down onto the mixture.
Fill half the glass with ice — or use a pre-chilled glass. Add the vodka/tequila and let it chill over ice. Next, I like to add all the additional elements to my taste. That usually means equal swigs of hot sauce and worchestshire sauce, a swig amount of the pickled bean brine (freaking delicious) and lastly a quick squeeze of lime.
Next, I top off the glass with Mott’s Clamato until I’m satisfied and mix together using a straw or stirring stick. Lastly, I add my skewer of delight and a few pickled beans to treat myself because those things are addicting if you ask me!
The nice thing about making a Caesar is that it actually leaves a lot of room for experimenting with heat, spice, sourness or subtle saltiness, and depends totally on the taste of the drinker. So experiment away and enjoy this refreshing cocktail all summer long — the ingredients are great for repeat creations.
Cheers Canada; you’ve been an incredible home, eh?
Peace and good eats,