Today is National Caesar Day, an undoubtedly exciting day for Canadians, and Caesar-lovers at large. As the Food Network says, “For Canadians, caesars are like hockey games, Tim Hortons, or even, dare I say, denim-on-denim. It defines us, unites us, and just makes us who we are. It’s the signature drink on most patios, a staple on every menu and the one bevvie we always seem to be in the mood for.”

Did you know? The Caesar is our top pick for Canada’s signature 150 year anniversary drink this year, thanks to this cocktail’s distinctly Canadian roots.

Invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell of Calgary Inn (known today as Westin Hotel) in Calgary, Alberta. Stumbling upon the drink by what seems to be complete happenstance and a stroke of inspiration, Chell was charged with the task of making a signature cocktail for the Calgary Inn’s new Italian restaurant.

Drawing inspiration from the already famous Bloody Mary, and from a spaghetti alle vongole dish he had in Venice, Italy, Chell mixed vodka with clam and tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and other spices to create one of the most celebrated drinks of all time. Naming the drink a “Caesar” as a nod to his Italian ancestry, Chell originally called it the “Bloody Caesar” to help differentiate it from the original Bloody Mary. Today, you see many iterations of this classic cocktail, with toppers ranging from subtle to extreme.

As far as the “drink topper” trend our friends at L’Gros Luxe in Montreal (7 locations including 1 in Quebec City) seem to have the art mastered.  Here are some examples of a few. One is a True Caesar with all the fixings and the other is a Michelada topped with a crispy taco! If you’re looking to elevate your Caesar for National Caesar Day, consider trying out Walter’s Craft Caesar Mix.