ALL HAIL clamato
for Clamato in the popular imagination: indeed, the brand barely registers. The Caesar — nevermind the Clamdigger — is about as much a favourite in the States today as the Brandy Alexander or the Pisco Sour.
Caesar adoration persists across Canada, happily. We can’t seem to get enough of them. Canadians order more than 350 million Caesars every year, which is about 10 per capita, to say nothing of teetotalers and the underage. We enjoy piquant pick-me-up Caesars over weekend brunch. We sip brisk chilled Caesars on the patio on summer afternoons. We clink our Caesar glasses over burgers by the barbecue, and crunch on Caesar celery sticks as we polish off postprandial drinks. It is inescapable, ubiquitous.
There would be no Caesar, naturally, without the American-favoured Bloody Mary, which has much to recommend it even given its absence of clam. The Bloody Mary was devised by Fernand Petiot, a bartender at the New York Bar – not yet under the ownership that would attract it international attention as Harry’s – in Paris in 1921, named (so legend tells) for Queen Mary Tudor of England, who earned her sanguine appellation for the spate of Heresy Act executions she prescribed in the mid-16th century. Like the Caesar,