The Bloody Caesar – It’s a Canadian Thing!

YEG Caesars was started July 29, 2015 on Instagram.  I have always enjoyed having Caesars and love the different ways one can be made. When posting pictures on Facebook I noticed that my friends always liked the photos and made numerous comments. Hmmmm Caesars really are popular! I also noticed many people on Instagram also posted their pictures of Caesars, especially on National Caesar Day, which is the Thursday before the Victoria Day long weekend!caesarpic

One of my enjoyments in life is to visit different restaurants, pubs, lounges and bars. Living in the downtown area made many of these places easily accessible so the mission began, let’s start a project and visit as many places as possible and try their Caesar. Post each Caesar on Instagram and voila I have an encyclopedia of Caesars in the Edmonton area!

In one year I have visited 95 different places and have tried even more since many places have more than one Caesar on their menu.  Many of my friends have joined me in my hunt for a great Caesar which also makes for a fun time! It has been an evolution of what I enjoy most in a Caesar since there are many recipes out there. What I have found to be interesting is the more creative the bartender the more fun I have trying Caesars. These places tend to be the trendy individually owned establishments as opposed to franchises. Franchises mix the same Caesar for everyone according to what is on the menu, which is fine for consistency. But, the cocktail bartenders that are interested in creating are the entertaining ones and the places I enjoy most.

Now for the different Caesars I’ve tried.  Vodka of course is the most popular but there have been flavored ones such as garlic, hot chili, dill pickle and bacon. Other spirits include gin, rum, rye, scotch, Jägermeister, bourbon and tequila. Some Caesars have also included wine and Guinness beer (not together)!

Garnishes have always been my favorite part of a Caesar. They have included everything such as sandwiches, mini-burgers, crab legs, oysters, shrimp, pickled eggs, onion rings, deep fried pickles, plain pickles etc.

Rims are another great feature for a Caesar. Rims have varied from sea salt, steak spice, fresh dill, Matt & Steve’s Rim and the classic but boring celery salt.

Lastly the finishing touches for a great Caesar is the spice and juices one can use for added flavor! They have included hot & spicy brine, pickle juice, bitters, wasabi, basil, horseradish, pepper, Tabasco, Franks Hot Sauce and BBQ sauce. Some places mix their own with many of these items combined.

Most people ask me these two questions:

Q: What made you decide to do this?

A: It was something to do while giving me the opportunity to go to places I wouldn’t normally go to.

Q: Which is the best Caesar?

A: This is the hardest question because I consider taste, the garnishes (I call it junk), and the experience with the bartender. I also consider creativity and trying really different ones. Unfortunately, some of the different ones I’ve tried have been discontinued such as the Sangria Caesar from Parlour L.  So given all these considerations, I cannot really give anyone the best Caesar because there are too many factors. But the most memorable and one that I always recommend is from Tavern on Whyte because it has the most junk and takes great pictures. One of the best tasting and experiences is at Have Mercy, but they haven’t put the great Caesar I had on the menu yet, maybe soon they will have an even better one! As for creativity, there as so many and soon I will be listing them all on this website.

In closing, never did I imagine the popularity with my followers and friends. I have enjoyed every Caesar and always try to find something positive in each one. I do have pet peeves such as charging more than $6 for a basic Caesar (the highest price found was $11)! Celery salt is another pet peeve, I guess there are just way too many other choices and it just isn’t as good as my favorite, steak spice.

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Michelle Lessard – YEG Caesars

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