Archive for July, 2012

Hail Caesar!

- July 9th, 2012

Photo Credit - Erika Blunt Lifestyle Photography
(The Best Caesar in Town, top right, courtesy the staff at the Toad & Turtle, centre — Photo courtesy Erika Blunt Lifestyle Photography)

The Caesar, a Calgary institution, is getting special status this year, as the official cocktail at the Calgary Stampede.

And, as the birthplace of the spicy Clamato concoction, it seemed only fitting that Motts would host a handful of Calgary’s best bars and restaurants in the lead up to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, to see whose Caesar ruled.

So what makes a good Caesar? Vodka, Motts Clamato, worcestershire and tobasco, right? Not so fast.

There has been an explosion in the different types of Caesars out there, because vodka isn’t just vodka anymore, and because, well, let’s face it, worcestershire and hot sauce is kind of boring.

The key isn’t sticking to the script either, says Clint Pattemore, Mott’s certified Caesar Mixing Officer, or head bartender for Canada Dry-Mott’s. The former sounds cooler, mind you.

“For me, I’m looking for balance,” Pattemore told me.

“The team that one from the Toad & Turtle, it was a really balanced, tasty drink.

“I like balance — I like sometyhing that I’d want more of.”

So what did the Toad ‘n’ Turtle do to make a winning Caesar?

Gin, for starters. And lemongrass. And ginger.

“There were some very creative concoctions,” Pattemore said of the eight entries.

“Some were really good. Some were questionable.”

In the end, he said. It was the balance and creativity of the Toad ‘n’ Turtle that sealed it for them, beating out a field of competitors that included the Westin, the drink’s birthplace.

The winning recipe looks delicious, although I do love gin, so I may be biased:

The Lemongrass Ginger Caesar
1 oz gin
3 dashes Tabasco
2 dashes Worcestershire
1 oz. Lemongrass Ginger mix (recipe below)
6 oz. Mott’s Clamato
Ice
Rim Spice (recipe below)
1 lemon pinwheel
1 slice gin soaked ginger
1 sprig of lemongrass

Gin-soaked ginger
Peel a knob of fresh ginger then cut into thin quarter sized slices with a slit on one side for putting on the glass, then soak the ginger in gin for an hour (save the gin for the Caesar to give a a bit more of a ginger punch!).

Rim Spice
2 tbsp celery salt
1 tbsp roasted red pepper flakes
1 tbsp roasted tomato flakes
(if you cannot find these products you can just use the celery salt)

Lemongrass Ginger Mix
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp honey
6 fl oz rice vinegar
1 tbsp finely minced lemongrass

Combine all the ingredients.
This mix recipe will yield enough for 6-8 Lemongrass Ginger Caesars.
If you don’t use it all it also is a great low fat salad dressing!
Recipe courtesy Toad ‘n’ Turtle

Happy Canada Day!

- July 1st, 2012

Courtesy us here at the Scoundrels blog, and our friends at Molson.

A creative way to pay tribute.