My history with Mott’s Clamato goes back a while. Either because of some trend forces working their unseen magic or just from the luck of the draw, the Bloody Caesar was the most popular cocktail among my university friends. Everyone had preferred variations and personalised tweaks to the recipe.
More recently, I was happy to be asked to share my recipe for deep-fried, cheese-and-bacon-stuffed dill pickles on a holiday promotional campaign that Mott’s created for YouTube.
The idea for that video was that Caesars and food go well together (especially at parties) and Mott’s and Clint Pattermore have continued that concept with a cookbook (published by Appetite by Random House) called Caesars: The Essential Guide to Your Favourite Cocktail. It combines 50 variations on the cocktail familiar (I hope) to all Canadians with a section for 20 food recipes written by Connie DeSousa and John Jackson, the chefs at Calgary’s Charcut Roast House. Caesar Mixing Officer is a strange, marketing-speak title, but Clint is an amiable guy and I’m pleased to see his recipes in print.
The cocktail recipes are organised by season and I’m happy to report they go well beyond the original vodka base and include a variety of more flavourful spirits. It would take some diligent effort to work your way through 50 adaptations of one cocktail and I don’t see many getting to more than a few right away. The place I see for this book is on a shelf at the cottage, ready when the desire for a shake-up strikes.
Ryan Szulc’s photography is attractive and impressively varied given how many times he had to shoot a glass full of red liquid.
Come to think of it, it was probably the social acceptability of day-drinking Caesars that helped them edge out the gin-and-tonic for our mutual affection. That association with brunch and the other similarities to a Bloody Mary make it sound strange when someone just calls it a “Caesar”. Clint points out that Walter Chell, the inventor of the drink called it a Caesar.
I’m happy to share the opportunity to test-drive Clint’s recipes. Here’s one for a Pineapple Basil Caesar and if you scroll to the bottom of the post you’ll find an opportunity to enter to win a signed copy of Caesars.
Pineapple Basil Caesar
The sweetness of pineapple, spiciness of tequila, and herbiness of basil all have one thing in common: they work well with pepper. Pepper is the key to this drink, and the basil, tequila, and cracked black pepper rim combine to create a trifecta of pepper in your mouth!
Rim Fresh Cracked Salt and Black Pepper
4 chunks Fresh Pineapple (1” cubes)
4 leaves Fresh Basil (ripped up)
2 dashes Jalapeno Hot Sauce
2 dashes Worcestershire
5 grinds Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
1 oz. 100% Blue Agave Tequila
4 oz. Mott’s Clamato Cocktail
Garnish Pineapple Chunks Dipped in the Rimmer, on a Skewer; Fresh Basil Leaves
1. In a mixing glass, muddle everything but the tequila and Mott’s Clamato Cocktail.
2. Add the tequila and Mott’s Clamato Cocktail, and stir well to mix and spread the flavours around.
3. Rim a highball glass and fill to the top with ice.
4. Strain the mixture into the highball glass, and garnish.