Canadians sure love their alcoholic beverages. Whether it’s a summer cider on a patio, a pumpkin ale in fall or a Christmas eggnog if you’re so inclined, there’s a drink for every time of year.
While their neighbours to the south are famous for their dirt cheap and widely available liquor, alcohol in Canada is still quite inexpensive when compared to Australia.
And just like Australia, Canada has many breweries, distilleries and wineries that make amazing craft beers, liquors and wines, including some limited-edition, small batch brews.
Everyone in North America: “Wait, WHAT? I thought Australians only drank Fosters beer!”
Sorry to crush your dreams (likely inspired by that one episode of The Simpsons where they go to Australia), but no, they don’t.
And don’t even get me started on knifey-spoony.
Now, back to what I was saying about CANADA.
You will never run out of options for alcoholic beverages here and you can look forward to different varieties at different times of the year.
But for a truly Canadian experience, you have to try Canada’s drink, the almighty Caesar.
If you’ve ever been to North America, or flown through there, you’ll have noticed that tomato juice is a staple beverage available everywhere.
So, it’s not surprising that tomato-juice based cocktails, like the Bloody Mary, are also a staple on a drinks menu.
The Caesar takes it a step further. A uniquely Canadian drink, it’s close to a Bloody Mary, but it has a lot more kick. Its salty, spicy flavour is super satisfying and even filling.
The recipe is vodka, tomato juice mixed with clam broth, lime, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
Clam broth? WHAT?
Okay, it sounds a little out there (and maybe a little gross to some) but it’s actually really good.
But don’t worry, you won’t see a bartender straining the juice from a pile of clams into your drink. There is a pre-mixed beverage used in most Caesar’s called Clamato, and it’s made by Mott’s.
Caesars are served in a glass rimmed with celery salt and usually garnished with one or more savoury toppings, like a pickled bean, a celery stick or some olives.
Adventurous bartenders are known to dress them up with all kinds of pickles and meats, and some of them are served towering with what looks like a vertical charcuterie spread.
I’ve even seen some that have an entire meal perched on top of them, including a full-sized hamburger!
The art of the Caesar garnish is almost a sport. Mott’s even held a Canada-wide competition to find the best Caesar in the country.
According to my sources, the Caesar is one of the most commonly-craved and sought after drinks by Canadians living abroad (especially in Australia), but since it isn’t really sold anywhere in Australia (except maybe Canadian-themed bars) Canadians make their own at home.
If that’s not your thing, no worries! There are plenty of options to suit your fancy.
But here is a tip for ordering drinks in North America.
If you order anything with lemonade, you will literally get lemonade
As in, freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with sugar. In Canada (and the USA) that’s what people will give you if you say lemonade.
But most likely, they won’t have it and they will look at you funny because they don’t realise you mean the soft drink, not something kids on TV sell on the sidewalk for pocket money.
If you want the soda, you have to ask for Sprite or 7-Up.
And don’t forget to tip! It’s the North American way.