Calgary is home to the invention of Canada’s iconic cocktail – the Caesar. This much loved drink is enjoyed by 34 million Canadians who consume 350 million Caesars per year.
The legendary concoction was created 50 years ago by a bar manager named Walter Chell. While working at the legendary Calgary Inn, now the Westin Calgary, Chell was charged with creating a signature cocktail for the opening of the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Marco’s.
Italian in heritage himself, Chell spent months in experimental mixing before drawing inspiration from one of the new restaurant’s menu items, Spaghetti Vongole – better known as spaghetti with clams. Chell used his expert hand to mash clams into a mushy nectar, which he then mixed with tomato juice. He added a few spices and crowned it with a festive celery stick and named it for the Roman Emperor. The Caesar was born.
Since then, its fame has spread like wildfire; the Caesar has become an iconic staple of Canadian culture, and restaurants across the country have elevated the Caesar to epic proportions. Despite the recipe alterations over the years, critical to a Caesar’s success is still the garnish. Every Caesar aficionado prefers something different – making ordering one somewhere new an event with more tension than playoff hockey.