Invented in the 60s in Calgary, the Bloody Caesar has quickly become Canada’s signature drink. Your standard Bloody Caesar usually contains vodka, Clamato (a blend of tomato and clam juice), hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and is served with ice in a large, salt-rimmed glass, typically garnished with a stalk of celery and wedge of lime. But we all know the typical style is so passe.
So we went bar hopping in Montreal and found some of the best Bloodies in town…
1. L’Gros Luxe
L’Gros Luxe has something special going on. Their affordable concept has everyone buzzing. But what has us talking is their #foodporn-worthy Caesars. Eight different Caesars line up the drinks menu including their famed L’Gros Caesar – a meal in itself. Containing the usual vodka and Clamato, this Caesar is topped with a grilled cheese, deep-fried pickle, spring roll, onion rings and mini burger.
Everyone knows that Big In Japan Bar doesn’t mess around with their cocktails. This hidden gem has become a Montreal favorite with its maze-like bar, candle lit room and bow tie-wearing waiters. That’s why it doesn’t surprise us that their Bloody Caesars made our list. Their Caesar contains all the fixings a regular Caesar would, but in true Japanese fashion, instead of Tabasco hot sauce they use wasabi to spice up the cocktail. Try to replace the vodka with some gin and you will have yourself a sweeter cocktail. Located at the corner of St. Laurent and Rachel in the Plateau neighbourhood, this bar can be easily missed as there is no advertising outside. Just look for the small red door.
3. Le Saloon
Located in Montreal’s trendy Village, this restaurant and bar has become a favourite in the area. Boasting an amazing brunch menu, their Bloody Caesar is a perfect way to complement your dish. The Saloon Caesar contains fresh basil, cherry tomatoesm and a Montreal Steak Spice-rimmed glass to add a big punch of flavour.
Located on Mont Royal, this trendy bar’s Bloody Caesar doesn’t disappoint. They serve it with a large dollop of fresh horseradish, hot sauce and a slice of lemon. Sometimes simplicity is key, right?
5. Joe Beef
This “superstar” restaurant in Montreal’s Little Burgundy neighbourhood still ranks above the top restaurants in the city. The Joe Beef Caesar features a massive lobster claw, oyster and celery stalk all nestled into a large mason jar. No wonder they are Anthony Bourdain’s main go-to.
Waverly Bar in the Mile-End has quickly become the area’s go-to neighborhood bar, boasting an extensive cocktail and beer list. But what sticks apart is the Bloody Caesar featuring their secret ingredient: beef broth. This makes for a delicious and savoury drink, topped off with olives for garnish. This version of the Caesar isn’t always on the menu, so ask them for a special order.
This trendy hot spot in Old Montreal serves up the city’s best champagne cocktails. What about their Bloody Caesar? Topped off with an oyster, giant tiger prawn and spiced with Sriracha sauce, this glass full of goodness tickles our spicy spot just right.
8. Le North End
The Rosemont neighborhood’s newest oyster bar, located at Rue De La Roche just north of Rosemont Street, has the finest classic Bloody Caesars in town. Nothing complements oysters like a salty Caesar. What’s really unique here is that you get to build your own cocktail. The server will bring you a platter with an array of offerings and you can then add herbs like dill, rosemary and thyme, and garnishes like olives, cucumbers, hot peppers, lemons and lime. There are also three different types of hot sauces and an oyster to top the whole thing off.
Get your Clamato on, Montreal.
Cover Photo by: Emmanuel Hessler for the Foodie Collective