New Year’s Day is one of the most recognized holidays around the world.
But two other celebrations land on Jan. 1 as well, and they go naturally hand in hand: National Hangover Day and National Bloody Mary Day.
If you’re one of the many that celebrate by overindulging in spirits, I’m guessing you’ll be waking up celebrating the perfectly paired national holidays in full force. That is, with a pounding headache and in desperate need of a hangover-curing bloody mary.
While bloody marys are great “hair of the dog” drinks, I find their Canadian cousin, the bloody Caesar, to be far more flavorful and refreshing.
The main difference between these two hangover potions is the type of juice used: marys use tomato juice, Caesars use Clamato juice.
Now, if the only Caesar that comes to mind is the salad, then you’re neither Canadian nor a frequent visitor to our northern neighbors. The Caesar originated there in 1969. Walter Chell created the recipe for a new Italian restaurant opening in Calgary and took inspiration from the classic dish, Spaghetti alle Vongole, or spaghetti with tomato sauce and clams.
A basic Caesar is made with Clamato juice – a blend of tomato juice, clam broth and seasonings – and kicked up with Worcestershire and Tabasco. If the thought of clam broth in a drink makes you queasy, don’t worry, you can’t even taste it. The Caesar is robust in flavor, and you can customize it to your taste.
When it comes to garnishes, anything goes from pickled beans or asparagus to pepperoncinis, bacon, olives or the classic celery stick. This recipe is based on the one I used when I tended bar at F Street Station in Anchorage.
1/2 tsp celery salt
2 lime wedges
1 cup Clamato juice
2 oz vodka
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes Tabasco or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Place celery salt on small plate or shallow bowl. Rub rim of serving glass with lime wedge to moisten and dip into celery salt to coat.
Into a shaker, squeeze in juice from lime wedges, add in remaining ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into prepared glass over fresh ice. Serve with garnish if desired.