Reinventing the Caesar at Klein/Harris

Calgary is the birthplace to many famous figures from singer Jann Arden to wrestler Bret Hart to actress Elisha Cuthbert. But the one of the most popular Calgary claim-to-fames is probably the beloved Caesar cocktail. Believed to have been created by bartender Walter Chell in 1969, the spicy drink is known for its blend of vodka, Clamato, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce (give-or-take a celery stalk or asparagus stem). What’s known as the traditional Caesar has been turned upside-down at the newly-minted KLEIN/HARRIS. The restaurant recently opened on Stephen Avenue with a focus on True North cuisine and is bringing in new inspiration and twists to Canadian classics.

The Caesar at KLEIN/HARRIS is completely unexpected as it is devoid of the traditional red, tomato look. In fact, you wouldn’t even think it is a Caesar until you take a sip and get the same spicy flavor but in an even lighter, and fresher package. The drink is the brainchild of owner and mixologist Christina Mah. “I have a slight phobia of ketchup, and clamato reminds me of that. The inspiration was just so that I could drink a Caesar, as I used to drink them all the time and I miss those days,” she says.

I have to agree with Christina as I have never been a fan of the thick, dense food quality of a Caesar. I prefer not to “eat” my drinks. But the KLEIN/HARRIS Caesar has totally won me over. And the best part is, you can make this yourself at home with Christina’s own recipe for the cocktail. The secret is in the homemade clam broth that gives you the “clamato” flavor without the tomato mix. Give it a  try at home or at the restaurant and I guarantee it will be worth the visit to KLEIN/HARRIS.

Klein/Harris Caesar

The ingredients below can be portioned out as parts or measured out in ounces.

  • 1 ½ ms Eau Claire Vodka or Gin
  • 4 ms clam & celery broth (see broth instructions below)
  • 1 pipette of your favourite spice
  • ½ ms fresh lime juice or two pipettes of citric acid

Klein/Harris broth

Blend all ingredients together and strain through a cheese cloth. The ingredients can be boiled and then cooled or you can start from cold if you use pasteurized clam nectar.

  • 1 L clam nectar
  • 2 bunches of celery
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • ½ L apple cider vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Photo props to @foodkarmablog!

Irene Seto is a Calgary lifestyle influencer supporting local from all angles.

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