W hile in St Louis, Troy, David and I discovered a Caesar bar at a nearby Hooter’s, and through meticulous trial and error – including a spectacular disaster involving beef broth and ham slices – we scientifically cracked the secret to The Ultimate Caesar!
That a Hooters in St Louis had a Caesar bar was astounding, as it’s virtually unknown outside of Canada, where over 300,000,000 of them are guzzled every year, according to Wikipedia.
The Caesar was invented in 1969 in Calgary Alberta at what’s now the Westin Hotel and is related to, but separate from, a Bloody Mary by a disgusting-sounding ingredient: clam broth.
Specifically, Clamato juice, which is a ghastly concoction of tomato juice and clam squeezin’s.
I’m convinced that Clamato got its start as a practical joke, because who in their right mind would think “This tomato juice isn’t quite there. It needs a little something to make it zingy. *snap* I know! Clam juice!”
However, the inventor of the Caesar claims that he based it on a clam and pasta in tomato sauce dish he’d had in Italy, so what do I know…?
It’s undrinkable by itself, but booze makes it good.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of a “beer and clam” on “the morning after the night before,” then you’re missing out on one of the great simple pleasures in life.
The Caesar is as different from a Bloody Mary as ketchup is from cocktail sauce, and the hit of lemon and horseradish is what really makes this sing!
The Pencilneck’s ® Ultimate Caesar
- 1 part Smirnoff Red Label Vodka
- 6 parts Motts Clamato
- 3 drops Tabasco
- 4 drops Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 good sized twist of a full slice lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon Woodman’s Original Horseradish
- a few grinds from a sea salt grinder
- Slosh ingredients into beverage container
- Stir vigorously
- Plunk in ice and celery stick
- Then slosh into one’s self.
Here’s what NOT to do:
- Don’t salt the rim
- Don’t use celery salt
- Don’t use iodized table salt (like, for anything, unless you’re nurturing a goiter)
- Don’t use premixed or pre-spiced or no-name clam mix
Dave will tell you that three drops aren’t enough Tabasco sauce, but I contend that the point isn’t to blow one’s head off; depth and balance are important.
The earthiness of the tomato, clam, and celery are perfectly matched to the brightness of the salt and lemon and the zip of the horseradish, Tabasco, and Worcestershire.
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Hobknobbing in Tinseltown
Legendary Hollywood producer Peter Guber wasn't really poking Owen in the eye with his portrait, but as Peter used to head up Sony Pictures and racked up 120 Academy Award nominations and Executive Produced blockbusters including Batman, Gorillas in the Mist, The Color Purple, Rain Man, Midnight Express, The Witches of Eastwick, and about a zillion others...well, who are we to discourage a little ocular trauma between friends?
Owen has also done portraits for Hollywood stars Adam West, and William Shatner (neither of whom tried to poke Owen's eye out).
Owen also won the Los Angeles TV Festival with a 6-minute video clip slid in on a lark at the last minute. Apparently nobody else bothered to enter, because Owen won the $10,000 first place prize and got flown to LA for a schmancy reception at the Highland Club, where they used to film American Idol.
Which ruffled a few feathers among the locals...
You can read about that little adventure in The Adventures of The Pencilneck Blog.
(with a Bostonian accent)
"I'd like to tank Owen for dis here pahrtrait by dabbing him in the eye wid it..."
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