Sangrita Caesar Punch
Happy national tequila day, muchachos! I love me a national spirit day, because what’s better than a social obligation to imbibe and better yet have a theme around it?
For this oh, so sacred of holidays I have decided to steer clear of the typical sweet and lime-laden drinks that tequila usually finds itself thrown into and opt for a savoury, garden fresh concoction.
Here in Canada we have a national drink that is little-known outside of the ‘True North,’ called a Caesar. We even have a day dedicated to it, falling each year on the Thursday before the May 24 long weekend (the long weekend here in Canada where everybody heads to the cottage for some R&R).
Here in Canada, we consume on average 360 million Caesar annually, and our population is just 36 million, so safe to say it’s a national treasure. So what exactly is a Caesar? It is much like a Bloody Mary, but instead of tomato juice, Clamato is used (a tomato and clam juice blend that is lighter than tomato juice with a briny edge) and the glass is rimmed with celery salt instead of plain old salt. This drink is salty, spicy and packed with umami. You mouth just salivates upon the first sip and before you know it, it's gone. Time for another!
Years ago I was introduced to a Caesar made with tequila instead of vodka and it was a revelation. The tequila married with the Clamato and brought out a sweetness that was usually overlooked in this savoury drink.
Here I have taken inspiration from a Mexican sangrita (meaning little blood) which is a chaser made typically with spices, sour oranges, limes and sometimes tomato or run off from pico de gallo, and sangria, a Spanish drink made of wine, spirits and chunks of fresh fruit, and my beloved Caesar to fashion a tequila day worthy punch.
The basic ingredients of the Caesar are present, and thrown in for good measure is a generous amount of lime juice, chopped cucumbers, cilantro and jalapeno. The result is a surprisingly light, fresh and endlessly quaffable…not sure if that is a pro or con here. The natural sugars from the celery and cucumber brighten this drink and give it a verdant, garden-fresh backbone.
Enjoy this punch today in the sun listening to some acoustic guitar.
Sangrita Caesar Punch
1-½ cups (350 ml) of gold tequila
4 cups (500 ml) of Clamato juice
½ a cucumber cut into 1 cm pieces
2 stalks of celery cut into 1 cm pieces
1 jalapeno sliced into thin rounds
2 limes, 1 juiced, 1 chopped
½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) of your favourite hot sauce
½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) celery salt
1 tray of ice cubes
1 teaspoon(5 ml) celery salt
1 tablespoon(15 ml) Maldon salt- or other coarse finishing salt
1 lime, sliced into 8 wedges or rounds
In a large jug or container combine all ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes.
On a small plate mix the celery salt and finishing salt.
Rim a tall glass with a slice of lime and roll in the salt mixture.
Fill the glass with a generous amount of ice and top with the Caesar sangria mixture.