Our Canada Day barbecue was a smashing success. The adults relaxed in the backyard, drinks in hand, while the kids ran around soaking each other with water balloons and spray guns, stopping only for the occasional nibble at the appetizer table.
I usually try to come up with a different menu for each July 1st celebration, but last year’s fully loaded burger and hot dog bar was such a hit, I opted to repeat the idea again this year – a very good move on my part. When adventurous adult eaters and ravenous teenagers combine with the picky palates of the younger guests in attendance, a DIY anything is always a popular option, and this was certainly no exception.
I always plan something fun for the kids to keep them entertained, and this year I included a special treat just for the adults: a build-your-own bloody Caesar bar. For my American friends, Caesars are a classic Canadian cocktail similar to a bloody Mary, only instead of filling up the glass with traditional tomato juice we use Clamato, a unique combination of tomato and clam juices.
This particular set-up encouraged everyone to create their own concoctions, allowing them to add as much vodka and heat as desired, and to adorn their Mason jar glasses with the customary leafy celery stalk and/or a heartier edible like the antipasto skewers I added to the table. Cubes of Canadian aged cheddar were wrapped in salami and threaded onto a short bamboo skewers, along with a stuffed olive, cherry tomato, and baby dill pickle. Some people plopped them directly into their drink, and others consumed them appetizer-style while sipping on their beverage. Regardless of how they were devoured, the small bites disappeared quickly, indicating they were a definitely a huge hit for all.
Here's what I included in my build-your-own bar:
- Clamato juice
- Lime wedges
- Celery salt rimmer
- Worcestershire sauce
- Celery stalks
- Antipasto garnish
- Mason jars for drinking glasses
Are you a fan of Caesars? Is there anything else you would add to this build-your-own bar?