Walter Chell

Inventor of the (Bloody) Caesar

Born: Montenegro
Died: 1997 in Toronto, Ontario

In 1969, while working for the Westin Hotel chain in Calgary, Walter Chell was asked to develop an original drink to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant. He experimented for three months, eventually settling on a mixture of hand-mashed clams, tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Tossing in a celery stick for a garnish, Chell called the drink a Bloody Caesar.

Later, the Mott Company developed its "clamato" juice and, after an initial dispute, hired Chell to consult and promote the product. He left the country for a while to work in South Africa but returned to Canada where he was employed at the Hotel Toronto. Chell retired in 1990 and died in 1997.

Additional trivia:

The Caesar is considered Canada's national drink.

Caesar recipe:

1 oz Vodka
Clamato juice
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Celery salt
Celery stick

Rim a tall glass with celery salt and fill with ice. Add vodka, fill glass with Clamato juice, and add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt, and pepper. Garnish with a celery stick, and enjoy!

Sources include:

Conacher, Duff. More Canada Firsts. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1999.

Colombo, John Robert. 1000 Questions About Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2001.


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Added 14 April 2002.