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Eat & Drink

Can this Toronto company remake the Caesar?

Posted by Luke Champion / October 26, 2013

Walter CaesarBack in 2011 I spent two weeks of my life on a culinary odyssey through Toronto's bar scene — sampling Caesars in search of the very best. The Caesar landscape in this city was vast then and it's only grown in the two years since I published the results of that challenge. There's a competitive nature among the city's bartenders that has fostered a break-neck level of innovation, even in something as beloved and engrained in our Canadian psyche as a Bloody Caesar. There are red wine Caesars, lamb jus Caesars, seaweed Caesars, it seems every establishment has its own secret ingredient and special spice blend. There was one ingredient however, that I just couldn't get away from: Motts Clamato.

Which is of course, understandable. Motts has all but taken ownership over the drink, they host classes and competitions promoting what they like to call "Canada's Cocktail." But Motts is made with all sorts of undesirable things like high-fructose corn syrup and MSG. In a world where you can get small-batch, artisan bug spray, isn't it time someone gave us a more wholesome Caesar Mix?

Enter Walter. Walter is a beverage company that has taken on the heady task of going to bat against the Goliathan Motts for Caesar supremacy. Walter, I'm told, is named to honour all of history's great Walters: Walter Gretzky, Walter Payton, Walter White, but most importantly: Walter Chell — the bartender who invented the Caesar way back in 1969.

The plan is a simple one: to provide an all natural, locally produced alternative to Motts Clamato. The ingredient rundown reads more like a grocery list than something from a factory; it's MSG free and contains no artificial flavours or colours. It's thicker than Motts and heartier, and it's also already well enough spiced that you just need to add a couple of glugs of your favourite spirit and you're ready for the rest of brunch to arrive or to plant yourself in a lawn chair by the pool.

The company offers two versions of the product: well-spiced, for those with a panache for big, bold flavours and mildly-spiced for the grandmas out there. Just kidding. The latter is merely a tamer version of the former, perhaps to allow a quieter base for customization?

In any case, in this town the wide variety and Caesars is only outweighed by our insatiable desire to consume them. I suspect Walter Caesar Mix will only kick the frenzy up a notch or two.



Brendan / October 26, 2013 at 11:02 am
Where can this be purchased? Is it in any stores?
Derek replying to a comment from Brendan / October 26, 2013 at 11:19 am
The company is just getting started, so availability is limited right now.
Jibbly / October 26, 2013 at 01:48 pm
You can try it in Handlebar's Caesar before you spring for a bottle of it. Wholefoods may be picking it up and it's being pitched to several independent grocers as well.
munk / October 26, 2013 at 08:09 pm
BYOB on queen close to ossington has it for sale i think, or i'm sure they will soon.
Johanna / October 26, 2013 at 09:25 pm
Tried Walter last night. It's really amazing - fresh, smooth, flavourful! Perfectly spiced, and wonderful thickness. Look out Motts!
Bernice Hofbauer / October 27, 2013 at 06:41 pm
I'm on the West coast.........Ceasars are my or when can I get some to try out here?
Sam Malone / October 27, 2013 at 06:51 pm
Mott's is the Schenley Golden Wedding of Caesar tomato mixes.

Walter is Aberlour single malt.

Night and day.

99/100 will see, taste and appreciate the difference.

The 1/100...stick to Coors Light, please.
Jefferson / October 27, 2013 at 11:11 pm
Are we going to start calling milk "White Russian mix" now.? Ceasar mix is just tomato juice, clam juice and a few spices that everyone has around the house. If you can't bother making a bloody ceasar from scratch maybe you should stick to something wine coolers
bebe replying to a comment from Jefferson / October 28, 2013 at 12:46 am
Huh? Do you blend your own tomatoes and shuck your own clams to make a Caesar? What are you talking about? They call it Caesar mix because the name Clamato is trademarked.
Jefferson replying to a comment from bebe / October 28, 2013 at 04:12 pm
So buy a can of tomato juice and a bottle of clam juice and mix in spices. Viola! You just made your own ceasar mix. So easy and with the money you save you can afford some decent booze
Kalila / October 28, 2013 at 04:46 pm
I'm excited to try this, but I have to admit, the packaging makes it really unappealing!
Jeremy / November 5, 2013 at 02:17 pm
Then don't drink the packaging.
Monika / November 20, 2013 at 08:42 am
Just heard this is now available at Sobeys Urban Fresh in Toronto!
Kyle replying to a comment from Bernice Hofbauer / November 25, 2013 at 03:42 pm
Walter is now available at Cambie Whole Foods in Vancouver.
Victor / December 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm
They stress "vine ripened tomatoes" on the web site as their lead ingredient, and when you look at the ingredients "tomatoes" are nowhere to be found; only tomato paste. While not inaccurate, it is not accurate either. I would buy it based on Fresh vine ripened tomatoes not tomato paste. I am definitely staying away from the product based on the companies business ethics.
Mary / December 20, 2013 at 05:50 pm
I am pretty sure tomatoe paste is made from tomatoes. / June 28, 2014 at 07:59 pm
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