Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

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IMG 7627   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Have you ever had a Caesar or Bloody Mary cocktail before?

Caesar’s were my absolute favourite drink growing up- the virgin, non-alcoholic kind, mind you! It was a rare occasion when my family wouldn’t have a few supersized bottles of Mott’s Clamato in our pantry. If our stock ran out, my sister and I would often fight over who got the last glass. Or, we’d drink so much that my dad would go to make himself a glass and there would be none left for him.

“Did someone drink the rest of the Clamato juice…??”

Uh oh.

“Kristi did it!!!”

We’d pour a huge, celery-salt rimmed glass of Clamato juice, add in some Worcestershire sauce, ice, a few drops of Tabasco, and a stalk of celery. Nothing was better.

IMG 7616   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Admittedly, I always thought a Bloody Mary was simply a virgin Caesar with vodka added to it; however, I recently discovered that Caesar’s and Bloody Mary’s are two different drinks.

IMG 7609   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

A Bloody Mary is a cocktail that uses tomato juice as the base and includes other ingredients such as vodka, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, olive, cayenne pepper/Tabasco sauce, lemon juice, and occasionally even bouillon. Sometimes instead of celery it’s garnished with pickled asparagus or other vegetables. The origin of the drink is unclear and there is dispute over who created it, although many speculate the drink came from the US (1).

A Caesar cocktail, on the other hand, is made up with a base of clam and tomato juice (think Clamato juice), containing similar ingredients like Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vodka, celery, and a celery-salt rimmed glass. It’s said to originate from Calgary, Alberta in 1969 (2). Walter Chell created the drink for the opening of his new restaurant in Calgary (3). 

As you can see, the two drinks are strikingly similar, save for a different base, a few seasonings, and traditional garnishes.

IMG 7632   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

When people ask me what foods were the most difficult to give up when I went vegan, many are surprised when I say “Clamato Juice”. But it’s true! I used to drink this stuff like water and it only occurred to me recently that I should try making my own vegan-friendly version at home.

My mission started rather abruptly, with a V8 explosion. I opened this bottle a couple months ago, forgot it in the back of the fridge, and was rewarded with this little mess when I opened it. Needless to say, I did not use this sour V8 in my cocktail! The smell of it would make your nose hairs curl. It was just awful.

IMG 7597   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Enter, new, unopened vegetable juice.

IMG 7607   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Using this Homemade Bloody Mary recipe from Kristina as a guide, I dumped the juice in a bowl and added the ingredients all to taste.

I suggest you do the same. You may prefer more or less of the seasonings I used. When it tastes good to you, it’s done!

IMG 7612   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

After tasting and testing and adjusting the seasonings (feel free to pretend you’re a crazy cool Mixologist), it wasn’t long before I decided that my drink was perfect. I also added a pinch of kelp granules to give it a hint of the sea, without the clams.

The mix turned out so similar to my childhood favourite I’m not sure I could pick out the original in a blind taste test. I guess the real test will be making this for my dad when he comes to visit. I predict he will like this version better, but I may be biased. ;)

IMG 7614   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

Is this a vegan version of a Caesar cocktail or is it an adapted version of the Bloody Mary? I can’t decide. Whatever you call it, this is one fantastic drink with a whopping 4 servings of vegetables per 500 ml glass. Be sure to add the seasonings to taste and you can’t go wrong.

Print this recipe

Adapted from Former Chef.

Yield: 2 (500ml) servings, with a bit leftover

  • 4 cups (32 oz) vegetable juice
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-1.5 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use The Wizard’s brand)
  • 2-2.5 tsp hot sauce, or to taste
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 tsp celery seed
  • Sprinkle of Herbamare or kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vodka, to taste (optional)
  • Kelp granules, to taste (optional)
  • To garnish: celery salt, lime, celery stalks, ice

 

1. In a large bowl or pitcher, add the vegetable juice. Now whisk in the rest of the ingredients all to taste.

2. Grab two 500-ml glasses and rim the edge with a lime wedge. Now dip glass rim into a shallow bowl of celery salt. Pour drink into glasses and garnish with a lime wedge, celery stalk, and ice. Serve immediately.

I didn’t have any celery salt on hand, so I used kosher salt. I wouldn’t really recommend it though, it was more for the photo than anything!

IMG 7626   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

After a tough workout yesterday, this was the best, thirst-quenching drink to happen to my taste buds in a long time!

IMG 7635   Homemade Vegan Caesar Cocktail

With 4 servings of vegetables per glass, it was also a great way to sneak veggies into my day with minimal effort.

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristina~Former Chef February 20, 2012

So glad you liked the recipe and I love your photos of it and the tweaks you made. Have you seen Japanese seaweed salt? That might be a good option too (besides the kelp granules).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 20, 2012

Thanks Kristina! I haven’t tried Japanese seaweed salt but it sounds interesting! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

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Rachael @ FreshlyMinted February 20, 2012

My husband and I recently took a trip to Ontario to visit friends and were introduced to clamato juice – We had never heard of it before! Caesars were a delightful addition to brunch… it’s funny that the trend didn’t seem to cross the border. Maybe we can start a new trend :)

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TeenyLittleSuperChef February 20, 2012

I’ve always liked to say that drinking bloody marys is “a great way to sneak in some extra veggies” too. Although really any excuse to drink a bloody mary in the morning (especially after a long night ) is awesome. Thanks for the recipe. I can’t wait to make one of these… very very soon :)

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jenna February 20, 2012

oooo delicious!! 4 servings of veggies?? awesome!

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Kami February 20, 2012

I’ve recently learned the wonderful taste of bloody marys and this recipes looks fabulous! When my farmers’ markets open back up, I plan on making a juiced version! Here’s a recipe: http://www.divinecaroline.com/33612/29372-fresh-tomato-bloody-mary

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Danielle February 20, 2012

I love Caesars! And I have to laugh reading the (I’m assuming) American commenters note that they’ve never heard of them. Years ago on a trip to Texas my dad and I went out to dinner at a nice restaurant. Being a teen at the time, I ordered a virgin Caesar. The waiter looked a little puzzled but left with our order. A couple of minutes later he comes back and said “You ordered a virgin Caesar…we don’t normally have alcohol in our Caesar salads.” Haha! When we described the drink to him he said “Oh! A Bloody Mary!” :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 20, 2012

hah too funny! That’s happened to me before too in the US.

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sara February 20, 2012

thank you thank you for this post! the story you wrote about your sister and your dad could have been me growing up! my sister and i also used to drink clamato juice like water, and yup, drinking caesars is the thing i miss the most after going vegan (as strange as that sounds to others, especially non-canadians). i’d recommend using Frank’s for the hot sauce and a little bit of pickle juice. yum, can’t wait to make this! you’re a legend!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 20, 2012

pickle juice? Somehow I think you are a genius!

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Beth - Tasty Yummies February 20, 2012

This looks so delicious. I have been wanting to make bloody marys at home with fresh tomatoes and my juicer and I keep forgetting about it, then I had a delicious bloody mary at brunch yesterday and my obsession was reignited.
For me, I really love the idea of balancing out vodka with an ungodly amount of vegetables. That’s a guilt-free cocktail if there ever was one.

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Jessica @ Hungrygems February 20, 2012

What? Four servings of veggies in a glass and vodka added “to taste?” Where do I sign up? So, perhaps the “to taste” part shouldn’t be so loosely interrpreted as mine turned out slightly clearer of a liquid than yours…. =)

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Alex @ Alex Eats Green February 20, 2012

Yummy!! I’ve never heard of a Ceasar, but I LOVE Bloody Mary’s. I must try a Ceasar!!

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Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) February 20, 2012

Caesars are my favourite too! They are sooooo good! Extra spicy, and with a little Dijon mustard!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 20, 2012

Thank you for this recipe! I actually discovered that I’m allergic to clams, so I can’t have Clamato juice anymore either. I can’t wait to try this recipe! It will be the perfect refresher in the summer!

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Shelly February 20, 2012

Hello! I recently cut out dairy, meat and eggs and can’t believe how good I feel and am slowly learning what to eat. It’s definately a learning process! I wanted to try your vegan chocolate chip cookies but am unsure of what to buy for chocolate chips…all the dark chocolate ones I look at have some type of dairy in them. Sorry to be off-topic…I’ve really been enjoying your site so thought I’d start here! Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2012

hey Shelly,

I find that many “dark” chocolate chips are vegan. You can also use semi-sweet chips quite often too…just be sure to check the label.

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Shelly February 21, 2012

Thank you so much for getting back to me! Sorry to be so naive…but the dark and semi-sweet chips I looked at have cocoa butter and milk fat I think is what it said…I just saw butter/milk and instantly thought dairy…I’m trying to stay away from any dairy. Maybe I’m misunderstanding the ingredients? Is there a brand name that you buy? I’m from Michigan so not sure we would have the same brands?

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Shelly February 21, 2012

Oh my goodness…just did a little research online about cocoa butter and found out it has nothing to do with “butter” at all…this is going to take a bit to get the hang of! Sorry about that…will double check the chips ingredients again:)

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) February 20, 2012

Wonderful! Will be fun to try this. Spicy Caesars are hands-down my favourite cocktail – if you don’t count red wine, of course.

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Joss February 20, 2012

I wish I liked ceasers but I can’t stomach them :( My mom on the other hand, loves them!

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Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday February 20, 2012

Fresh and comforting at the same time. Yum…btw – your food styling is excellent!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2012

Thank you!

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva February 20, 2012

I never knew the difference between the drinks…see you learn something new every day! I’m gonna get on to making this stat.

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie February 20, 2012

Never tried either a bloody mary or a caesar, but I’ll have to give your version a try!

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Jacqueline@digintobooks February 20, 2012

What a fun new drink to learn about-and so healthy too!! Thanks for sharing, and the pictures are beautiful.

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com February 21, 2012

Very healthy! But it’s a must to surprise my guests some time with this presentation :) They are not gonna believe if I tell them it’s a super-duper healthy vegan cocktail :)

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Katie February 21, 2012

A vegetarian Bloody Mary is my favourite summertime cocktail. I call it the Bloody Katie and I use a tonne of horseradish in it, lots of lime juice, and celery salt both in the drink and on the rim. I love it with a shot of vodka and a spicy pickled green bean!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 21, 2012

What a great recipe! I never made a Vegan Cesar or a Bloody Mary, and I know my husband would love me to make one. It’s one of his favorite drinks, yet were lucky if we have it more the once every few years!!

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Allie February 21, 2012

Question–how long do you think this would keep in the fridge? I’ve never made my own bloodys, but I am wondering if I could keep it in the fridge overnight?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2012

Hey Allie,

I found they were best consumed immediately. They tend to taste less fresh the next day…but still enjoyable.

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Em (Wine and Butter) February 21, 2012

YUM!! I posted a homemade Bloody Maria (which is a Bloody Mary but with TEQUILA!!!) on my blog a few weeks back. I, of course, HATED having my drink through all the props :) xox

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Meesh February 21, 2012

mmmm, you don’t know how much I want a caesar now!
Can’t wait to make this for myself! As always, you rock Ang!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning February 21, 2012

I’ve gotta say – I’ve never heard a vegan say that giving up clam juice was the hardest. And I thought hearing people say “honey” was odd- cheese is what I hear most often!
I’ve never heard the term’ Caesar” for a drink before. This sounds so good though- I looove bloody marys. There’s a restaurant near me that makes a version with tequila and has old bay around the rim (well, around here people put old bay on everything)- and that is my favorite.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2012

haha well I would say yogurt was the hardest for me. I didn’t eat tons of cheese before so it wasn’t super hard. But yea clam juice isup there…how weird am I?

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jessi@slotheatz February 21, 2012

OH be still my beating heart. SERIOUSLY. CAesers are my DRANK!!! THANK YOU!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 21, 2012

Enjoy your DRANK!!

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner February 21, 2012

Oh my, now you have me craving a ceaser and it’s not even lunch time yet! Definitely my favourite drink. I rim the glass with season salt and it’s soo good.

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Jasper @ crunchylittlebites February 21, 2012

I’d like to think that I was the FIRST to spot your “2 sec. ago…V8 explosion?!” post last Friday…he he :D … you know how I stalk you… I remember thinking…there’s cute Angela being cute! and then you posted this awesome creation all from that! love it…did you spike yours after your workout? :)

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Libby February 21, 2012

Wow, sounds amazing! Love Bloody Mary’s, never heard of a Caesar but may have to try this delicious sounding version!

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olivia February 21, 2012

I loove bloody mary’s… there is a restaurant called The Flying Biscuit (small chain in the US Southeast) that makes theirs with sake AND pickled okra mm..

But all this brunchy goodness started making me thing… what about a homemade vegan cream cheese? maybe cashew cream with some lemon?

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Aylin @ Glow Kitchen February 21, 2012

Mine will definitely include vodka! looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

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Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) February 21, 2012

I just learned what a caesar was last month — so funny you posted this!

Looks delicious!

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kristina February 21, 2012

this looks amazing. while I’m not vegan, i’m always looking for variations of my beloved caesar. and I didn’t know they were a Canadian thing until recently, when I was talking to an American and they looked at me like I was a nut job!

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caryn george February 21, 2012

I am so excited to try this. An occasional Caesar has been my only vegan exception to date, so i would LOVE to have something vegan to replace it with :)

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Michaela February 21, 2012

Angela,

You’ve been such an inspiration to me! Though I don’t know that I’ll try the Caesar anytime soon (i’m not a huge van of tomato juice!) your blog and your journey has been a catalyst for me. I wrote my first post this evening.

Keep being awesome!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 22, 2012

Thanks Michaela! I’ll check it out :)

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Savannah February 28, 2012

I think the mason jar mugs are also part of what differentiates a caesar from a bloody mary, it just doesn’t taste right without them! These were also very prominent throughout my childhood, although when we were younger, my sister and I called them pickle juice, because it was just about the only time we saw dill pickles (spears not slices) in the house!

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Kari September 27, 2013

THANK YOU !!!!! I’ve recently moved from Canada to Australia and was dying for a Caesar the other day… made this recipe… was nearly brought to tears… so SO delicious… a little piece of Canada in the Aussy sunshine :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 27, 2013

hahah happy to help!! I know all about that craving too!

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kellie October 2, 2013

How long do you think these have a shelf life for? My husband will go nuts if i tell him there is a healthy option for caesars! I was thinking of making a couple batches and having them in the fridge.. you say serve immediately so I wasn’t sure if perhaps they wouldn’t sit for too long? thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2013

Hey Kellie, To be honest, I’m not really sure about shelf life! I’ve always drank them right away. I imagine they would hold up for a half a day probably? Not totally sure though! Let me know if you try it out. My guess is that they would need a good stir after sitting.

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Tedi April 19, 2014

Cannot wait to try this recipe!! Thank you for sharing. Sounds delish!

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