Airdrie residents looking to sample the best Caesar in Canada don’t have to venture far to do so.
Sorso Lounge, Espresso and Wine Bar’s managing partner London Richards recently took home the Best Caesar in Canada award, beating out more than 200 submissions from restaurants across the country.
“It is nice to know that the community had such an impact, I had so much support here in Airdrie specifically,” said London Richard, managing partner and mixologist mastermind that constructed the winning cocktail.
The competition, titled Best Caesar in Town, is hosted by Mott’s Clamato annually. This year, the contest featured 255 other participants from around the country.
After a construction-and-pitch process, Richards’ submission – the “Suffering Caesar” – was chosen in the top 10. The final winner was determined by voting among fans, and Richard took home the accolade.
Richard’s drink differed from the traditional Caesar, as it was comprised of pineapple rum, black fermented garlic, mango nectar, a coconut Worcestershire marinade, fresh lime juice, a scotch bonnet hot sauce, black pepper, and bone marrow ice cubes.
He said his drink showcased his ingenuity and creativity, while also connecting to his Caribbean roots.
“When you think of a Caesar, you think of Canada, which is almost a travesty,” he said. “I personally would love to see a Caesar in other parts of the world.”
The drink's name drew inspiration from what everyone has endured over the last nearly two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Richards. He said as an avid traveller, the pandemic has kept him at home and unable to see more of the world.
“I couldn’t help but think that I wanted to be on a beach somewhere,” he said. “I called it the Suffering Caesar because I felt like we were all kind of suffering. I just wanted to be playful with it.”
Not only does Richard and Sorso’s victory secure national bragging rights, it also comes with a $25,000 prize, courtesy of Mott’s Clamato. While most would jump at the opportunity those sorts of extra funds provide, Richards said he and the Sorso staff plan on giving back to the community that helped him win the competition.
Prior to the pandemic, Richards said Sorso would, on a monthly basis, pick a charity to educate staff and customers about to try and help locals get behind a good cause, along with throwing events in support of those groups. While the pandemic put those efforts on hold, he said Sorso is planning on starting the initiative again.
“We want to make sure we get back to the ground roots of what we do here, which is supporting our community,” he said.
While the winning drink won’t be on hand for locals to try on a constant basis, Richards said to check in with Sorso’s social media channels to see when the Suffering Caesar will be on the menu.