Island Life and Ardbeg Caesar?

This past Family day long weekend Blue Collar and Scholar….and family…. had the chance to escape away to the scenic Quadra Island near Campbell River British Columbia.  We rented an ocean front cabin overlooking Discovery passage in an attempt to unplug, explore and discover a northern gulf island that we hadn’t been to before.

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My family and I (Blue Collar) arrived Friday night and didn’t have the best first impression of the cabin we rented.  It was old and dated and, to be honest, it smelled funky and had evidence of rodent visits.  However, I’m not sure if it was the antique grand piano in the corner of the living room, but there was something about the place that felt like it had history…. a story.

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Needing to reset and refuel, we went looking for food.  We came across a pizza/bistro place called “The Clove.”  They had great food and became very excited when they found out about what we do with whisky pairings.  So stay tuned for a future post about our whisky pairing dinner at The Clove!  After a good feed and the purchase of some scented candles we started to feel a little more comfortable in our cabin and decided it wasn’t so bad after all.

The next day we were joined by Scholar and his wife (my mom) and a bonus guest, my brother from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  We met them at the ferry and, after introducing them to our new friends at The Clove, led them back to our ocean front villa!  We had a simple lunch of meats, cheeses and sandwiches and then it was time to begin our malty adventure!  We started off sampling some heels I brought of Cutty Sark Prohibition and Highland Park Magnus to “wet the whistle” if you will.  Then I decided to try a drink recipe that was supposed to be well worth the sacrifice of some quality Islay whisky.  I decided to make Ardbeg 10 Caesars!    For those of you who don’t know what a Caesar is, it is Canadian invented, typically vodka based, tomato and clam juice with hot sauce and Worchester sauce and celery and lime garnished drink served in a salted rim glass.  So we took that recipe and decided to make it our own.

We started by rimming the glasses with Vancouver Island Salt Company’s Smoked Whisky Salt.  We then added 2 oz. of Ardbeg 10 Year Old.  The recipe calls for 1.5 oz but we were all whisky drinkers not tomato and clam juice drinkers!  We then added a healthy splash of Tabasco sauce and Worchester sauce. Then the Clamato Juice (Tomato and clam juice).  We mixed and lightly seasoned the drinks with pepper and garnished each one with a strip of thick cut bacon and 2 spears of pickled asparagus.  As mentioned previously, none of us were big fans for Caesars to begin with but the peaty, smoky Ardbeg, bacon and pickled asparagus added wonderful layers of flavour to the cocktail.  We all finished and enjoyed the beverage however, nobody asked for another because we couldn’t stand the thought of using more Ardbeg in that manner!

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We then enjoyed a dram of Ardbeg, neat, with our gracious host who stopped in to check on us and see if everything was going well.  He was an older gentleman who’s family had owned the cabins and, at one point, April Point Lodge next door for many years.  He told us a few tales of how they used to take the steamships up and down the coast to go and party in Vancouver back in the 40’s and 50’s and of all the celebrities that used Quadra as a getaway over the years.  When asked what his favourite dram was he said The Glenlivet but later called me and changed his answer to Laphroaig and insisted on sharing a bottle next time we were on the island.

We concluded our escape to Quadra Island with a trip to Rebecca Spit Park and eventually successfully located the 7’ tall driftwood Sasquatch sculpture a local artist had created for everyone to enjoy!  It was truly an amazing and full weekend with family and new friends! Slainte!

Blue Collar

Ardbeg Caesar

Ingredients
– Your best sea salt mix*
– 1.5oz of Ardbeg Ten Years Old
– Splash of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tbsp. freshly grated horseradish (optional)
– Your favourite Clamato juice
– Lime wedge
– Fresh herb to garnish (Thym, rosemary, etc.)

* You can add different ingredients to your salt: rub spices for meat, cane sugar, smoked paprika, etc.

Directions
1. Rim a glass with seasoned salt.
2. Add Ardbeg Ten Years Old and mix in a splash of Worcestershire, Tabasco, and the fresh horseradish.
3. Fill will your favourite Clamato juice, season with salt and pepper, then garnish with a lime wedge, fresh herb and Jalapeno pepper. You can also have some fun with it and garnish with bacon, pickles, shrimp, fried chicken. . .anything you want!

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