07/01/2013 08:26 EDT | Updated 07/01/2013 10:26 EDT

Canada Day Cocktails For Thirsty Canadians (PHOTOS)


Canadian alcohol has come a long way from its “firewater” beginnings.

According to bartender Shawn Sooke, one of the earliest Canadian cocktails was recorded in 1869 and was playfully named “whoop up bug juice.” It was described as:

“A highly-prized alcohol spiked with ginger, molasses, and red pepper. It was then coloured with black chewing tobacco, watered down, and boiled to make ‘firewater.’”

But as Canadian whisky became a desired commodity at the turn of the century, chewing tobacco-steeped booze eventually lost its novelty.

Canadian Club, one of Canada’s most recognized whiskies rose in popularity through the ‘60s among the working class. Its identity as a classic brand faded for a few decades, but has experienced a strong revival thanks to lofty advertising budgets and a certain AMC show.

The most popular Canadian cocktail is likely the Caesar. The spicy concoction was first conceived by bartender Walter Chell at the Calgary Inn (now Westin Hotel) in 1969, according to CBC News.

Chell mashed up some clams and combined it with tomato juice, making the base for his now iconic drink. He was inspired by Spaghetti alle vongole, a tomato and clams pasta dish he tried in Venice, reported The Newspaper. The result was “bloody good,” a British customer said to Chell.

Check out some "O Canada" cocktail recipes here:

Canadian Cocktails

POLL: What should Canada's official cocktail be?

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