Ever since I saw that documentary about that Aussie bloke who lost 600kg (or something) just by drinking juice, I've been really excited about turning vegetables into liquid.
I bought a juicer and have been happily juicing all kinds of crap in it for weeks - celery, apples, carrots, lettuce, spinach. No matter what you put in there it always comes out a lurid green, which really freaks people out when they see you drinking it from a water bottle on the subway.
But the one thing I haven't thought to put through it so far is seafood - I fear it might gum up the blades. SO THANK GOD FOR CLAMATO.
THE ORIGINAL. Because no one else wanted to copy it.
As the name suggests, the other ingredient in this "tomato cocktail" - yes, it's a drink - is clam juice. Yes, juice from a clam. That seafoody thing you make soup out of. THAT CLAM.
If Clamato were being sold as a soup, I would understand it. It would make sense. But then I remembered I am in America, the international headquarters of odd flavour combinations where a great deal of foods don't make sense.
Like peanut butter flavoured cereal, or fried chicken and waffles, or peanut butter and white chocolate, or the pretzel croissant (actually, this one is delicious).
The bar girl who served me this can of Clamato (OK, so you can assume I was drunk at the time) assured me it was delicious, and barely tasted of clam at all. That's probably because there's hardly any in there:
There is actually more MSG in this thing than clam.
Sadly, she was right - it just tasted like a slightly-more-salty-than-usual tomato juice. In fact if you got a clam to just breathe heavily over a glass of tomato juice for 10 seconds, Clamato is what you'd get.
Sensing my disappointment, she suggested I try it mixed with beer, a traditional Mexican drink called a "Michelada".
Even though a mixture of clam, tomato and beer sounds like what you experience the morning AFTER a night at the pub, I agreed to try one.
And you know what?
IT WAS AMAZING.
Hello, clammy beer cocktail of my dreams.
Who knew that seafood, tomato and beer could coexist so perfectly OUTSIDE of one's stomach? The Michelada is a refreshing alcoholic revelation - light, tangy, spicy, cold and spritzy, it's a great drink for a sunny day. Best of all - it actually REQUIRES shitty beer. The cheaper and shittier the beer (that thin stuff that almost looks like water is perfect), the better.
Plus it's the perfect drink for a hangover. Yes - you can cure a hangover with clam juice and beer. BELIEVE.
- Beer, Mexican preferred, the lighter, cheaper and shittier the better
- Clamato (failing that, plain old tomato juice will do)
- Tabasco sauce
- lime wedge
- salt for rimming (oo-er)
Rim glass with salt. Half fill glass with ice. Pour beer over, to about two-thirds. Add Clamato/tomato juice to fill, plus a splash of Tabasco and juice from the lime. Now drink, sucker.