Friday, February 22, 2008

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere- Clamato’d Edition

I was watching Leaving Las Vegas last night and I was kind of interested in some of the background. As I tend do in these situations I went onto Wikipedia and found out that it was based on a book written by John O’Brien, a book which his father considered to be his "suicide note" .
From there I learned he was the brother of Erin O’Brien who writes a blog titled , The Erin O'Brien Owner's Manual for Human Beings
Which lead me to this frightening yet interesting “confession” of Erin’s about her addiction to Clamato.

Hello, my name is Erin, and I am a Clamatoholic. Clamato. Say it out loud and it sounds like a dirty word. Everyone crinkles their nose when I own up to loving it. Because culturally speaking, Clamato is like Spam's ugly-duckling stepsister. Canadians might drink this stuff by the gallon in their Bloody Caesars, but stateside, we think Clamato is weird or yucky or downright horrific - providing we know what it is.

"You drink tomato and clam juice?" my friends say with disgust after I explain the crux of Clamato.

"Um, yeah," I mumble and look down.

Even Motts is embarrassed by their 42-year-old clam drink. The label features a glistening glass of red liquid along with some celery, tomatoes, lime and, tucked behind the glass and barely visible, an innocuous-looking clam shell, as if to say, "Hey, there's lots to love in here! Never mind that pesky clam." Motts also doesn't like to own up to Clamato. The only place you'll find the maker's name is in tiny squeaking letters on the back label along with the mandatory address of origin and "product of USA."

Unlike buying a cute rectangular can of Spam, which is occasionally stacked in a we've-got-nothing-to-hide display at the end of the aisle (and yes, I have been known to wash down Ritz crackers topped with Spam and a dash of Tabasco with a Stroh's beer; and yes, I did even once make Spam sushi, which I proudly dubbed Cleveland Rolls), buying Clamato is a closeted experience.

Grocery managers know we Clamatoholics very well. Hence, there is never, ever a Clamato display of any sort. We don't like people watching us chew our nails as we fret over the "nutrition facts." And we'll pay any price, so you'll never see BOGO under the Clamato bottles, which are amid the land of Knudsen's Very Veggie and those dubious cans of Frank's Quality Kraut Juice.

Clamato is actually some combination of tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, salt, onion/garlic powder, ascorbic acid "to maintain color" (I love that Mott's explains this ingredient to me, almost an apology: Hey, we only put the ascorbic acid in there to keep this shit good and red!), dried clam broth, vinegar and red 40 (Er ... about that last one, folks ... the tomatoes and ascorbic acid weren't quite doing the job so we went ahead and just added some of our regular red as well).

Eight ounces of Clamato contains 880 milligrams of sodium.

I tell myself every time that no one should drink anything that has 37 percent of the day's salt in one cup. What if I want a Cleveland roll later on? But one glass here and there, moderation and all that jazz, right? Thirty minutes on the elliptical will sweat that out, no problem.

With that intention, I pluck the stratified blood-red bottle from the shelf and drop it into my cart while evoking an image of tomorrow's breakfast: a whole wheat bagel, fat-free cream cheese and a sensible six-ounce glass of Clamato garnished with a lemon wedge. Call that a perfect send-off to the gym. What a good girl! Maybe I'll buy a fresh tube of pink lip gloss as well.

Full of self-satisfaction, I turn toward the rest of my errands, the remainder of the day and the fall of night.

The black space between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. is populated with even sleep and soft dreams. But then come the nameless hours between 2 and 5, which bring the demons and desires, the sleepless fits. I toss and turn, thinking my useless thoughts: Where is the dry cleaning slip? You would look stupid in Robin Meade's make up. Do not eff up. So it goes until the image of the gleaming bottle of Clamato comes crashing in on all of it. I try to push it away to no avail. In no time, I am tiptoeing down the stairs, snickering to myself like a misplaced Grinch on his way to suck down the last can of Who Hash.

Nude save a pair of cotton undies, the miracle of the refrigerator light spills upon me. I wrap my hands around the bottle and shake, shake, shake, all my Erin flesh jiggling along in celebration.

I relish the twist of the cap. The sound of the breaking seal is barely audible, but satisfying nonetheless. I don't bother with a glass, just stand ablaze in the glorious illumination of the open refrigerator, guzzling the clammy, sweet, salty, tomato-y nectar. I cannot stop myself.

I. Fucking. Love. Clamato.

The next morning, I wake with the uncomfortable results of consuming 3,520 milligams of sodium and 240 calories of what is essentially colored, flavored and diluted high fructose corn syrup. I slither to the breakfast table. My husband clears his throat with no further comment on my bloated appearance or the empty Clamato bottle on the counter.

"Never again," I vow in a throaty voice. "I'm never buying it again!"

Six months later, beads of sweat form on my upper lip as I peer up at the top shelf of the grocery juice aisle and reach up with a shaking hand.

I had no idea what Clamato was but learning it was made of clam and tomato juice, well...yeah.
But anyway I took that article as an opportunity and decided to try to help salvage Clamato by mixing it with that ultimate redeemer of man- booze and so

Here are some recipes taken from the Clamato website

Clamato Tequila
* Clamato
* Tequila
* Tabasco sauce

In a glass serve some tequila Worcestershire, Tabascoª sauce and one lemon juice. Fill with CLAMATO add some salt if you like it . Decorate it with celery and put some salt.

Clamato Vodka
* Clamato
* Vodka
* Tabasco sauce
* Worcestershire

In a glass serve some vodka, English sauce, Tabascoª sauce and one lemon juice. Fill with CLAMATO add some salt if you like it.
Pablo´s Boilermaker
* 1/2 oz. bourbon
* 4 oz. Ginger Ale Canada Dry
* 6 oz. Clamato

Combine bourbon and ginger ale in a shaker over ice.
Serve in a rocks glass over ice with a 6 oz glass of
Clamato garnished with black pepper.

Roasted Mary
* 1 oz. vodka
* 2 Tbsp. diced roasted red pepper
* 4 oz. Clamato
* lime juice as needed
* cilantro for garnish

In a blender, combine vodka, peppers, Clamato, lime juice and ice and blend until smooth. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.

Margarita Rioja
* 1 1/2 oz tequila
* 4 oz. Clamato dash worcestershire sauce
* dash hot sauce
* dash cumin
* cilantro for garnish

In a shaker, combine everything but the cilantro and shake well. Serve in a rocks glass and garnish with cilantro.

Tijuana Taxi
* 1 oz. vodka
* 4 oz. Clamato
* 1 oz. beer
* squeeze of lime juice
* dash of hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and serve in a rocks glass with a wedge of lime.

Chipotle Cocktail
* 1 oz. vodka
* 4 oz. Clamato
* Chipotle (las needed)
* Lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and serve in a highball glass with lime garnish

Clamato Spritzer
* 5 oz. Clamato
* 1 oz. Squirt
* Lime juice ¨Rose¨

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and serve in a highball with lime garnish.
a couple of other recipes out there:

Clamato Cocktail
11⁄2 fl oz (37 ml) vodka
3 fl oz (75 ml) tomato juice
1 fl oz (25 ml) clamato juice
ice cubes as required

1. Pour the vodka, tomato juice and clamato juice into a shaker with ice cubes. Shake well.
2. Strain the mixture over ice cubes into old-fashioned glass(es) and serve.

Beer and Clamato
12.0 oz Beer
0.75 oz Clamato juice
Directions: Preferably use a regular beer (blonde) or a light beer. Pour clamato into the glass (3-4 oz for a 12 oz beer) and top with beer. Very pleasant in hot weather or when you want to cut down on alcohol.

And of course the Bloody Caesar, which I spotlighted earlier
11⁄2 oz Vodka
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3 Dashes Tabasco
Salt & Pepper
Fill Clamato Juice

Line the rim of a glass with salt and pepper. Over ice, add vodka, fill with clamato juice, then add the remaining ingredients. Garnish with a celery stick.

None of those sound actually enticing to me but we all have different tastes…
Bottoms, up

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1 comment:

Erin O'Brien said...


Hello and thanks ... I think ...