Monday April 26thDrinks Category


I always pause for a few seconds after seeing this on the store shelf and think “Really?  This is a real product?”  I know there is a whole big world out there and just because I wouldn’t think clam and tomato juice in the same bottle wouldn’t taste good, doesn’t mean there’s anything weird about it.  But…really?
I will admit since I had to buy this for the blog I was *this* close  to opening it up and trying it but then read the ingredients and the third ingredient (after water and tomato concentrate) is High Fructose Corn Syrup followed by MSG (not to mention Red#40) which was actually more of a turn off than the whole clam & tomato concept.  Although I might  just get a bottle of clam juice and mix it with straight tomato juice and see what that’s like. 
Anyway, if there are any Clamato fans out there, I’d love to hear about why you like it.

The bottle on the left is from a 1984 ad. It’s simple and straightforward, it’s pretty clear what you’re getting yourself into.   My favorite part of the label is the ocean wave pattern at the top of the blue background, which has a slight gradient but doesn’t come off as too dramatic.  Below that is simple white block lettering for the title and then a brief description of the product.  Below that is an honest picture of the featured ingredients and a glass of the finished product.

The new bottle is more dramatic.  The title text is shadowed, shaded and outlined.  Below that is a kind of  ”wild” looking text that reads “Tomato Cocktail” (there’s no mention of clam).  The images of  tomatoes and clams are probably computer generated and there are less of each shown. Infact there’s only one clam displayed and it’s in the shadow of the glass, which is the main graphic.  The clam may even almost go unnoticed if you don’t bother looking for it.   A backglow shines from behind all of that and gives it a more extravagant look.  

I have to go with the old one because of the cute ocean waves and the down-to-earth text and graphics.  For me, the simplicty of the whole design is effective and actually kind of pleasant (for a clam-tomato drink).

Clamato: Old or new?

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  1. Kevin Swope
    April 26, 2010

    That is a stealth clam! The new one looks “fresher” to me; although like you I’m put off by the “wild” lettering of “tomato cocktail”! I’ve never had it; my father used to drink its cousin Beefomato. I do like clams and tomatos–never thought of combining the two, though.

  2. Tara
    April 26, 2010

    If you use Clamato instead of tomato juice when making a bloody mary, then you’ve got a bloody caesar. It’s a very popular drink in Canada.

  3. Wendy
    April 29, 2010

    My mom drank Clamato which meant that my sister and I did (same with V8). I happen to really like it but I do concede it’s an aquired taste. As for the bottles, I dig that old school Motts logo.

  4. Nightdragon
    May 7, 2010

    Does Mott’s still make this? It’s very weird that a company would actually take their name off the labelling.

    And you’re right, even though clams are pictured on the new label, it shouldn’t sell itself solely as “tomato cocktail.”

  5. Dave
    June 1, 2010

    Today’s Clamato is crap. High fructose corn syrup, imitation red coloring, and POWDERED CLAMS. Yeah. They can’t even be arsed to put real clam broth in it.

    The best “clam cocktail” is the one you make yourself: I prefer V8 to straight tomato juice, but that’s personal preference. Just add a tad less than 1 part clam juice to 3 parts tomato juice – more or less to taste – add a dash of celery salt, a grind of black pepper, and stir in a bit of fresh horseradish. You’ll be amazed at the deliciousness.

  6. Nostalgio
    June 21, 2010

    If the new bottle is still glass, then I like it. The old bottle looks similar to what Gatorade used to come in, and I hated those wide-necked things that were slick to grip and pour once the bottle started sweating in warm, humid, air. The newer bottle appears to be far easier to hold in such conditions.

    But if the newer bottle is plastic then all bets are off. Call me crazy, but I just don’t trust most plastics – at least not for my food.

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