Clamato juice is an exciting juice option that works as a standalone option and a component of cocktails. It is especially popular in areas like Mexico and Canada, although it is growing in prominence elsewhere.
However, you might be looking to replace the sauce sometimes for several reasons. So, substitutes will need to come into play.
What is the best substitute for Clamato juice? While there aren’t many options, V8 Bloody Mary is the ideal substitute for Clamato sauce. While it doesn’t have the same taste, V8 Bloody Mary can work as a standalone drink and can blend with others. So, it works pretty well as a substitute.
An Overview of Clamato Juice
Clamato juice is a unique blend of tomato juice and clam broth, as well as a few spices that can be blended in. It has become particularly famous in cocktails – like a Michelada or a Bloody Caesar.
While it wasn’t produced until the late 60s, Clamato juice has been around in concept for a while earlier. Many believe that it came after two employees at Mott were looking to create a cocktail based on Manhattan clam chowder. So, they mixed up tomato juice with clam broth and major spices to get the first iteration of what is now Clamato juice.
While Clamato juice isn’t overly popular in the United States, it has taken off relatively well across the world. You can see it with beer combinations in countries like Mexico. Also, Canadians use it as a main ingredient for the Bloody Caesar cocktail.
Clamato juice essentially tastes like tomato juice. This is primarily because tomato juice is one of its main components.
Why Replace Clamato Juice?
- Non-availability: Clamato juice isn’t readily available in places like the United States and other countries, as explained earlier. If you can’t find it around you, then you will need to get a substitute.
- Taste differences: Clamato juice has a taste that might not appeal to everyone. If you’re such a person, you will need to get a substitute.
- Health concerns: Clamato juice has a high sodium content. For people with this concern, it might be better to get something healthier.
Options for Clamato Juice Substitutes
Best Overall Substitute for Clamato Juice: V8 Bloody Mary
V8 has become especially popular for its provision of high-quality vegetable juices that you can pretty much find at any supermarket. Their Bloody Mary is perhaps the best way for you to replace Clamato juice.
As you can probably get from the name, the V8 Bloody Mary was gotten from a mixer of different Bloody Mary cocktails. Usually, the ingredients include pepper, vinegar, and celery extract. Considering the fact that most people even purchase Clamato juice as a base for Bloody Marys and other related cocktails, this substitution makes more sense.
Since VB Bloody Mary doesn’t contain any clam broth, you won’t get that mild undertone that you get from Clamato juice. However, if you’re really looking for that authentic taste, you could add some clam juice to the mix and see where it leads.
All in all, the V8 Bloody Mary is the ideal option for anyone looking for a plant-based Clamato juice substitute. Note, however, that it also has a high salt quantity. V8 Bloody Mary comes with about 650 mg of sodium per 5 fl oz of serving – more than Clamato juice’s 500 mg.
Best Substitute if You Have Time: Make Your Own Clamato Juice
If you’re looking to recreate the original Clamato juice taste, then you could just as well try it on your own. In truth, this will take a little bit more effort than getting Clamato juice from your nearby grocery store or shop. However, if you’ve got the time and want to try your hand at this, then you can give it a go.
To make your Clamato juice, you will need the following:
- Two 8 fl oz. bottles of clam juice
- 2 11.5 fl oz. bottles of tomato juice
- A quarter teaspoon of celery salt
- A quarter teaspoon of chili pepper flakes
- One splash of Tabasco sauce
- Half a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Two tablespoons of lemon juice
All you need to do is add all the ingredients in a large bottle and shake them vigorously. You can taste the mixture after the combination to see if you still need anything. Most times, you might need a bit more Tabasco sauce.
Once done, you can refrigerate the mixture or serve immediately. Most times, this drink can last for up to three days.
If you would like a plant-based recipe for Clamato juice, you could leave the clam juice and get vegan Worcestershire sauce.
Best Substitute for Taste Reasons: Tomato Juice
Tomato juice could also work if you’re looking for a substitute for Clamato juice. It is one of the ingredients in Clamato juice, so you know it will have similar flavors. It is also pretty easy to make, even if you don’t have any around you.
Some of the ingredients you will need include:
- 3 pounds of ripe garden tomatoes
- Two tablespoons of sugar to taste
- Black pepper – any quantity you will like
- 1¼ cups of chopped celery, with the leaves
- ⅓ of a cup of chopped onion
- One teaspoon of salt
- Some shakes of Tabasco sauce – about six to eight drops to taste
Per usual, you can just put all the ingredients into a large pot. It would be better if you used a stainless steel pot, as it doesn’t react with any of the ingredients. Cook the mixture and let it simmer for about 25 minutes until it gets entirely soupy.
From there, force the mixture through a sieve or a food mill. Let it cool, and you’re ready.
You can serve the tomato juice immediately or leave it in the refrigerator. Tomato juice usually stays for up to a week.