Homemade Clamato Juice

Level up your Bloody Marys and Caesars with homemade Clamato Juice that’s full of flavor and fresh ingredients. You’ll love how easy it is to put together and how delicious it makes your cocktails.

Tomato sauce in a glass jug.

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Clamato Juice recipe

If you love Caesar cocktails, you’ve got to try making your own Clamato juice at home.

This mixture of tomato juice and clam juice, seasoned with various flavors for balance, is easy to mix up at home — and so much better than store-bought.

You’ll love how simply delicious it is, and it will change your brunch Caesars for the better, forever.

More cocktail mixer recipes: Sour MixHomemade Ginger Ale •  Grenadine Syrup

A bloody mary with celery and lemon wedges.

Why you’ll love this recipe

You are going to adore this easy Clamato juice recipe!

  • Homemade Clamato juice is easy to make with easy-to-find ingredients.
  • It’s full of flavor and is easy to customize.
  • With fresh ingredients, it will level up your Caesar cocktails.

You can use this mixer to make Caesar cocktails and Bloody Marys. In fact, this recipe is easy to double to make for your next Bloody Mary bar

It’s a great recipe for brunch, game day or anytime you get the hankering for a savory cocktail. They are great cocktails for hot summer days. It goes really well with seafood, so serve it up with some popcorn shrimp or fish sliders.

Tomato sauce in a glass jug with lemons and tomatoes.

What is Clamato Juice?

Clamato juice is a drink mixer that primarily features tomato juice but also includes clam broth and sometimes seasonings and spices like lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. The clam broth is the main thing that sets it apart from a Bloody Mary mix recipe.

The mixture was first used in the Bloody Mary variation called the Bloody Caesar drink. In 1969, Mott’s Clamato Juice was introduced to Canada, and has been a key ingredient of the drink ever since.

At stores, you can also find Bud Light Chelada Clamato, which is a light beer combined with tomato or Clamato juice and lime juice. This cold beer cocktail is essentially a Mexican Bloody Mary, better known as the Mexican michelada

History of Clamato Juice

To understand the history of Clamato, let’s start with the Bloody Caesar cocktail, a popular drink in Canada.

The drink was created in 1969 to mark the grand opening of a new Italian restaurant at the Calgary Inn (now Westin Calgary).

Inspired by the dish Spaghetti Vongole, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, Walter Chell, spent several months crafting the perfect drink. He crushed clams to make “clam nectar” which he combined with tomato juice and vodka.

Inspired by the Roman Emperor, Chell called the drink the Caesar. The drink became popular at the hotel and the recipe spread across Canada. Later in 1969, Mott’s introduced Clamato, a brand-name mixture of tomato and clam juices.

Today, it is stocked in grocery stores and restaurants across Canada, and Clamato juice is considered to be the essential base for the Caesar mix.

The ingredients for a homemade teriyaki sauce, including clamato juice.

Ingredients

Here are the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this easy recipe:

  • Tomato juice
  • Clam juice or clam broth
  • Lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco sauce
  • Celery salt
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
A jar of snow's clam juice.

What is clam broth?

Also known as clam juice and clam nectar, clam broth is a seafood broth made by cooking fresh clams in water to extract their briny, salty sea flavor.

Manilla clams and Littleneck clams are common types of clams used to make clam broth. Sometimes salt, white wine, garlic and other flavors are added, depending on the recipe.

Though you can make your own clam juice, clam juice is readily available at most supermarkets. Two common brands are Bar Harbor All Natural Clam Juice and Snow’s All Natural Clam Juice.

Variations and substitutions

You can feel free to tweak this recipe to your personal preferences. Try one of these different ways to make Clamato juice: 

  • Add vodka: Make it a ready-to-mix drink by adding vodka to the pitcher.
  • Add other mix-ins: Make it your own by adding soy sauce, Maggi sauce, chili powder, onion powder, fresh lime juice or Old Bay seasoning. 
  • Make it spicy: Add more of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. You can also add slices of jalapeño peppers.
  • Make it less spicy: Skip or reduce the amount of hot sauce.
Red juice in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon.
A person stirring Clamato Juice in a jug.

How to make Clamato Juice

Making Clamato juice is a simple process.

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the tomato juice, clam juice and lemon juice.
  2. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour before using to let the flavors meld together.

It tastes best fresh the first day or two, but you can enjoy it within 1 week.

The mixture can settle when stored, so be sure to stir or shake it before using.

A bloody mary with Clamato Juice, celery and garnishes.

How to make a Caesar

Once you have homemade Clamato juice, you can pull together the classic cocktail known as the Caesar. If you like, dip the rim of your glass in Bloody Mary rim salt or Tajín seasoning. 

In a cocktail shaker, combine one part vodka to three parts Clamato juice over ice. Shake well, then pour into a highball glass and garnish each with a celery stalk and lemon wedges. 

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this refreshing drink mixer:

  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.
  • Check the expiration date of the spices on your spice rack — they do lose flavor over time and can go bad.
  • Before using, stir the mixture well because the ingredients can settle.
A bloody caesar with celery and a slice of lemon.

Uses for Clamato Juice

Clamato juice can be exchanged for Bloody Mary mix in a number of Bloody Mary variations. Try one of these classic variations:

  • Bloody Caesar: It’s like a Bloody Mary, but with Clamato instead of Bloody Mary mix.
  • Clamato Michelada: Garnished with lime juice, this red beer cocktail is made with tequila, Clamato juice and a Mexican beer.
  • Red Eye: This one uses Clamato but replaces the vodka with Canadian beer. This one is sometimes called the Saskatchewan Caesar.
  • Clam Eye: This one is based on the Red Eye, but gets a dash of hot sauce.
  • Crown Royal Caesar: This version is made with Canadian whisky, usually Crown Royal. This one is similar to the Bloody Derby, which is a Bloody Mary made with bourbon.
  • Virgin Caesar: A non-alcoholic version can be made by sipping Clamato juice on its own (without vodka) or with a zero-proof spirit such as Ritual gin alternative.
A bottle of Clamato Juice next to celery and tomatoes.

FAQ

What is Clamato juice?

Clamato juice is a mixture of tomato juice and clam juice. This mixture is popular in Canada, where it is a key ingredient in the Bloody Caesar cocktail.

Is Bloody Mary mix the same as Clamato?

Bloody Mary mix starts with a base of tomato juice. Clamato juice, which is used to make Caesar cocktails, is a mixture of tomato juice and clam broth.

A bloody Caesar cocktail with celery and lemon.

Bloody Mary cocktails

You can use this Clamato juice to make your favorite Bloody Mary drinks. Try one of these variations on the classic:

  • Bloody DerbyBourbon is the star of this sweet-and-salty spin. If you use Irish whiskey, it’s a Bloody Molly. You could also easily make the Caesar with Canadian whisky.
  • Red SnapperAlso known as the Bloody Bulldog, this one calls for gin in lieu of vodka.
  • Bloody Maria: This version can be made with tequila or smoky mezcal. This one is often made into a spicy Bloody Mary, too.
  • CubanitaThis version is a rum Bloody Mary. This one would be great spicy, too!

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

A bottle of Clamato Juice next to celery and tomatoes.

Homemade Clamato Juice

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Make your own Clamato Juice for Caesars, Micheladas and other savory drinks. This recipe is full of flavor and oh-so-easy.
4.98 from 43 votes
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ingredients

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup clam juice or clam broth
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon celery salt

instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the tomato juice, clam juice and lemon juice.
  • Stir in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, salt and pepper.
  • Pour into a pitcher and refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour before using to let the flavors meld together.
  • It tastes best fresh the first day or two, but you can enjoy it within 1 week.
  • The mixture can settle when stored, so be sure to stir or shake it before using.

notes

This recipe is easy to double for a party or Bloody Mary bar. 
How to make a Caesar: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine 2 ounces of vodka with 4 ounces of Clamato juice. Shake well, then pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish each with a celery stalk and lemon wedges.
How to make a Michelada: If you plan to use your Clamato juice for Micheladas, use fresh lime juice instead of lemon juice. Rim a glass with chili-lime seasoning and fill with ice. Squeeze a lime wedge into the glass, and drop in the spent shell. Add 4 ounces Clamato juice and a pinch of salt leftover from rimming the glass. Stir to mix. Slowly pour 3 to 4 ounces of Mexican beer over top. Stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge. 

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nutrition information

Yield: 8 servings

amount per serving:

Serving: 4ounces Calories: 41kcal Carbohydrates: 10g Protein: 1g Fat: 0.2g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 665mg Potassium: 325mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 464IU Vitamin C: 25mg Calcium: 24mg Iron: 1mg
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