Wednesday, November 19, 2008


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clamato (a portmanteau of "clam" and "tomato") is a trademark of the Mott's company which denotes a drink made primarily of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate and reconstituted dried clam broth, with a dash of high fructose corn syrup, and USDA Red 40 to maintain a 'natural' tomato colour. It is also referred to colloquially as "clamato juice".

Mott's Clamato contains MSG. Clamato was produced in its current form beginning in 1966 by the Duffy-Mott company in Hamlin, New York, by two employees who wanted to create a New England type cocktail by combining tomato juice and clam broth with spices. They also named the new cocktail Mott's Clamato and secured the trademark for the new brand.

The Duffy Mott company began marketing Mott's Clamato as a refreshing New England style cocktail without alcohol. Mott's Clamato was discovered by a group of Canadian Foodservice Distributors in 1970, including Irving Glasnor from Vancouver, B.C., looking to use this unique cocktail in one of their favorite new cocktails in Canada called the Caesar. In 1969, a new Canadian Cocktail was created in Calgary, AB by Walter Chell who was the head bartender for the Calgary Inn (now the Westin Hotel). They were opening up a new restaurant called Marco's and the Bloody Caesar was created to celebrate the new opening.

The original recipe for the Caesar Cocktail began with tomato juice and clam broth mixed with Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco sauce. The glass was rimmed with celery salt and garnished with a stick of celery. Walter modelled this recipe after his favorite spaghetti sauce Spaghetti Con Vongole. Irving Glasnor began importing Mott's Clamato into Canada from the USA and started with 500 cases in 1970 for use in the Caesar Cocktail in bars throughout Alberta then across Western Canada.

He signed an agreement with the Duffy Mott company to produce and distribute Mott's Clamato across Canada. Today the Mott's Clamato Caesar is one of the top selling cocktails across Canada and is considered a true Canadian success story. The brand is now owned by Cadbury-Schweppes when Mott's was bought out in 1982.

Cocktail base

Clamato is a popular mixer for mass-market American and Canadian beer which is known in Canada and parts of the northern US as a Red Eye. The Caesar is commonly regarded as the national cocktail of Canada. The Caesar has become so popular that Mott's now markets multiple varieties of pre-mixed Caesars in 341 ml (12-ounce) bottles, in addition to non-alcoholic Caesar blends such as "extra spicy" and "all-dressed" (including Worcestershire, tabasco and horseradish) as a more convenient mixer.

The Caesar is Canada's most popular cocktail, with over 250 million selling every year. 82% of the Caesar-drinking households in Canada use Mott's Clamato as the base. In late 2007, Budweiser released Bud Chelada, a blend of Budweiser or Bud Light and clamato juice for national sale.

Generic tomato-clam beverages

The success of Clamato has led to the introduction of several imitation beverages, usually marketed as tomato-clam cocktail. The generic beverages are often considerably cheaper than Clamato and have cut into Mott's market share. Many people do not distinguish between Mott's product and those of its competitors and will refer to any tomato-clam beverage as clamato, thus threatening Mott's trademark with genericide.

The subject is further confused by the fact that in the United States and Latin America the product is labelled simply "Clamato" but in Canada the product is always labelled "Mott's Clamato".

Mott's has taken steps to protect its trademark, running print, radio and television advertisements which attempt to distinguish Mott's Clamato from generic tomato-clam beverages.

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