The Clamato: A Baja California Invention and the Perfect Cure for a Hangover

If you haven't experienced a hangover, then we must congratulate you, because you are one in a million, and maybe you are one of the few people to be touched by an Unicorn.

But us mortals can't say the same, because we have experienced the need to fight this horrendous physical state with anything that makes us feel alive, and many of us Baja California natives, choose one magical beverage called Clamato (Tomato/Clam juice with English sauce, lemon, other varying ingredients, and celery).

You may have heard of and maybe you've already tried it, but, did you know this drink was invented in Mexicali? Fact that makes the Clamato a 100% Baja Californian creation.

That's right, this drink, now world famous, was born in a small bar in Mexicali.

Find an authentic "Clamato" at Hotel Lucerna. Photo: Ángel García
Find an authentic "Clamato" at Hotel Lucerna. Photo: Ángel García

It was in the Acueducto Bar, located inside the renowned Hotel Lucerna in Mexicali, where the magic started to happen.

The stories of Clamato's invention process are many, but according to one of them and the most accepted one, is that a client entered the bar with an awful hangover, so the drinkable remedy needed to be strong enough to help his poor soul.

The bartender chose to mix tomato juice with some of the broth from which "abulón rojo" was cooked.

Without any pretentious vibes, nor great mixology knowledge, the bartender had created a "Matacrudas" (hangover killer) bomb.

It was like this that the "Clamato" drink was born, a name that comes from the mix of two words: clam and tomato.

Little by little the recipe was modified to finish with several more ingredients in its mix. The "Abulón Rojo" broth was changed to a more affordable product, like the clam juice, and now, many different sauces are used during its preparation, such as the traditional "Maggi" sauce, soy sauce or Tabasco sauce, among others. Anything to give it its unique tangy and umami flavor.

A proudly Baja Californian drink that you have to try at least once, either to crush a hangover or just to freshen up in a warm day in Tijuana or any other part of Baja.

Nowadays you can find the original drink in the Acueducto Bar at the Hotel Lucerna in Mexicali or in any of the chain's hotels in either Tijuana or Mexicali, and soon in Ensenada.

You don't need to be hungover to enjoy this delicious creation. Photo: Ángel García
You don't need to be hungover to enjoy this delicious creation. Photo: Ángel García


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