Mornings are usually pretty hectic around here. Weekday or weekend, my days start early - usually by 0530 I'm up and around. Monday through Friday, I get my morning chores done quickly so I can get out the door to work by 0715. Saturday has it's own routine of household things to accomplish after morning chores are done, but Sundays...Sundays are lazier. We take time to have a leisurely family breakfast and linger over coffee and an old movie on Turner Classic Movies, or a favorite cooking show like Gordon Ramsay's F-Word on BBC America. And sometimes, those Sunday morning breakfasts start with a Clam Digger or two. A Clam Digger is a variant of the Sunday brunch favorite Bloody Mary, flavored with a bit of clam juice and dosed unapologetically with enough vodka to create a mild drink that stimulates the appetite and set a casually relaxing mood. Who gives a damn if it's 0930? I've been up for almost four hours - and besides, the sun is over the yardarm somewhere in the world anyway.
I favor certain ingredients in my Clam Diggers for the extra flavors which add a certain measure of complexity to the overall taste profile. I prefer V8 juice to plain tomato juice, for example, and although the recipe as I've written it below only calls for about a teaspoon of horseradish, I usually put nearly a tablespoon in my own drink because I like the flavor and kick of Root. Oh, and I should also mention that you can leave the vodka out if you're skeevy about morning alcohol.
Clam Digger1 tall drink
8 oz V8 Vegetable Juice4 oz clam juice2 oz vodka1 rounded teaspoon of prepared grated horseradish (or more to taste)A couple shakes of Worcestershire Sauce (about 1/2 teaspoon)A couple dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce (to taste)A bit of coarsely-ground black pepperLeafy celery stalk for garnish
Combine all ingredients but celery stalk in a tall 16-ounce glass and stir well; garnish with celery before serving.