08 February, 2008

Beer + Clamato = WTF

I was at the package store, buying vodka for Jello Shots, and they had these "Cheladas" on the counter by the cash register. I guess they were hoping for someone to pick them up on an impulse buy. I asked the guy at the register about them, and he just laughed. "I put them there hoping someone would want them out of curiosity," he said, "They taste really bad. Plus everyone sees Clamato on the label and they're like 'Man that shit's nasty.'"

Rumor has it that "Cheladas" are popular with Latinos, but we have a pretty sizeable Hispanic population around here and none of my Latino friends has ever tasted a Bud Chelada. I wonder who the hell ever thought that this would be such a popular product that it had to be produced commercially. There are two main things wrong with it:
  • Budweiser (and Bud Light) are not, despite all the money they pour into marketing, "premium" beers. They're lowest-common-denominator suds which, by virtue of brand identity, are able to command a slightly higher price for quality and taste that is not all that much better than Pabst Blue Ribbon.
  • Clamato is, all by itself, fairly disgusting. Originally made by Mott's, it was once upon a time a decent drink - tomato juice, clam broth, a touch of seaoning - that made a killer Bloody Mary (called a "Clammy Mary" around here, or a "Caesar" in Canada, eh.) But those days are gone forever. Mott's was bought out by Cadbury-Schweppes in 1982, and now Clamato is made with tomato juice, "clam powder," and high-fructose corn syrup. It's not the same drink, and it doesn't taste the same.
The actual Budweiser Chelata Experience far exceeded my horrific expectations. For starters, the color is a bloody-phlegm pinky/amber. Kind of translucent, with tiny suspended reddish particulate (Bud says the can should be gently spun between your palms before opening to mix the sediment with the beverage.) There's no head. In fact, there's very little carbonation; it's a lot like soda pop that's been left in an open cup overnight. I have to admit that the smell is a little enticing: a bit briny, a bit tomatoey, a bit yeasty. So I took a sip.

Big mistake. The mouthfeel is thin and watery. The flavor is vomitous: reminiscent of rotted tomatoes in a salt flat at low tide. Gah. Horrid. I'd almost be willing to eat a bite of dogshit just to get the flavor of Chelada out of my mouth.

'Man that shit's nasty.' Yes, that sums it up quite tidily, I'd say.


Shawn said...

Sounds awful. And your description is mega LOLZ.

Anonymous said...

I'd never heard of a Bud chelada, and the idea of mixing cheap-ass beer with Clamato definitely makes me want to barf, but I felt the need to inform here: when I was in Mexico for a month last year, I came to love their version of the chelada, which is a lager like Corona or Sol with a good measure of lime juice (i.e., more than a squeeze) and a little salt. (Those Miller Chills you can buy now are a crappy, nasty-tasting imitation.) Really excellent with tacos in the middle of a 100 degree Yucatan day. So it's a shame that the term chelada is being dragged through the mud by Bud, because the real thing is seriously tasty.

Dave said...

gbug, thanks for the heads-up on the Real Thing. I'm going to give it a try.

FotoGrafic Photography and Design said...

Up here in Canada have been drinking beer and Clamato (Redeye) for generations. It sure is an acquired taste... you either love em or hate em. And me, I love them during the summer. Here is a great recipe for a nice Chelada:

1 Bottle of Corona
4+ ounces of Clamato
Squeeze of lime
2 drops of Tabasco
1 drop Worcestershire sauce


DrunkethWizerd said...

Yeah, I had a bad experience with this as well. Though, I missed the part about the clams! I thought it was tomato and beer, which both of those I love, so I said what the hell. Then those clams hit and I nearly upchucked. My niece was standing there yelling at me, "but it says CLAMato!!" heh...

Yvonne said...

Fotografic: never heard of a Chelada...never done the REDEYE that way. I can't STAND the taste of beer, but a former work colleague introduced me to beer, tomato juice, splash of salt & dash of tobasco & pepper. It's FABULOUS. Been indulging in the occasional REDEYE ever since. I found CLAMATO the BEST rather than the typical, BLAND & often MUSTY Heinz tomato Juice. I keep my fridge stocked with a 6-pack & a bottle of Clamato for the occasional indulgence. haha