I have a certain interest in old recipes for sundaes and sodas from the soda fountain era. Along with the familiar chocolate sundaes and banana splits that we still find in today’s restaurants, you find more unusual confections such as a Rose Bud Sundae with rose dressing, a Grape Sundae Malted with grape juice and malted milk, and a Fruited Creme de Menthe Salad with lettuce leaves, vanilla ice cream, fruit salad, and creme de menthe syrup.

The above are a bit unusual to modern tastes, but they don’t seem all that strange, really. (Or maybe I’m just too used to browsing old cookbooks.) But then, I came across this soda recipe in The Standard Manual of Soda and Other Beverages, 1897:

Clam-Juice Soda.

  • Clam juice, 1 1/2 fl. oz.
  • Milk, cold, 2 fl. oz.
  • Carbonated water, coarse stream, sufficient to fill an 8-ounce glass

Add a pinch of salt and a small amount of powdered white pepper to each glass.

Obviously this is not a sweet dessert. Anyone dare to try it and report back? I don’t think I can do it.

I have seen quite a few recipes for hot drinks with clam bouillon, milk or cream, and hot water (see the old ad below), and that doesn’t seem as weird—it just seems like soup. But the cold, carbonated clam soda?

Clam bouillon advertised in The National Druggist, 1900.
5 thoughts on “Cold and, um, clammy”
  1. Gag! Ah, man, that is just nasty! After reading the ad, it almost seems like it was a health food thing, like cod liver oil rather than a taste thing. But still. Maybe it was because no one had invented Clamato yet…

  2. A lot of soda fountain beverages back then were promoted as healthy or at least, medicinal. Coca-Cola started that way. So I’m not surprised that this would have been intended that way as well. Still, though… clam juice and cold milk… CARBONATED… I really wonder if anyone actually drank this.

    I’m still waiting for someone to try it and report back. 🙂

  3. Okay, that sounded pretty awful at first read, but it is combinging clam juice with milk and soda any different from combining it with beer and tomato juice? Clamato Chelada. Okay, that’s pretty horrible, too.

  4. Might be just me, but I think clam juice and milk sounds much worse than clam juice and tomato juice and/or beer.

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