Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clam cocktails that can really set the mood

When you're trying to get back into the dating scene after a long-term relationship or simply to stave off loneliness, it's always important to have a bottle of red wine on hand for a romantic night in.  But what if you really want to impress your companion with your creativity, and also enjoy a good clam-based drink yourself?  Have I got some recipes for you.

Red Sky At Night

3oz Clamato juice
1oz White Rum

A personal favourite of mine, this can be served together as a single beverage or with the rum on the side, so as to not adulterate the Clamato.  Pair with cocktail onions or even clams on the half-shell, and don't forget to learn a few nautical adages to keep the conversation fresh!

Siberian Clams

Clams (small; any sort)

Intense and unforgettable, these should be served in shot glasses alongside savoury appetizers.  Place the meat of the clam in a size-appropriate shot glass, fill the rest with vodka, then let sit for 10-15 minutes to let the spirit fully permeate.  Best slurped down in a single gulp!

Mollusco Italiano

Red wine (dry)
Clams (any sort)
Black olives

Not for the faint of heart -- mash up the clams in a bowl and add wine, constantly stirring until the mixture has the consistency of cottage cheese.  Spread on a firm cracker and dot with olives to taste.  A great option if your date has a fondness for Europe.

Clam + Porter Sauce

Beer (Porter or Stout)

Not a cocktail as such, but simmering premium clams in a good dark beer will create a smoky companion to pasta.  Add a little Worcestershire to really underline the saltiness, but don't go overboard depending on what you're planning for dessert.

Frozen Blended Clamato

5oz extra spicy Clamato juice
Ice cubes (half a handful)
1 stick of mozzarella cheese
3 sweet gherkins

Summer may be over, but if things get a little hot between you and your romantic prospect, you can always cool off with one of these.  Blend the ice, gherkins and Clamato together until smooth and serve in a short glass with the stick of mozzarella. I prefer the mild cheese to offset the rich, rich Clamato taste, but you may choose a sharper cheese if your partner is no stranger to flavour.

These should get you started -- and while your culinary prowess could be a major factor in whether your relationship flourishes or ultimately dies, remember that presentation is everything, and that a little olive oil goes a long way.  Most importantly?  Just don't clam up!  :)

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