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Camaronazo brings me back to hot, tropical days in Mexico and the Caribbean, when there were no cares in the world and my toes were dipped in the sand. Camaronazo was established in 2006 and has been distributed throughout the US and Mexico since then. As Hispanic people in the US sought a product to make their famed Micheladas, many clam and tomato juice cocktails were created. Camaronazo desired to be different– Camaronazo yearned to be a tomato juice cocktail made with a hint of shrimp or “camaron” instead of clam– and is now one of the few companies to make such a treat.

Last week, the people at Vista Del Mar LLC, aka Camaronazo’s distributor, sent me a bottle of Camaronazo, along with a nice glass, soccer ball, recipe booklets, and a cool bottle opener magnet. Thanks ya’ll! I love when companies send you free stuff that you can actually use… How many times have you gotten free promo material that ended up in the corner of your closet or in the garbage? Anyways, I was very happy to receive these gifts and excited to try the Camaronazo juice cocktail. Although I didn’t make a “Chelazo” (very similar to a Michelada or “my cold beer”), I did make a Vodkazo, which is like a Bloody Caesar, but with Camaronazo instead of a tomato clam juice cocktail.

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Ingredients

Water, tomato concentrate, high fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, salt, citric acid, natural flavor, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), shrimp extract, hydrolyzed soy protein and corn gluten, xanthan gum, onion powder, garlic powder, spice, maltodextrin, red 40

Key Notes

Camaronazo represents a unique twist on a classic cocktail– the Bloody Caesar– which Camaronazo calls the Vodkazo. As Bloody Caesars are quite popular in Canada, the Caribbean, and some places in the US, I think Camaronazo made a good choice to replace the clam flavor with shrimp. I like the lightness of Camaronazo and could imagine drinking a Vodkazo or Michelada beachside, nursing my hangover in the sun.

What Differentiates Camaronazo From Other Similar Products?

Camaronazo is different from other tomato juice cocktail mixers because it’s quite versatile and is the only cocktail of its kind, as you cannot find a similar tomato juice cocktail with a shrimp additive. You can make various drinks with Camaronazo, including a Vodkaza, a Michelada (Camaronazo calls theirs a Chelazo), and Tequilazo, as well as a variety of shrimp-based dishes for appetizers and dinner. Boom baby, you can kill two birds with one stone! It’s always nice to have something in the kitchen that you can use to make cocktails and a meal.

From the Looks of It

Camaronazo looks like straight up tomato juice in a bottle. It looks like it has a pretty light consistency.

Taste Test

When I first tasted Camaronazo by itself, it was hard to pick out the shrimp flavor. I did catch a hint of it, but Camaronazo ended up tasting quite similar to a light tomato juice sans the shrimp addition. The taste test proved that Camaronazo would be a great addition to season various Mexican dishes, although I probably wouldn’t drink it by itself unless there was alcohol present.

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The Vodkazo: Similar to a Bloody Caesar

Like I mentioned before, Camaronazo sent me a badass recipe book filled with drink and food recipes. I decided to make a Vodkazo, which is quite similar to a Bloody Caesar except it is made with Camaronazo instead of a tomato clam juice cocktail. The Vodkazo recipe is as follows:

  • 6 oz Camaronazo
  • 3 oz Vodka
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ice cubes
  • 1 celery stalk to garnish
  • 1 lime wedge to garnish

I wanted to stay true to what the Camaronazo folks suggested, so I followed the recipe in the booklet pretty closely. For my Vodkazo, I used all of the ingredients that the booklet suggested, except I used a New Orleans hot sauce instead of Tabasco and celery salt instead of regular salt. I also added horseradish to the cocktail, rimmed the glass with celery salt, and topped of the cocktail with a shrimp for garnish. If you’re gonna make a cocktail infused with shrimp flavor, you gotta garnish it with shrimp or that would just be bad luck! I liked the Vodkazo because it was quite light and refreshing– perfect for the upcoming summer season and lazy Sundays at the beach– and probably would work almost as well as water if you need some good ol’ hydration. I think the lemon juice addition was absolutely necessary because I love the mixing of tart citrus flavors with fish or seafood, although the hint of shrimp was barely noticeable. I also ended up squeezing juice from the lime into the drink too.

So how was it?

I enjoyed my Vodkazo made with Camaronazo! I have recently been becoming a Bloody Caesar lover ever since my trip to the Cayman Islands– so this twist on a Caesar was necessary. I like how it truly is one-of-a-kind in that no other company really produces a shrimp and tomato juice cocktail. The shrimp flavor was quite subtle, which could be improved upon. I’m also not the biggest fan of high fructose corn syrup and I usually wouldn’t purchase products made with the ingredient, but heck, the Camaronazo was tasty!

Check out Camaronazo’s website here for product information and tasty recipes!

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