A long time ago when the Earth was green... there was a pub in Halifax called the Midtown Tavern and it had a gentle soul of a waiter named Jerry. It could have been Gerry but I am not sure. It was not Gary. The Midtown is gone after a long going but, I understand, lives on in another shared space. Fortunately, the original building still exists in Google maps from which I grabbed the photo above.
As a mild youth in the mid-80s when you were a bit sensitive on a Saturday morning you went to the Midtown Tavern for a cheap meal of steak and eggs with which you drank "two and juice" - which was called that as you bought two eight ounce half glasses of what we called "draught" and were given a can of Campbell's tomato juice to go along with it. In the western Canadian provinces I understand that the drink is called a Red Eye and I even hear that it has this odd name of Michelada in some parts. For me, it is always two and juice.
My better half... or is it "Mistress" to my "lovely assistant" - can't recall... got a hankering for one of these and I went out to investigate the possibilities. We have the classic black red and white can of Campbell's as well as V-8 and that Canadian classic Clamato, the drink that made the Supreme Court think. I am going to explore some combinations and report back.
First up, to get things going, is Rolling Rock and Clamato Extra Spicy. At half and half, the snort is all Clamato - black pepper and Tabasco I'd say. In the mouth, there is something too rounded sweet even with the sharp spice. It is good but not the best I have had. To my mind, there should be a a cutting of the sweetness of the juice by the rough hopping of the basic brew. Yes, this is not a drink for your gueuze or saison. It needs the beer with no name.
Update three days later: as a second effort, I stick with the Rolling Rock but move to the plain tomato juice. This combo is very quaffable but also a bit flabby. Rolling Rock, I fear is simply not up to the task lacking sufficient bitterness to cut its own corn sweetness let alone that of the tomato juice. Worse than effort #1. A gateway Red Eye perhaps for those who fear yet are curious about Red Eyes. Perhaps a club of four throughout North America.
Still more later. Let me know if you have any recommendations.