This is an age old drink, unfortunately it has no connection to the other drinks that contain oysters; therefore, it can not be considered a Primary, Secondary, or even Tertiary mixed drink. Although, it is well worth noting due to it’s composition. Here is an early printing of this drink:
American journal of photography: Volume 13 – Page 383 in 1892
“The suggestion of a clam cocktail is painful to him. At the idea of an hour or so in a German summer garden he at once buries his face in a time-table.”
This actually was not an uncommon drink of the era, this drink appears in one of the most popular bartending guides of it’s time as seen here:
Modern American drinks: How to mix and serve all kinds of cups .. – Page 35 by George J. Kappeler in 1900
“Clam Cocktail. Put into a large cocktail-glass a half-dozen little- neck clams with all their liquor, season with pepper and salt to taste. Clam Juice Cocktail. Two jiggers clam juice in a thin bar-glass, season same as Clam Cocktail.”
There was a short sub-era where it was popular to mix Food and Beverage together, such as we see with the “Ramos Gin Fizz”. this trend soon ended early into the 20th century. All literature indicates this drink is served “neat” or at room temperature.
This drink dates between 1883 – 1890 and contained at least as of then:
Build these ingredients in a thin bar glass.
Gin (Likely Holland)