7 savory tomato cocktails that aren’t Bloody Marys

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In backyard gardens and farmer’s markets everywhere, the tomato is having a moment. Late summer is absolutely the best time to cut into a big juicy Brandywine for caprese salad, slice a Beefsteak to pile on top of grilled burgers and sprinkle a handful of Black Pearls with sea salt before popping them as a snack. If you are lucky enough to have a bumper crop, take a break from canning and preserving and mix up a few cocktails that use tomatoes in unexpected ways.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Will Patton, Bresca.

The Heirloom

Recipe courtesy of Dominic Ailing, Brand Ambassador, The Botanist Gin

Ailing was inspired by gorgeous, in-season heirloom tomatoes he found at his local farmer’s market for this savory sip. “The tomato water adds a fresh, seasonal take to the classic Martini, [bringing] the summer-y aroma of ripe tomatoes,” he says. “It brings out the floral and grassy notes in the gin for a unique, refreshing cocktail.” Try a delicately-flavored vermouth like Dolin or Noilly Prat, which won’t overpower the tomato flavor.

  • 1 ½ oz. The Botanist Gin

  • ½ oz. dry vermouth

  • 1 oz. tomato water (blend one medium-sized tomato and strain through cheesecloth)

  • pinch sea salt

  • lemon peel, for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a mixing glass, add ice and stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel.

Image Credit: The Botanist Gin.

Tomato Paloma

courtesy of Mario Garcia, Executive Chef,
Hilton Chicago, Chicago, IL

is passionate about his home-grown tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, and tries to
use them in innovative ways. He is also partial to a well-made Paloma. “The
tomato adds an element of umami to the drink, helping to create a balance
between sweetness and acuity and toning down the bite that comes from the
tequila,” he explains. The infused tequila can also be used in a Bloody Maria.

  • 2 oz. tomato-infused tequila (instructions follow)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 oz. grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 oz. club soda
  • charred shishito pepper, for garnish (optional)
  • fresh mint sprig, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and lime wedge, for rimming

kosher salt onto a flat plate, rub half of the outside rim of a highball glass
with the lime wedge, dip the rim in the salt and set the glass aside.

the grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar to a mixing glass and stir until the
sugar is dissolved. Pour over ice into the prepared glass, add the tequila and
club soda, stir gently to combine and garnish as desired.

Image Credit: Courtesy Hilton Chicago.

Tomato-infused Tequila

Chop 4
oz. fresh heirloom or yellow tomatoes, place in a bowl with a pinch of kosher
salt and let macerate for at least 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes from the bowl
into a food processor, add 3 oz. silver/blanco tequila and pulse a few times
until roughly chopped. Line a mesh sieve with cheesecloth or a large coffee
filter, pour tomato mixture into it and let drip into a container overnight.
Discard solids and keep the tequila in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Image Credit: helivideo / iStock.

Clear Mary

courtesy of Matt Landes, Founder + CEO,
Cocktail Academy

clear version of the iconic brunch cocktail delivers the familiar tomato and
spicy notes, says Landes. “We love using ingredients that often are used in
savory [foods] and cooking preparations and seeing how they can be reimagined
for a cocktail.” He recommends getting creative with the varieties of tomatoes
out there, using tart Green Zebra in a Michelada or bright and sweet Sungolds
in a Rickey.

  • 2 oz. vodka, such as Ketel One, or Purity 17 Organic (gold medal winner, 2020 NY
    International Spirits Competition
  • 1 oz. Sweet 100 tomato water (blend a handful of
    cherry tomatoes and strain through cheesecloth)
  • ¾ oz. celery simple syrup (instructions), or
    substitute simple syrup
  • ½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • club soda, to top
  • celery ribbon and two cherry tomatoes on a cocktail

the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice and shake until
well-chilled. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice, top with club soda,
stir gently and garnish with the celery and tomatoes.

For the celery simple syrup:

Blend ¼ cup celery juice, 3 tablespoons water and ¼ cup sugar until dissolved. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Image Credit: Алексей Филатов / iStock.

Green Tomato And Serrano

Recipe courtesy of Will Patton, Bresca, Washington, D.C.

Patton makes a fermented green tomato water for this drink, which lends a sour and funky flavor, and infuses simple syrup with serrano peppers. To make the drink easier to prepare he recommends salted green tomato water and muddled chili peppers. The tartness of the unripe fruit works especially well with the vegetal notes in blanco Tequila and the smoky, savory quality of mezcal.

1 oz. blanco/silver tequila

½ oz. Ilegal Mezcal joven

¾ oz. salted tomato water (blend a medium-sized green tomato, strain through cheesecloth, add salt to taste)

½ oz. lime juice

½ oz. simple syrup

2 slices chili pepper (serrano or similar)

1 oz. chilled grapefruit soda (such as Q mixers)

Mint sprig and grapefruit swath, for garnish

Muddle Chili Pepper, Lime Juice And Simple Syrup In A Cocktail Shaker. Add Tequila, Mezcal And Tomato Water, Add Ice And Shake Until Well-Chilled. Strain Into A Skinny Collins Glass Over Fresh Ice, Top With Grapefruit Soda, Stir Gently And Garnish With The Mint Sprig And Grapefruit Swath.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Will Patton, Bresca.

The Red Rooster

Recipe courtesy of Chantal Tseng, Bartender, Washington, D.C.

Tseng created this recipe for a recent virtual cocktail tasting for D.C. art museum The Phillips Collection with a Blues & BBQ theme and named it after a Howlin’ Wolf song. “Fino sherry and tomatoes go smashingly well together,” she says. “Tomatoes, unlike spicy peppers, will add more subtlety than oomph, they can round out a sweet drink and bridge ingredients.” She recommends fino from Valdespino Inocente, Alexandro or Tio Pepe, but the drink can also be made with an aromatic vodka, aquavit, or even bourbon. To make things even easier, serve it over tomato water ice cubes which will change the cocktail’s flavor as they melt.

1 ½ oz. fino sherry, aquavit, vodka or bourbon

3 halved cherry tomatoes

3 cubes watermelon

1 oz. POM pomegranate juice

½ oz. cardamom-pomegranate syrup (instructions follow), or substitute simple syrup

3 oz. coconut water

Fresh mint, thyme and/or watermelon cubes, for garnish

Add the cherry tomatoes and watermelon to a cocktail shaker and muddle until squishy. Add the pomegranate juice, syrup, spirit and cracked ice and shake for 5 seconds. Double-stain into a rocks glass over fresh cracked ice, top with coconut water, stir gently and garnish as desired, rubbing or smacking the herbs for the garnish first to release aromatic oils.

For the cardamom-pomegranate syrup:

Add ¼ cup pomegranate juice, ¼ cup sugar and 2 lightly-crushed cardamom pods to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar is dissolved. Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Image Credit: Darya Arnautova / iStock.

Tom-Tomato Collins

Recipe courtesy of Giaime Mauri, Chef and Beverage Director, Epistrophy, New York, NY

“Tomato is recognized as one of the simplest and most common flavors as much as one of the most complex, with many different facets and possibilities of the spectrum of flavors,” Mauri says. “The inspiration is based between the classic nature of this ingredient in its raw form and freshness, and how we can go ‘as far away as possible’ from a common taste the people are used to.” Mauri cooks sugar, water, salt, pepper and fresh mint with the tomato scraps to create a tomato jam, but you can look for a commercial version in specialty stores or farmer’s markets or substitute as noted.

1 oz. Cachaça (Mauri uses Abelha Silver)

1 oz. lime juice

2 bar spoons tomato jam (purchase at specialty stores, or substitute tomato paste seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar and chopped fresh mint, to taste)

1 oz. tomato juice (freshly-pressed or juiced and strained)

half strawberry

dried tomato peel or lime wedge for garnish

Muddle the strawberry in a cocktail shaker. Add the cachaça, lime juice, tomato jam and tomato juice. Add ice and shake until well-chilled. Double-strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and garnish with the tomato peel or lime wedge.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Epistrophy.

Bubbly Bloody Mary

Recipe courtesy of Natalie Migliarini, writer, author and cocktail consultant @Beautiful Booze

Inspired by her love of brunch, Migliarini deconstructed the base elements for this bubbly twist on the classic cocktail. “I found that by creating tomato water instead of using tomato juice it retained a lot of the flavor I wanted without being too rich and thick,” she recalls. “This totally worked out great when I added the sparkling wine.”

3 oz. chilled tomato water (instructions follow)

4 oz. chilled brut sparkling wine (Migliarini uses Korbel)

olive and cherry tomatoes on a cocktail pick, for garnish

Add the tomato water to a coupe, top with sparkling wine, stir gently and garnish with the olive and cherry tomatoes.

For the tomato water (adapted by Migliarini from Bon Appétit):

Pulse 1 large beefsteak tomato, 3 tablespoons fresh mint, 3 tablespoons basil, 3 tablespoons orange juice, ⅓ lemongrass stalk, chopped and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve filled with cheesecloth and set over a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 12 hours, discard solids, cover tomato water and keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.

This article originally appeared onAlcoholprofessor.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Beautiful Booze.

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