It’s the time of year where the weather is beginning to turn and the leaves are beginning to fall. Many of my garden plants have stopped producing. It’s inevitable: winter is coming. Fret not though, because stores are still stocked with beautiful produce to tinker with.
Every year, as the harvest from my backyard rolls in, I sit down and jot down cocktail ideas for every type of vegetable. Often, things don’t work out in practice as I thought they would in theory (I’m still trying to make broccoli work). But sometimes I hit on something special.
Tomatoes should really get more play in cocktails. When you think about it, tomatoes are great because they’re sweet and savoury, have vivid colour, and a great overall feel. It’s too bad the cocktail world has seemed to relegate them to Bloody Mary’s and Caesars.
1 ½ oz Rye
1 ½ oz Cynar
¼ oz simple syrup
2-3 cherry tomatoes (halved)
Serrano pepper slice
In a shaker, add tomato, strawberries, and peppers. Muddle vigorously. Add the rye, simple syrup, cynar, and ice and shake well. Double-strain into a chilled coupe.
A few notes on the ingredients:
If you don’t have cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, feel free to use their larger relatives or even tomato juice. However, make sure you give it a taste before serving as you may want to add a little more simple syrup to increase the sweetness. I balanced this recipe using homegrown cherry tomatoes which are typically sweeter than those found in a store.
About the pepper: I like spice. I’ve served this drink and some have found it way too spicy. I would recommend being conservative and using a very thin slice in the first iteration. It’s hard to say how much exactly because every pepper is different. I use serranos, but almost any hot pepper will do. Jalapenos would be a very good substitute and are found at almost every grocer.
I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as we did.
Stay tuned: the fall harvest is just around the corner. Who knows? Maybe this is finally the year I find a way to make broccoli work!
You think I’m kidding.