I realize it’s becoming a redundancy. The tomatoes, the basil, the constant barrage of caprese salads and fresh mozzarella bombarding your feed. My inability to garnish a drink with anything less than a fresh clipping of basil. But sorry, not sorry– soon we’ll be daydreaming of fresh tomatoes and out of control basil plants and until then– we drink!
My idea of a “yellow tomato” Bloody Mary isn’t necessarily the most original one I’ve ever had, but I can’t say I’m disappointed I followed through with it. Making your own tomato juice turns out to have extremely high return as far as taste to effort goes . If you are a lover of fresh tomatoes, and maybe less so a lover of Bloody Mary’s filled to the brim with spicy vodka, pickles, meat (?!), and other savory additions– this might just be the drink for you.
I used Valencia Tomatoes for this recipe which are beautiful round orange tomatoes that depending on what you read, either are named after the Valencia oranges from Spain, or actually came from Spain. They are sweet, and low in acidity, and packed to the ever loving brim with fresh tomato flavor. I would love to take credit and say that through some sort of sommelier-level knowledge of tomatoes that I sought out this specific varietal for this recipe but nope, just the first yellow/orange tomatoes I found that looked awesome.
To make your own tomato juice is embarrassingly easy. Just core the tomatoes, cut them into chunks and puree in a food processor or blender (I used a blender and let it run on the highest speed for a good 3 straight minutes once the pieces were finely chopped) until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine mesh strainer and voila! Delicious tomato juice. The fresh tomato smell alone that came from this blending and filled up my entire kitchen was enough to convince me I was on the right path, and a quick sip was all it took to let me know this drink needed minimal intervention. As far as tomato based brunch drinks go at least…
I opted to add some Worcestershire sauce for a savory note, and horseradish for the spice (as opposed to spicy chiles). Plain vodka and white pepper with some lemon juice for added acidity (as the tomatoes were naturally low). The garnish was just a clump of basil snipped from the garden, and inhaling the basil through your nose as you sip the fresh fresh stupidly fresh tomato concoction is almost too much to take. This drink right here is summer.
MIX MAKES ENOUGH FOR UP TO 5 DRINKS AND IS EASY TO DOUBLE OR HALVE
For the Mary Mix:
3 C Fresh Tomato Juice (from 2 lbs Valencia Tomatoes)
1 Heaping Tbsp prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 C lemon juice (from ~2 fresh lemons)
For the cocktail:
4 oz Mary Mix
2 oz vodka
Spring of basil
cherry tomatoes to garnish
Combine mix ingredients into small pitcher or container. Combine 4 oz mix with 2 oz vodka in tall glass over ice. Garnish with fresh basil and skewered cherry tomatoes (or whatever floats your boat in your Mary). Enjoy gardenside!