Here is a cocktail more like tomato sorbet than a Bloody Mary. The recipe arose from a surplus of tomatoes--bumpy, colorful and odd-shaped heirlooms that piled up on the counter no matter how many sandwiches and salads I made from them.
I named it for Ray. The neighbor who grew tomatoes you could eat like fruit (no small feat in the rainy Northwest). As a kid I'd walk back through our pasture to his old red barn, and come home eating a big tomato he'd given me, juice dripping down my chin.
Tomatoes are fruit, after all, and this cocktail brings out their sweetness.
- 1/2 heirloom tomato
- 3 mint leaves
- 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz simple syrup
- 1 1/2 oz London dry gin
- dash celery bitters
- tiny pinch salt
- mint leaf, for garnish
With a muddler or spoon, tamp the tomatoes and mint a few times in the bottom of a pint glass. Add the rest of the ingredients. Fill the glass to the brim with ice, seal with a Boston shaker, and shake hard. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a small mint leaf.
Notes: Tomatoes vary in size and flavor; adjust the recipe according to the tomatoes on hand, and your own taste. I prefer Scrappy's Celery Bitters because they capture more of the floral than vegetal notes of celery.