Brace Yourselves, Pumpkin Spiced Everything is Coming
August 28, 2015 at 10:56 am By Chef Eric
I don’t want to alarm you, but we are running out of summer. And as we approach the last weekend of August I have a few more summer cocktails to share. The first is refreshing twist on the classic bloody mary.
At its most basic level, the bloody mary is vodka with tomato juice. The obvious problem is that tomato juice is thick, heavy, and quite frankly rather nasty, which is why it gets drowned in spices and seasonings. After a summer of beautiful, fresh tomatoes why would we crack open a can of last year’s left overs? Instead, why not take a lesson from making vanilla extract?
For this recipe I used 12 oz of good quality vodka, and five extremely ripe, vine-on tomatoes. Roughly chop the tomatoes into pieces and put them in a large, zip-top bag, along with the vodka and the stems. Seriously. Throw the stem in there. That is where the garden-fresh aroma comes from and we want that. I seasoned this with some lemon zest, black pepper corns, red chili flakes, bay leaves, mustard seeds, celery seed, and a few green onions. I suggest that you go easy on the seasonings your first pass through. Next time you can customize it to suit your tastes.
The next step is to get as much air out of the bag as possible, then seal it tightly. Put this in a water bath at 140F (60C) for an hour. You don’t need fancy equipment for this, just a pot of water and a thermometer. Once the water is 140F it will stay hot for the full hour. I used a metal spoon to help weigh down the bag.
After an hour, put the bag into cold water until cool, then squish the tomatoes with your hands to break them up. Poor the contents through a fine mesh strainer and then transfer into a clean bottle or jar.
To assemble our cocktail, rub the rim of a glass with a lime wedge, then dip the glass in celery salt. Fill the glass with ice then add a little more celery salt, a few dashes of worcestershire sauce, and a squirt of sriracha. Poor over some of your newly made tomato vodka, swirl with a celery stick, then enjoy!