When working with tomatoes, whether canning, peeling or rehydrating dried tomatoes, you often end up with a by-product of “tomato water”. It is the perfect subtle flavor-profile to use in a Tomato Martini.

Tomato Martini made with heirloom tomato water
Tomato Martini made with heirloom tomato water

Using Heirloom Tomatoes in Cocktails

Bartending in Portland Oregon got me through graduate school and I do believe I’ve made more use of those bartending skills than I have of my urban planning degree (especially if you include the people skills you pick up while bartending).

Now would be an exciting time to work behind the bar, as bartening has evolved  into mixology, and mixing a good cocktail now is far more creative than it was when I was bartending. 

I used to pride myself on speed and memory, but those traits are now over-shadowed by what you can do with flavor and fresh ingredients.  Fortunately, I did retain a flavor memory of the various liqueurs, and now use that memory to enhance the different fruits in the preserves and drink syrups I make and sell online.

fruit beverage syrups

Drink syrups themselves (either shrub syrups or simple syrups are non-alcoholic so you can mix them with carbonated water also.  Ever since I got a Soda Stream, which makes carbonated water out of tap water in an instant, I’ve been experimenting with these syrups.

This winter I have been working with fresh and smoked tomatoes, testing all the ways you can use them in food, and a serendipitous product resulted….tomato water.  The flavor of the smoked tomato water is fairly deep and intense, with the fresh tomatoes lending a brighter flavor.

When peeling or freezing tomatoes, they often go through a process where they are drained for a bit. This is what results in “tomato water”.

It just so happens that tomato water makes an excellent martini. If you have any dried tomatoes grind them up with some salt and use them to rim the glasses of your favorite cocktails.

Tomato salt: 50/50 ground dried tomatoes and sea salt
Tomato salt: 50/50 ground dried tomatoes and sea salt

The tomato salt is 50/50 sun-dried tomatoes and Maldon sea salt.  Lately I’ve been using it on everything, from eggs to chicken to cocktails!

Add a little lime juice and a dash of smoked paprika, garnish with smoked mozzarella and cherry tomatoes, and…

Voila!  

Smoky Tomato Martini

If tomato season is over or you want to try this but don’t have tomato water, try it with 1/2 oz of smoked tomato syrup from Heathglen. It’s sweeter than tomato water but still a taste treat.

  • 2 oz. Absolut Peppar Vodka
  • 2 oz tomato water (left over after rehydrating sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • tomato salt to rim the glass (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine vodka, tomato water, lime juice and paprika in tumbler with ice
  2. Stir ingredients together
  3. garnish with cherry tomato or fresh mozzarella balls and/or fresh basil

Cheers,

3 Comments

  1. dorothy stainbrook on February 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Thank you Gloria, I’m so glad you like it! The tomato salt with fish sounds wonderful too. I may have to try that.

    Cyndy, Jamie Oliver’s recipe was quite a bit different, using pickle juice and hot sauce. I’m sure his is excellent, but this is not that recipe.

  2. Gloria Raheja on February 22, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Fabulous recipe, Dorothy! We loved it, and it was great that I happened to have a few of your sun-dried heirloom tomatoes on hand to do it right. The sun-dried tomato salt alone is wonderful, we want to try it on grilled marlin or swordfish.

  3. Cyndy Crist on February 18, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Yum – can’t wait to try this! Given what I have on hand, I’ll try mine using Belvedere’s Bloody Mary vodka. And come summer, I’m going to try making fresh tomato water to use; I saw Jamie Oliver do this and it looked beautiful and sounded delicious. You’re so right – mixology can be lots of fun.

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