Sarah and Dulcie's seasonal recipes don't stop at fork-friendly foods on their Two Tarts blog. In their new column, Locally Mixed, they expand on their interest in scratch-made sippables, and prove that cocktails are just as deserving of fresh, local flavors.
This week, Sarah and Dulcie share a fresh tomato cocktail that bears no resemblance to its lumbering cousin, the Bloody Mary.
"Eat local" is a motto that is sweeping the nation, and food doesn't get more local than the produce plucked from your own backyard. But as much as I desire to have a bountiful garden teeming with fruits and veggies, I have a black thumb, which means my only reliable crop is bindweed. Fortunately, I've had okay luck with tomatoes and even better luck with cherry tomatoes. On any given late-summer day, I usually have enough on hand to fix a couple of these tasty Tomato Basil Martinis. (And who couldn't use a stiff drink after battling all that bindweed?)
I'm sure that "tomato" and "cocktail" will conjure up thoughts of Bloody Marys and celery stalks for most people (it did for me), but let me assure you that there is new life for tomatoes in cocktails. Let us not even consider that jar of tomato juice in the back of the cupboard when we have lovely little tomatoes in season. This cocktail is much lighter and fresher than its brunch-bound cousin.
Muddling fresh and seasonal cherry tomatoes with a few torn basil leaves and a spritz of lemon results in a surprisingly pink dose of summer goodness. It was only right to pair these garden flavors with an herbal liquor such as gin, and specifically we turned to Junipero gin by the folks at Anchor Distilling Company. If you are a beer aficionado, you might already know that these are the same people who brew Ancho beer in San Francisco. Anchor's reverence for beer and liquor craftmanship is clear, and their gin, which is handmade in small batches in a copper pot at their distillery, is a classic dry gin with forward flavors of juniper and citrus. It is very smooth, so you might be surprised by its high alcohol content, which comes in at 49.3%. (Consider this your fair warning.)
Tomato Basil Martini
Makes 1 drink
4 cherry tomatoes
3-4 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 lemon wedge
1 pinch sea salt
1 1/2 ounce gin
Basil sprig, for garnish
Like this post? See Sarah and Dulcie's previous topic: Peach Melon White Sangria.
Photos by Sarah Welle and Dulcie Wilcox.
Sarah and Dulcie run the blog Two Tarts, which specializes in delicious recipes and cocktails using local and seasonal ingredients.