Store-bought tomatoes can’t compete with the ones grown in a home garden. My two tomato plants are producing like mad. But I’m not complaining! Sweet, juicy tomatoes can go in everything, even cocktails. For something lighter than a Bloody Mary, I like the Tomato Martini. Tomato is right at home with the garden flavors and scents of gin! Add a little vermouth and Lillet, and you’re ready for garden Happy Hour!
2 ounces tomato-infused gin*
1/2 ounce extra dry vermouth
1 splash Lillet Blanc
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir, then strain into chilled cocktail glass. Optional: Garnish with cherry tomatoes speared on a toothpick
1 part London dry gin
1 part ripe tomato
Chop tomato into chunks, place in sealable glass jar, and then pour gin on top. Seal and shake. Let steep at room temperature away from direct sunlight for one day. Taste to see if desired flavor is achieved. If not, let steep for an additional day. (One large tomato is about 1 cup chopped. So using 1 cup of gin and 1 cup tomato makes enough infused gin for four drinks.)
Photo by Jackson Stakeman
Even though Spring has sprung, it will still be a while before a lot of fruit is in season. So let’s enjoy one delicious fruit that’s ready now: strawberries!
This berry is a great companion for many spirits, but I particularly like the way its sweetness accents the lightly smoky notes in a tequila reposado. Reposado is aged, so it is the lighter amber-colored tequila. Be sure to use 100% agave tequila and not a “mixto,” which may be the same color but isn’t the same thing.
Here’s a recipe for the infused tequila and the punch. (You can scale up the punch recipe to serve more and make the tequila infusion with equal parts tequila and strawberries in whatever quantity you’ll need.)
Strawberry-Infused Tequila Reposado
1 part tequila reposado
1 part chopped strawberries
Steep for about five days.
Tequila Fresa Punch
1 1/2 ounces parts strawberry-infused tequila reposado
1/2 ounce triple sec
3/4 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces grapefruit soda
1 dash orange bitters
Sliced strawberries for garnish
Shake all ingredients except the soda and strawberries in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into chilled old fashioned glass with several ice cubes. Add the soda on top of the strained liquid. Garnish with strawberries.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman
If you like spiced rum, there is no reason on Earth that you shouldn’t infuse your own. It’s so easy a drunk pirate could do it!
All the spices are common grocery-store finds you probably have in the cupboard already. Since you just need a pinch of this and a couple of that, the only significant cost is the rum. You’ll end up with a more elaborate and rich mix of spices than you’ll find in the store-bought kinds.
DIY vs. Buy: Should I Make My Own Spiced Rum? on Serious Eats
Photo by Liam Boylan