Not a fan of tomatoes I tasked Charlie with trying some tomato juices and cocktails. Here’s how she got on and what she did with them:
We have a difficult relationship.
Tomato soup, cooked tomatoes, dried tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, I love them.
Fresh tomatoes…. Not so much. As a child I saw them as the fruit of the devil. Begrudgingly though, in the hope that my tastes change I do try them once or twice a year. Just in case.
So to be asked to sample tomato juices and a tomato cordial from Tomato Stall could be considered odd. But nonetheless, Keeley offered, I accepted and proceeded to do my best. With booze of course. What else?
The tomato juices are, as you’d expect perfect for a Bloody Mary or it’s gin soaked cousin, the Red Snapper.
There are various legendary histories concerning the Bloody Mary and indeed the name being attributed to everyone from Mary Queen of Scots, to a waitress in the ‘Blood Bucket’ bar, and the Red Snapper is a just as confusing. It’s so complex, Difford’s Guide has a four part history to try to unravel it all.
Either way, what’s certain is that whether your tipple of choice is vodka, gin or tequila (a bloody Maria), there’s a perfect match for your taste buds.
The recipe base is simple:
60 ml of your spirit (in my case Tanqueray Gin).
120ml tomato juice.
15ml lemon juice.
8 drops Tabasco.
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
2 grinds of black pepper.
1 pinch of celery salt.
The two tomato juices had slightly different characteristics, quite apart from the fact that one was red and the other yellow. The red tomato juice offered a richer flavour in the mouth and a slightly sweeter taste. The yellow was slightly lighter, but no less tasty.
I might almost be convinced to like this stuff.
But still, Tomato Stall had a trick up their sleeves. Tomato cordial. This stuff is, well not at all what I expected. When you open the bottle the most intense tomato scent hits you. It’s savoury and fruity. To taste?
It’s sweet. Fruity, sweet and rather delicious. I had ideas for something savoury and spicy, but now changed tack entirely.
First up, I put it with Prosecco, a splash in the bottom, top it up with fizz. Yes, my goodness, this works. It becomes almost floral.
Now for the real fun, grab a shaker and some ice. I give you the ToMartini.
A sweet Martini style cocktail, and the cucumber and mint lighten the sweetness and compliment the fruit. I’m tempted to try it with Hendricks, or even G’Vine Gin and a basil leaf in place of the mint.
60ml Gin (something light and citrusy – I used some Bombay Sapphire).
15 ml Tomato cordial.
2 slices of cucumber.
Mint for garnish.
Add everything, bar the mint to the shaker, with ice, pop the tin on top, nice and firmly and shake.
Once the tin is uncomfortable to hold, it’s chilled nicely and should be double strained into a Martini glass.
Take a couple of mint leaves, clap them in your hand to release their oils and float in the top of the glass.
Tomatoes? I think I might be a convert.