Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thirsty Thursdays: Tomato Edition

Hello, my name is Diva and I'm a book whore. I can't get enough. Set me down to browse in a bookstore and I'll be content for hours ... and, doubtless, I'll emerge with several new titles to add to the bottomless pile by my bed. Cookbooks are no exception.

Mixology book are no exception either. A recent rendezvous resulted in another little gem for my collection: Market-Fresh Mixology - Cocktails for Every Season, by Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco. This is not your average drinks book. Its as much a cookbook as anything else; Ms. Albert's focus is on the integration of fresh ingredients as the basis for some spectacular sips.

The book opens with a nice, concise overview of bar essentials, tools, glassware and ingredients (both alcoholic and non), then sets off on a seasonal market tour - matching all manner of fruits and veggies with some serious spirits. The recipes require a bit of work, we're not talking about throwing a lime into a rum and coke here. You'll need to simmer a few syrups, mash and muddle some stuff before you're able to get your drink on ... and that's just the way I like it.

This recipe is adapted from Market Fresh Mixology by Bridget Albert and Mary Barranco.

The Frisky Mary:
  • 5 oz. ripe cherry tomatoes, any color
  • one 2 inch piece of celery, quartered
  • one fresh radish, trimmed and sliced into rounds
  • 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 to 3 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • dash of celery salt
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • a bit of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, or citrus vodka
You will need approximately 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, depending on size. I've not specified an amount, as sizes vary greatly. The book calls for 5, but the cherries I had were huge, so I used four. Measure out enough cherry tomatoes to equal 4 to 5 ounces, then slice the tomatoes into quarters.

Place the sliced tomatoes, celery, radish, basil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, celery salt, Kosher salt and black pepper into the bottom of a martini shaker. Using a muddling tool, muddle and mash all of the ingredients well. Basically, just grind and press the hell out of it until a wet, pulpy consistency is achieved, the texture will be similar to a thin gazpacho.

Add some ice to the shaker and the vodka, cover and shake well until the shaker frosts. To serve the drink, remove the top of shaker and pour the drink through a sieve into a chilled and salted martini glass, pressing on the solids to extract all of the liquid.

Garnish with a small, decorative tomato and a slice of lime. Serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!

I created the following seasoned salt to pair with this unique drink:

Frisky Mary Salt:
  • 2 tbsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp. smoked salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • dash of Hot Hungarian Paprika
Mix all of the ingredients together on a small, flat dish until well combined. To salt the rim of a glass, run the cut edge of a lemon or lime around the rim of a martini glass, then immediately dip into the seasoned salt to coat.

I've changed the name of the drink, as well as adding a few veggies and spices of my own. The results? Extraordinary! Like a bloody mary, but so much better. Its more lively, more interesting and positively brimming with the flavor of fresh summer tomatoes.

I used unflavored vodka in mine and added an extra drizzle of lemon before serving. Amazing as it was, I think it would be even better when made with a citrus vodka. I can't wait to try it. Does this drink take a bit of work? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely! I think Ms. Albert and I are destined to be very good friends.

Bon appetit!


Heavenly Housewife said...

How pretty. I love the way u decorated your glass with a little baby tomato.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diva! (That's the polite response in 12 step programs.) :) I'm a book whore as well, so I understand! That tomato drink looks delicious, especially with a salty rim. Yum!

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - aw, thanks!

Kimizzy - LOL! You could throw all the ingredients, save for the vodka, in a blender and make a virgin version for sure. Maybe thin it out with a bit of water or something and add a bit more lemon or lime. I think it would be quite refreshing and almost like an appetizer.

Maven said...

I'm so excited!! I'm making this fancy dinner from the Giada De Laurentis cookbook tonightin honour of my summertime addiction, Big Brother coming on tonight. This will be the PERFECT cocktail! Is it too early to staert right now???

Daily Spud said...

Y'know, I need to get mixin' Diva. I just got a nice, shiny set of cocktail-making gear (and the lowdown on some brandy cocktails which I need to blog about), so I'll be paying even closer attention to Thirsty Thursdays from now on!

The Wino said...

Ah, speaking of books, I am writting this from the library!

Love the cocktail! You should try Absolute Peppar. It is awesome in bloodies and would add some more kick to your martini! I will be trying this next time I make it to a farmers market!

Donna-FFW said...

Bloody marys are my breakfast of champions. This version sounds like heaven. And the salt.. kicker!!! A MUST do! You book whore, you;)

Mom said...

That's a beautiful drink, Diva! You've gone above and beyond with this one. The salt alone is worth making this particular cocktail.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Maven - never too early, this is a *health* drink ... counts as a serving of vegetables! ;)

Daily Spud - vodka = potatoes, so mixin' should be right up your alley! LOL Oooh, I like the sound of your new cocktail-gear and I'm looking forward to hearing about those brandy drinks. Cheers!

Wino - what a great idea to use the Peppar! I've been meaning to make my own peppered vodka for ages, must get on that. I think it would be outstanding in this drink. Thanks!

Donna - LOL! This would be a great way to use some fresh from the garden tomatoes if you've got them. I don't, but it was delicious anyway!

Mom - Thanks! I loves me some salt ... and really, you could use the season salt with several other drinks. Its mighty tasty!

Astra Libris said...

Ooooh, such a glorious summer beverage!! I especially love your seasoned salt - so clever!

Diva, you absolutely made my day with your incredibly sweet comment... Your words are uplifting and too kind, as always... :-) and I'm SO thrilled that you enjoyed the whole wheat biscuits! I did a little dance of happiness around the office when I read your comment! :-) Thank you for making my day!! :-)

Astra Libris said...

P.S. Can I borrow your "book whore" term? ;-) I think I have a serious book collecting addiction... I'm so glad I'm not alone!! :-)

pixelgal said...

Book whoreness runs in the if you ever run out (I know, I know you won't) know where to find some more. Cookbooks not so much 'cause I'm too lazy now to look through 'em. I just google or foodtv desired recipes and they appear like magic on the screen....or better still go to beacheats for a sure thing! And as for drinks counting as a vegetable, you don't get that from me!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....not quite what I'm in the mood for right now. I think I need something a bit sweeter.

But, I'll keep this in mind for my next savoury and salty craving!

Tangled Noodle said...

Yay! I have this same book but haven't looked thoroughly checked it out yet. Seeing this Frisky Mary, I'd better get to it; I'll pick out the recipe and Mr. Noodle will obligingly make it for me. 8-D