If you’ve never had a Bloody Mary made with fresh tomatoes, you’re in for a treat. It makes a lighter, more delicate and yet unbelievably flavorful libation.
Here the fresh tomatoes are puréed with four different fresh herbs: basil, oregano, thyme and parsley. The herbs infuse with the fresh juice for 20 minutes before being strained – time enough to impart their ambrosial perfume to the tomato juice.
On a side note, ground black pepper is truly the spice of choice for this drink. It brings a spicy-kick without overpowering the delicate flavors of the herbs. So go easy on the Tabasco, but let your black pepper mill run free!
This is not just another Bloody Mary; it’s a refined cocktail – you’ll want to savor every sip.
Fresh tomato Bloody Mary with garden herbs and celery bitters
active time: 15 min
For the tomato juice with fresh herbs
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) vine-ripened tomatoes (3 medium) – unpeeled and quartered
- 12 large basil leaves
- 1 sprig oregano
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs Italian parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- lots of freshly ground black pepper
For the cocktail
- 6 oz (175 ml) Tomato Juice with Fresh Herbs (see Step 1 and 2)
- 4 1/2 oz (135 ml) vodka
- 1 oz (30 ml) lemon juice
- 2 dashes Tabasco
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 2 dashes celery bitters
- celery leaves as garnish
- Step 1: To make the tomato juice – Place the tomato pieces, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Then process until puréed, about 20 seconds. Do not over-process or the tomato purée will become lighter in color and yield a less-attractive cocktail. Transfer to a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes so the flavors develop.
- Step 2: Transfer to a fine sieve suspended over a bowl. With a silicone spatula, stir the purée until all the juice has been strained and only the pulp, coarse herbs and seeds are left behind. You should have 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) (355 ml) of juice – enough to make 4 cocktails. Transfer juice into a squeeze bottle and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
- Step 3: To make the cocktail – Shake the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, Tabasco, angostura bitters and celery bitters with ice cubes until a thin layer of frost appears on the outside of the shaker. Pour into cocktail glasses, garnish with a celery leaf and serve ice cold.