Mixing vodka and jarred tomato juice for a Bloody Mary gives you a classic morning cocktail, but using fresh tomato juice and basil makes a fine evening martini to sip on. Crush up heirloom tomatoes and strain the juice. Muddle a basil leaf, add some vodka and a pinch of salt, and you’ve got a cocktail with the flavors of summer.
Read more about using herbs in cocktails to make the most of your garden harvest. Check out some light, bright summer Bloody Mary recipes too.
- Yields: 5 drinks
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 15 mins
- Active: 15 mins
- 1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 10 ounces vodka
- 5 medium basil leaves
- 5 lemon twists
- Place the tomatoes and measured salt in a medium bowl and smash with a potato masher until the skins separate from the flesh and seeds.
- Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer set over a medium bowl. Using the potato masher, firmly press out as much juice as possible (be careful not to break the strainer). Switch to a rubber spatula and continue to press until only solids remain. Scrape the bottom of the strainer and discard the solids. You should have almost 1 cup of juice; set aside.
- Place 5 martini glasses in the freezer to chill.
- To make 1 drink, place 2 ounces of the vodka, 1 1/2 ounces of the tomato juice, and 1 basil leaf in a cocktail shaker. Muddle until the basil is just crushed and fragrant. Add ice to fill the shaker halfway and shake until the outside is frosted, about 30 seconds.
- Strain into 1 of the chilled glasses and garnish with a lemon twist and a pinch of salt. Repeat to make 4 more drinks.