Ripe tomatoes are delicious with slightly herbal tequila and a fennel salt rim. The homemade fennel salt comes together very quickly and let's just say I had to put it away at the back of my cupboard because I found myself "sampling" it quite frequently when it was out on the counter as I was working on these drinks.
Note: For straining the tomato and alcohol puree use a very fine mesh strainer or a less fine one lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Regardless, the resulting infusion will have a some very fine tomato particles in it that will settle a bit. Just shake it up before using to redistribute them.
- Yield:makes 1 cocktail, makes enough tomato tequila for about 4 cocktails
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- For the Tomato Tequila:
- 16 ounces (about one large) beefsteak tomato, cut into large chunks
- 1 cup tequila
- For the Fennel Salt:
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- For the Tomato Margarita:
- 3 ounces tomato tequila
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 2 teaspoons lime juice from 1 lime
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- Fennel salt, for rim
For the Tomato Tequila: Combine the tomato and tequila in a blender. Pulse a few times on medium to break up the tomato then /blend for about 5 more seconds to form a pulpy puree. Strain the puree through a very fine mesh strainer or a less fine one lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Stir it gently a few times as it strains, but do not press. Strain until it stops dripping on its own, about 15 minutes. Store in the fridge if not using immediately.
For the Fennel Salt: Toast the fennel seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place toasted fennel seeds in a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder and pulse until the seeds are about the same texture as the kosher salt, about 10 pulses. Combine the ground fennel with the kosher salt. Store in a small jar until ready to use.
For the Tomato Margarita: Moisten the rim of a cocktail glass with lime juice, rim with fennel salt, and set aside. Add ice to prepared glass. Pour tomato tequila, agave, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain into prepared glass and serve immediately.