Fistful of Tomatoes

It’s the time of year where the weather is beginning to turn and the leaves are beginning to fall. Many of my garden plants have stopped producing. It’s inevitable: winter is coming. Fret not though, because stores are still stocked with beautiful produce to tinker with.

Photos by ADV Photography

Every year, as the harvest from my backyard rolls in, I sit down and jot down cocktail ideas for every type of vegetable. Often, things don’t work out in practice as I thought they would in theory (I’m still trying to make broccoli work). But sometimes I hit on something special.

Tomatoes should really get more play in cocktails. When you think about it, tomatoes are great because they’re sweet and savoury,  have vivid colour, and a great overall feel. It’s too bad the cocktail world has seemed to relegate them to Bloody Mary’s and Caesars.


1 ½ oz Rye
1 ½ oz Cynar
¼ oz simple syrup
2-3 cherry tomatoes (halved)
2-3 strawberries
Serrano pepper slice

In a shaker, add tomato, strawberries, and peppers. Muddle vigorously. Add the rye, simple syrup, cynar, and ice and shake well. Double-strain into a chilled coupe.

A few notes on the ingredients:

If you don’t have cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, feel free to use their larger relatives or even tomato juice. However, make sure you give it a taste before serving as you may want to add a little more simple syrup to increase the sweetness. I balanced this recipe using homegrown cherry tomatoes which are typically sweeter than those found in a store.

About the pepper: I like spice. I’ve served this drink and some have found it way too spicy. I would recommend being conservative and using a very thin slice in the first iteration. It’s hard to say how much exactly because every pepper is different. I use serranos, but almost any hot pepper will do. Jalapenos would be a very good substitute and are found at almost every grocer.

I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as we did.

Stay tuned: the fall harvest is just around the corner. Who knows? Maybe this is finally the year I find a way to make broccoli work!

You think I’m kidding.

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