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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fresh Tomato Juice Cocktail

Refreshing Beverage of the Week
Today I thought I would talk about making fresh tomato juice and what to do with it. It's pretty much fresh tomato time, so how about a drink using stuff from your garden?

3 lb beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
1 small fennel bulb (sometimes called anise; 1/2 lb), stalks cut off and discarded, reserving fronds, and bulb chopped
2 celery ribs with leaves, chopped
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped or some fresh basil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or to taste
3 (20-inch) squares of cheesecloth

Finely chop all ingredients in batches in a food processor, transferring to a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature, loosely covered, 1 1/2 hours. Line a large sieve with layered cheesecloth squares and set over a large nonreactive pot( not aluminum). Carefully pour tomato mixture into center of cheesecloth, then gather up edges of cheesecloth to form a large sack and, working over sieve, squeeze solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids.

Chill juice until cold, about 1 hour, and stir before serving. (Juice will be pale in color but flavorful.) You do have the option of adding some alcohol at this point, what about a shot of Aquavit, Pernod, or vodka?