It’s Friday and you need a drink. But you also need your veggies. And perhaps a fruit or two. But mostly, you need a drink. I made the executive decision that I didn’t have enough Campari in my life, so I purchased a bottle of my own to have at home. Best decision of the week. And let me tell you, I made a lot of decisions this week. Which is probably why I need a drink in the first place.
Call me crazy, but when I saw 8 tomato cocktail recipes in Bon Appetit magazine, I was pretty obsessed. Right now is the BEST time to enjoy tomatoes and every time is the best time to enjoy cocktails. They’re not traditionally paired together, but why not? Tomatoes are always such a stunning color and they are, after all, a fruit. I’m sure the Campari and strawberries really boosted the red color of this drink, but it looks just like a tomato and that is alright with me. Plus, this is the best garnish I’ve ever had ever.
While all 8 of the tomato cocktails looked splendid, I couldn’t resist the Tango Till It Hurts cocktail from Mathias Simonis, The Bon Vivants, San Francisco. In part because of the name, in part because of the color, and in part because of the Campari and garnish. I hope you won’t tango so much that it actually does hurt, but maybe just tango a little bit with one of these and I think your night will be made.
- 3 cherry tomatoes, plus another for garnish
- 3 small pineapple chunks, plus a wedge for garnish
- 1 strawberry, plus another for garnish
- 1/2 oz. simple syrup
- 3/4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 oz. Campari
- Soda water
- Basil for garnish
This drink is easy enough to make, but you have to know how to muddle! Put all the ingredients, aside from the Campari and garnishes in a cocktail shaker and muddle them all up as best you can.You really want to get all the juice out of them.
Then, add the Campari to the shaker, put the lid on and shake, and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice.
Top off with a splash of soda water.
Garnish with a half a cherry tomato, a pineapple wedge, a strawberry, and a basil leaf or two.
I mean, I kind of feel like I need to challenge myself to outdoing this garnish because I’m not even sure I can do it. What if I doubled the garnish ingredients and kept them going around the glass? No? Yes? Anyone? All you need is one little spot to drink from.
Let’s also talk about the color of this cocktail because yes. Thanks to the Campari, tomatoes, and strawberries, this is one of the prettiest colored cocktails I’ve ever seen.
However, I almost want to try this same drink with a clear vodka instead, just to see what the color ends up looking like. Though you should trust me that the bitterness of the Campari is so, so good with the other fresh ingredients. And I don’t want it to end up like a bloody mary. Though bloody marys are one of my favorite drinks, lots of people can’t stand them… This is absolutely nothing like that and is light, refreshing, and perfect for any time of the day.
You know how they say that you should have had a V-8? Well, this is kind of the same thing. Tomato juice, but better. OK, so maybe I need to add a few more tomatoes to the mix to really argue that one. But if this cocktail truly does get you to tango, I’d say it has more power than a V-8. Plus, it just made my week so much better.
I hope you all had glorious weeks and are settling in for a nice, spectacular weekend. And, of course, I hope it involves a cocktail or two and maybe even a tango. But a couch is fine, too.
Have you ever included tomatoes in a cocktail?