Caveat -- I also have yet to try this one, but it looks so yummy that I'll go ahead and post the recipe.

Tomato water is quite the trendy ingredient these days, with chefs from Thomas Keller to Charlie Trotter to Emeril Lagasse touting its flavor and uses. It's easy enough to make -- you need very ripe, very aromatic and flavorful tomatoes. Just whiz them in the food processor with a little salt, place in a strainer or colander with a few layers of cheesecloth, and let drain into a bowl. The pale red liquid that drips out is tomato water, and it's mighty tasty. Chefs have been using it for broths, marinades and sauces ... why not use it for a cocktail too?

Of course, someone has. The recipe comes from an Austrian restaurant/bar in New York's Greenwich Village called Wallsé (where it's called the Peppar Tomato) and was reproduced in (where I first found it), and by Gary Regan in his regular cocktails column on Here 'tis:

1-1/2 ounces pepper-flavored vodka.
1 ounce plain vodka.
2 ounces tomato water.
Pinch of celery seed.
Lemon twist.

Combine both vodkas, the tomato water, and celery seed in a cocktail shaker two-thirds full of ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with the lemon twist.

I tend not to be a fan of pepper vodkas (other than Stoli's Pertsovka, which I can't find anymore), so I might do it with regular vodka and a dash or two of Tabasco or some other hot sauce. Gary suggests that for a special treat, you can coat the outside rim of the glass with Old Bay Seasoning. Of course, I have to Creolize it -- use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning, or my own Creole Seasoning blend.


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Chuck Taggart   email chef (at) gumbopages (dot) com