Bloody Mary with a Sun-dried Tomato Infusion
As avid cocktail drinkers, we have the good fortune of living in a city with a long-standing cocktail culture. Recently we have seen the emergence of some very fine establishments that serve all sorts of fancy drinks. But as Berlin gets gentrified, the prices inevitably go up. So to be able to enjoy these drinks as often as we would like without emptying our wallets, we started to stock up our home bar with some better quality liqueurs. I guess this is the joy of turning 30. In your 20s you couldn’t keep a bottle of anything laying around your place for long without someone – your roommate, the girl/guy you were dating, your roommate’s party buddies, or you – downing it in a night of celebration… even if it was a cheap bottle of peppermint schnapps.
Now that we have calmed a little, booze definitely lasts much longer around the house. And so we have all the ingredients we need to actually try our hand at making some of our favorite drinks at home.
For this first cocktail post, we tried out a fancy version of a classic, the Bloody Mary. This drink is not for everyone, but it is a long standing favourite in our house. To make it a little extraordinary we decided to use a vodka infusion instead of the regular stuff. Our infusion was made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and peppercorns, based on a recipe a friend suggested to us.
Sun-dried Tomato Vodka Infusion
250 ml vodka
a handful of sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil)
a couple fresh basil leaves.
Mix all of the ingredients together and keep in the fridge for at least 3 days. After this point, you should take out the basil (if you leave it longer it will get black). We kept ours in the fridge and it stayed good for 2 weeks, but it probably keeps even longer.
You can also add a garlic clove, but if you do, be sure to take it out after a few hours… unless you want some overpowering garlic vodka. (we learned this lesson the hard way!)
The Bloody Mary
1 part tomato infused vodka (or regular if you would prefer the classic version)
3 parts tomato juice
a few drops of worcestershire sauce
a few drops of celery bitters (optional)
a squeeze of lemon juice,
a few drops of hot sauce (ex. tabasco)
Garnish suggestions: celery stick, cucumber, lemon wedge, fresh basil.
Mix the vodka with the tomato juice, add the worcestershire sauce, and the bitters. Squeeze in a little bit of lemon juice. Add the hot sauce to taste. Pour over the ice cubes in a sturdy glass*.
Season with celery salt and some freshly ground pepper. Serve with a celery stick, a cucumber slice and/or some fresh basil.
* Some recipes call for a salt rim on the glass. To do this, before filling the glass, wet the rim with a lemon slice and then dip the glass upside down into a shallow plate full of the celery salt mixed with sea salt. Add the ice, and pour the liquid carefully into the glass, making sure not to touch that salt rim.