With 80-degree temps expected this weekend, it already feels like summer. Which reminds us, it's time to plant those tomatoes! We look forward to the approaching days when we can pluck a plump heirloom variety off the vine and toss it in a cool caprese salad or tuck a juicy slice inside a crispy BLT. This week, Karen Hatfield shares one of her favorite tomato-based cocktail recipes with this refreshing, smoky take on the classic Bloody Mary. This weekend's heat means that you’ll be able to find some decent early tomatoes in the farmer’s markets, or put this one on file for when your own plants have begun to bear fruit.
BACON BLONDE “BLOODY MARY”
Courtesy of Hatfield’s, Los Angeles
Serve in: Pitcher + rocks glasses
1 liter bottle vodka
3 oz smoky bacon
Bloody Mary mix:
5 lbs tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
1 lb celery hearts
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 oz celery salt
2 oz prepared horseradish
2 oz bacon-infused vodka
4 oz tomato water
2 dashes celery bitters
Roughly chop and sauté bacon, allowing to crisp but not burn. Mix vodka and bacon with rendered fat in
the pan. Store in freezer for up to a week, agitating daily to mix well. Strain through cheesecloth when
ready to serve.
To make tomato water, roughly chop heirloom tomatoes, then place over four layers of cheesecloth. Allow
to drain over a wide bowl or deep baking dish (about 24-48 hours). Do not squeeze. Place celery hearts
through juicer, and add liquid to tomato water. Reserve liquid.
Mix Worcestershire, celery salt and prepared horseradish together. (Optional: Marinate overnight in
Moisten rim of rocks glasses with prepared horseradish, and dip an edge in the harissa.
In a pitcher, mix bacon vodka, tomato water, celery bitters, and ice. Stir well to combine. Zest with lemon
peel, garnish with arugula leaf and a lemon wheel.
Make Bloody Mary Ice: Mix fresh tomato juice and bottled low sodium tomato juice together, and freeze in
ice cube trays. Wrap in clear plastic to eliminate freezer burn. Use in place of ice cubes in cocktail.