It’s that time again, time for another cocktail post because it’s Friday and because I’m so very much looking forward to the weekend, and something tells me you might be as well. The last cocktail I posted was this amazing Blood Orange and Rosemary Margarita, which by the way you should definitely bookmark and make sometime, once blood oranges are in season again. If you don’t want to wait that long, then check out the post because I do give out some ideas for alternative fruit to use instead of blood oranges. You can thank me later. This time around though, I’m taking things out of the box a bit, with these Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonics. I’ll have to be honest with you and tell you that I’m actually not the biggest fan of gin. Or I guess I should say that I have to be in the mood for gin, and only sometimes I’m ever in the mood for it. So that just goes to show you that I don’t drink it often. When I do, I try and look for cocktail recipes that aren’t overly gin-y. These Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonics are the perfect balance of gin, heat, tonic, and overall packed with great flavor.
This is the cocktail you make by the pool when you’re entertaining your friends and family. This is the cocktail you make on your small apartment balcony, dreaming about swimming, when you don’t have a pool. It’s great when you’re barbecuing a steak, or chicken or fish out in your backyard. At the same time though, it’s the perfect cocktail to make when you’re grilling on a small stovetop grill pan, cursing those people who have a backyard with a fancy grill. Who are those people anyhow? Don’t worry, you can make your own party at home, even if it’s just you in a tiny apartment with no pool, no balcony, and/or no grill. The important thing is that you have a great delicious cocktail in hand. The rest will take care of itself.
Let’s start by coating the rim of the cocktail glasses with a easy to make seasoning mixture. In a shallow dish, combine salt, pepper, and cayenne. Then rub the rim of each glass with a wedge of lime and dip into the mixture.
**Note: You can also use a steak seasoning instead of the salt, pepper and cayenne. That’ll have a bit more flavor and go well with the tomatoes.**
Add cherry tomatoes, dill and lime juice to each glass and then muddle with a wooden or metal cocktail muddler. You can also just use a spoon if you don’t have a muddler.
**Note: I used a mixture of yellow and red cherry tomatoes, but if your grocery store only has red, that’s okay. If you can find heirloom cherry tomatoes, use those instead! They’ll have so much more flavor!**
If you want to help the muddling process along, feel free to chop the tomatoes a bit before adding them to the glasses. It’ll make it a lot easier. If you can’t find fresh dill, just leave it out. Don’t use dried dill, as the flavor is too potent for this drink.
Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to each glass, and then fill with ice and then pour in the gin and tonic water into each glass.
I like to garnish these cocktails with fresh cucumber, lime wedge and a serrano pepper for that added heat. You can definitely leave it out if you don’t like things too spicy.
**Tip: If you do like spice however, feel free to cut a slit on each side of the serrano pepper and then place it into the drink. That’ll give off more heat into the cocktail.**
The tomato flavor is really subtle in this drink, but if you want to have a more concentrated tomato flavor, try adding a splash or two of tomato juice or clamato juice, which is a tomato clam juice. Both of those would be great in this drink as well. You definitely don’t want to add too much tomato juice, or else you’d run the risk of drowning out the gin and tonic, which is the base of this cocktail.
If you like things super spicy, I hear ya, try adding slices of jalapeño or serrano peppers to the tomatoes, and then muddle it all together. That’ll give it a bit more kick.
Even if you think you might not like it, try it. I promise you that while yes it is “out there,” it isn’t too crazy. You might surprise yourself and really enjoy it. I’m sure that stranger things have happened. So get out of that comfort zone and make these this weekend. Or make them at your next party or dinner gathering. People will go crazy for them.
These Spicy Tomato Gin and Tonics are perfect for summer, especially when tomatoes are in season! They’re refreshing, light and the perfect upgrade to a class cocktail. Add this to your Happy Hour repertoire and watch as you impress your friends and family with a new and exciting drink. Cheers!
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cups heirloom (or regular) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 to 4 teaspoons hot sauce
- 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) gin
- 8 ounces (1 cup) tonic water
- ice cubes
- cucumber slices, for garnish
- serrano peppers (silts cut in the sides), for garnish
- lime wedges, for garnish
- In a small shallow dish, combine the salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Run a lime wedge on the rim of 4 cocktail glasses, and then dip into the seasoning mixture.
- Divide the cherry tomatoes, lime juice, and dill among each of the glasses. Muddle the ingredients together. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to each glass and give it a stir. Top off with ice, and pour 1 ounce of gin in each glass with 2 ounces of tonic water. Garnish with cucumber, serrano peppers, and lime wedges. Enjoy!