Local Elixir: The Tomato Zinger
Our newest feature comes from Amelia Sauter, co-owner of the trusted cocktail bar Felicia’s Atomic Lounge, where you’re likely to find seasonal quenchers like a Sage Riesling Cocktail or a fig-infused bourbon riff on the Manhattan. Once a month, she’ll bring us a view from the bar and a simple cocktail to serve at home.
First up: something new to do with all those tomatoes.—Jessie Cacciola
August in the Finger Lakes: The once-sparse farm stands are bursting with bounty, tempting you to stuff yourself silly with ears of corn, peaches and melons. Meanwhile, I’m looking for things to muddle.
Tomatoes prove more difficult to morph into a palatable elixir other than a bloody mary. The exception: Sungold cherry tomatoes. In fact, of all the cocktails I’ve shaken, the Tomato Zinger is my all-time favorite.
It’s hard to pick out the individual flavors of the tomatoes, honey, lemon juice or gin in this pale orange, half tangy, half sweet martini. Rather, the ingredients merge to create a complex and incredible taste bud experience, like a bionic cocktail on a loop-de-loop roller coaster. I never grow tired of drinking them, partly because I only use fresh-picked cherry tomatoes available in August and early September.
My garden sprouted some mystery tomato plants this year from the compost I spread over my herb beds in early spring. It looks like one of them is going to give me cherry tomatoes. If I’m lucky, they’ll be Sungolds. If my friends are lucky, I’ll share.
Felicia’s Tomato Zinger
- 1.75 ounces gin (Ed note: Perhaps Seneca Drums Gin)
- 3/4 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 5 Sungold cherry tomatoes
- pinch of sea salt
Muddle four cherry tomatoes, sea salt, honey syrup and lemon juice. Add gin and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the remaining cherry tomato.
Note: If you substitute Sweet 100s, use ½ ounce of honey syrup.