A Tomato Spritz Is The Perfect Drink To Use Up Your Summer Produce

tomatos and spritz cocktails
tomatos and spritz cocktails - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Tomatoes hit their peak from May to October, when they boast the juiciest, sweetest flavors you'll experience from them all year long. Still, we've all found ourselves with one too many of them sitting on our kitchen counter, drawing in the fruit flies that also seem to multiply that time of year. Pasta sauce, pizza, sandwiches, and salads are just a few obvious ways you can use them up — but you can only have so many until you're full. A tomato spritz, on the other hand, will only leave you feeling brighter and more refreshed.

What is a tomato spritz, you might ask? Well, think of the flavor of a bright, peak-season tomato gazpacho soup and combine it with the chilled, bubbly sensation of your favorite spritz — and there you have it. It's the lighter, more summery sister to the classic Bloody Mary. The tomato is still very much the star of the show, but it's mellowed out with a splash of sparkling wine and club soda. All you need to do is pop your tomatoes in a blender or food processor, place them on a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl, and wait. Covered and left to chill in your fridge overnight, you'll wake up to a bowl of crystal-clear tomato water ready to be mixed and shaken into your summer spritz recipes.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Let The Tomato Be The Star

hands cheers with sprtiz
hands cheers with sprtiz - izikMD/Shutterstock

Tomatoes bring a vegetal element to your spritz that you can take in a lot of different directions — just don't use anything that will compete with it too much. Obviously, all spritzes contain some bubbly element. Prosecco will bring the sweetness to elevate that of the ripe tomato water, letting those peak summer flavors sing. Some form of club soda is also always in order, even if just to top it off. From there, though, you can make it spicy by throwing a couple of jalapeños into the mix or round it out with a splash of dry vermouth.

Being a veggie, the best liquor for a tomato spritz is the same as you'd use in a green juice cocktail: gin. Made with all kinds of herbs and botanicals, it naturally compliments the vegetal flavor of tomato juice. That doesn't, however, mean you have to strictly stick to veggies. On the contrary, peach or even cantaloupe juice could be perfectly complementary — especially with a bit of white wine and ginger ale. Balance a tomato on the rim and you're in business.

That brings up herbs and garnishes. Everyone knows that tomato and basil go together, but what about mint? Venture away from the Italian and steer clear of invoking any pizza flavors. Go the opposite direction and pair it with a sparkling rosé for those complimentary floral notes, reach for the herbiest, fruitiest bitters, and embrace all the summer joy with your tomato spritz.

Read the original article on Tasting Table