Tomato Spritzers Are The Ideal Way To Utilize That Leftover Produce

tomatoes and juice on table
tomatoes and juice on table - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Have you found yourself with a surplus of juicy red tomatoes? Before you start slicing and dicing and adding them to salads and sandwiches, we have a less conventional way to utilize those leftovers: tomato spritzers. It's gazpacho meets bubbly in all the right ways and makes for a super refreshing summer drink.

Spritzers are already the quintessential summer cocktail, and since tomatoes are at their peak from May through October, they're the perfect addition. Think Bloody Marys and micheladas, but lighter and with more effervescence. The acidity of tomato juice balances out the slight sweetness of sparkling wine. And if you already love spritzers but crave something savory, this tomato-based bevvy might be your jam.

So... are you sold on tomato spritzers yet or are you still a bit skeptical? Either way, we encourage you to embrace your inner mixologist and give this cocktail a whirl. After all, that extra tomato juice isn't going to drink itself. And to help you get started, we've cherry-picked our top tomato spritz recommendations. Read on for the juicy details, and put those leftovers to good use.

Read more: 26 Popular Vodka Brands, Ranked By Their Versatility

How To Make A Classic Tomato Spritzer Using Leftover Tomatoes

tomatoe spritz ingredients on counter
tomatoe spritz ingredients on counter - Reddit / Nakuip

Tomato spritzers are a home bartender's best-kept secret -- and making tomato juice at home means you'll have the freshest cocktail possible. But just because you're making juice from scratch, doesn't mean it needs to be difficult. Chopping tomatoes and popping them straight into the juicer is the easiest option. Alternatively, a couple rounds in the blender should soften the fruit and release its juices. After blending, place your mixture on cheesecloth over a bowl and let the tomato juice filter overnight. If you're pressed for time, speed things up by wrapping the pulp in the cheesecloth and squeezing it by hand.

Once your juice is prepped, it's cocktail time. At its core, a tomato spritzer is tomato juice and sparkling wine poured over ice and topped with soda water. However, we recommend adding an herbal liquor like gin and a dash of vermouth to round out the flavors. And for a sweet and sour element, use some of the extra tomatoes to make a cocktail shrub for the mix. Seal the deal with a vegetal garnish like celery and cherry tomatoes or a sprig of mint -- and voila! This classic cocktail will have you feeling good from your head to your toma-toes.

Our Top Twists On The Tomato Spritzer

bloody mary cocktails
bloody mary cocktails - Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

If you love experimenting in the kitchen, tomato spritzers are ripe with opportunity. Boost those summery vibes -- and use more leftover fruit -- by adding cantaloupe juice to the mix. To create a spicy alternative, stir a few jalapenos into your spritz. And for a fresh spin on the classic recipe, try a cucumber-mint tomato spritz. Muddle mint at the bottom of the glass, slip a few thin cucumber strips in, add the tomato juice and prosecco, and top with lemon-flavored sparkling water. Last but not least, you can always go for a bubbly Mary cocktail, replacing the vodka with champers.

No matter which version you choose, sipping a spritz screams summertime. However, so does hot weather and unfortunately, heat can lead to some seriously watered-down spritzes. Get ahead of this cocktail catastrophe by creating flavored ice cubes. Our Bloody Mary ice cube hack was a winner, so why not apply the same rhetoric here? Pour some of the fresh tomato juice into an ice tray and pop a cherry tomato in each cube. As you drink the cocktail, the melting cubes will only enhance the flavor. So sip slowly and savor that spritz.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.