Sip Up the Last Summer Tomatoes With Bloody Marias
We are steadily chugging through the first official week of kindergarten and our lives have gone from park playdates to practicing handwriting, literally overnight. Louisa is slowly finding her way in class; meeting new friends, figuring out the whole lunch thing (she's steadily stuck with peanut butter and jelly). I made the mistake of telling her they serve strawberry milk at school and she has looked for it every day since. Unfortunately (for her) the poor child can't read and continues to grab the pink (nonfat, white) milk thinking it's going to be strawberry—much, much, much to her disappointment.
Image: Courtesy of Hola Jalapeno
She is already concerned with her outfit and what her other classmates will think. She asked Armando to help her get dressed this morning and he picked out this adorable button-down blue shirt that she absolutely did not want to wear. No matter how cute we told her she looked she said the shirt was ridiculous and would be wearing a sweater over it so no one would see it. I agreed to that thinking that by 11am it would definitely be too hot and she'd have to take her sweater off—I should never underestimate her tenacity. You can guess what she was wearing when I picked her up at 3:00.....when it was 85°F.......that's right, her sweater.
On top of all this school stuff, life continues to happen. Specifically the tomatoes in my garden continue to get ripe by the bushel. I made batch after batch of fresh tomato juice this week, trying a couple different methods until I came up with one that has just the right amount of salt and spice. The juice is refreshing on its own and offers an incredible amount of pick-me-up in the afternoon, but this girl loves her some Bloody Marys, especially when made with Tequila which I unoffically call a Bloody Maria, because no blond guerrita named Mary would put Tequila in her tomato drink, except for me actually....I totally do that.
Tequila and tomatoes just go so smashingly together, especially when you spice up the tequila with a delicious charred chile, which seem to be everywhere these days—with good reason I might add, because they are amazeballs (yep, I said it).
This drink would be totally acceptable with store-bought tomato juice if you don't want to go to the trouble of making your own or you don't own a juicer. If you do want to make your own and you still don't own a juicer you can make this cooked version from Simply Recipes that is also pretty yummy. I would just start with a smaller amount of sugar than is called for, my first batch that I made with the 2 tablespoons of sugar was way too sweet for my taste.
But if you have the urge to make your own juice, you absolutely should. The flushed rose color alone makes it worth it, but when combined in a nice cocktail it is so much brighter and flavorful than anything in a bottle. Here's to sipping the last bits of summer! Bottoms up!
Charred Chile Bloody Maria
Makes 1 drink
1/4 cup (2 ounces) Charred Chile-Infused Tequila (see below)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Fresh Tomato Juice (see below) or store-bought tomato juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon horseradish
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
pinch celery salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
lemon zest, lemon wedges, kosher salt, and celery salt for garnish
Combine Tequila, tomato juice, lemon juice, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt, and black pepper in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well to blend.
Line a small dish with kosher salt then add a few good pinches of celery salt and combine. Rub a lemon wedge over the lip of a highball glass then gently tap the top of the glass into the salt mixture to rim the glass with the spices. Fill glass with ice and then strain cocktail over prepared glass. Garnish with lemon zest and serve.
Charred Chile-Infused Tequila
1 jalapeño or other spicy chile, grilled or broiled until skin is charred and blistered
1 (375ml) bottle Tequila
Place charred chile into Tequila bottle and let sit at least 1 hour or up to a week depending on how spicy you'd like it. The longer it sits, the spicier it gets.
Fresh Tomato Juice
2 pounds very ripe tomatoes (about 4 large), cored and quartered
1 stalk celery with leaves
large handful fresh parsley
1/2 small red onion, quartered
2-3 dashes hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice tomatoes, celery, parsley, and red onion through a juicer. Whisk in hot sauce and salt. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Makes about 1 quart.