If your hangover is leaving you seeing red, then perhaps it’s really time to clarify matters.
Clarification can come in many guises. You can suddenly have an epiphany that mixing spirits wasn’t as good an idea as it seemed last night. Alternatively, you can realise that some friends are the ones that lead you astray.
Or, as we might be worth discussing today, you could look at transforming our favourite hangover cure into more of an all-day sipper.
As good as a Bloody Mary might be at Sunday brunch, after a big night, it’s often so thick that you feel you are eating your cocktail. Would it be something to take that salty, tomato-ey flavour, and turn it into a drink that you could easily sip on all day.
Really what you are after is a Bloody Mary that is thinner, brighter and a lot more herbaceous.
And this is where clarification comes in.
While a tomato is red, you might be surprised to know, the tomato juice if actually relatively clear (not colourless but certainly much clearer than what you started with).
This almost sweet but intensely flavoursome water can easily create a less bloody, Bloody Mary and especially if you mix it with something with a lower ABV, like a really good Dry Vermouth, can result in the perfect day after drink.
You get all the savoury (especially if you ad a bit of Tabasco), in a more concentrated sipper.
Now if you are wondering whether it is really worth the trouble, be aware that the insoluble matter can really change the nature of your drinks. Not only the flavour and visual appearance but also the mouthfeel will be significantly different with clarification.
And if you are wondering if there are other applications for clarified tomato other than just a Bloody Mary, think about adding it as a flavouring to Beer or Vodka, like a vinaigrette, a rice seasoner, a marinade for white fish or one it’s own, just chilled and over ice, with Basil.
Now there are a number of ways to clarify. We, of course, chose the easiest method (although we might further experiment with other methods later).
And we also chose one of the easiest tomato water recipes out there (you can add more flavours with additional herbs and spices) via The Book Of Vermouth.
The method, recipe and the addition of Vermouth for the final cocktail are a great introduction and a great jumping off place for further experimentation.
2oz Dry Vermouth
3.5oz of Tomato water
Fill a chilled highball glass with ice. Pour in the Vermouth and Tomato Water and stir. Garnish with a Cucumber Spear and a few dashes of Tabasco.
To make the Tomato Water
2kg of beefsteak tomatoes
10 fresh celery leaves
2 red birds eye chillies
0.25oz Sea Salt Flakes
0.75 Sherry Vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a puree. Line a large fine mesh strainer with muslin and suspend over a large bowl. Pour in the tomato water and leave to strain for two hours. Pour the strained tomato water into a sterilised glass bottle Seal tightly and store in the fridge for up to seven days.