By Steve Graham, Networx
It’s harvest season, and that doesn’t just mean growing dinner in the yard. Plenty of garden-fresh herbs and vegetables can spruce up great cocktails. Here are five simple garden cocktails from prominent magazines and TV shows, and our ratings. My wife and I put each of these recipes to the test, with herbs, peppers and tomatoes from my garden, and other fruits and vegetables from local organic farms. It’s a tough job but, hey, somebody has to do it.
Frozen Yellow Mary
(from Food and Wine magazine)
- 2 pounds yellow tomatoes, halved and cored
- 4 sliced jalapeños
- 16 Thai basil leaves
- 1 cup vodka
- Garnish: halved yellow tomatoes and basil leaves
In a jar, cover the jalapeño slices with vodka. Let stand for three hours, then strain. Puree tomatoes in a food processor, then filter the puree through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup. Pour juice into ice cube trays and freeze until firm, about three hours.
In a blender, combine the jalapeño vodka, tomato ice cubes and basil. Blend until smooth and season with salt; if the drink is very thick, add a little water and blend again. Pour into glasses, garnish with cherry tomato halves and basil flowers and serve.
Yellow garden tomatoes are like a completely different food group than the mealy red globes at the supermarket. Likewise, yellow tomatoes make a very different drink than a standard Bloody Mary. The flavor of the Yellow Mary is just a little sweeter and more refreshing, and the Thai basil adds a strong but pleasant flavor. The jalapeño vodka adds a nice little bite you can just feel in the back of the throat.