This is the BEST late summer drink I know, combining the best of a martini and a bloody mary into one delicious, festive cocktail. Amanda Hesser (no, no, please dont start in on her) printed the recipe in the NYT a couple of summers ago. Ive reproduced it below, with the wording changed to satisfy any copyright concerns. The tomato water takes a little time to make, but is well worth the effort. The key is very ripe and fragrant tomatoes. The bar that originated the drink calls it a Peppar Tomato. Because the tomato water is so thin, I call it a Plasmartini. Whatever you call it, its awfully good with a handful of warm, cayenne-laced cheese puffs.
2 lbs. tomatoes, cored and chunked
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 T. chopped lemon thyme
4 oz. pepper vodka
4 oz. vodka
¼ tsp. celery salt
4 drops Tabasco
cherry tomatoes (of assorted colors if you can find them) for garnish
In a food processor or blender, combine tomatoes, salt and lemon thyme. Puree a minute or so. Line a colander with cheesecloth, enough for it to overhang by a couple of inches. Set colander over a bowl and pour in tomato mixture. Tie ends of cheesecloth together, and set aside for at least an hour.
If necessary, twist cheesecloth to extract any remaining juice. Now you have a bowl of tomato water.
In a shaker filled with ice, combine pepper vodka, vodka, celery salt, Tabasco and 2 cups tomato water. Shake well, and strain into four martini glasses with tomatoes.
Makes about 4 servings.
(If you dont have lemon thyme, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice in the shaker. And if you dont have really good cherry tomatoes, olives work fine.)