My Recipe Box

Heirloom Bloody Mary


Serves 1

  • by from Mix Shake Stir

To create this seasonal cocktail, the bartenders at Union Square Café pilfer the kitchen’s heirloom tomatoes, sourced from the nearby farmers’ market.  At its best in late summer, this brunch mainstay is made truly special by passing the tomatoes through a potato ricer rather than juicing them.

Browse our Drinks & Entertaining Guide page for more spicy cocktails.

For the tomato juice:
  • 4 large, very ripe heirloom tomatoes
For the bloody mary:
  • 2 oz. vodka, preferably Ketel One
  • 1 oz.  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated horseradish, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. green hot-pepper sauce such as Tabasco, or to taste
  • Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • Ice
  • Grape, cherry, or heirloom toy box tomatoes, halved, for garnish
To make the tomato juice:

Pass the heirloom tomatoes through a potato ricer into a glass measuring pitcher, pressing on the solids with a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids. You need about 4 oz juice (reserve the remainder for another use).  Cover and refrigerate the juice for at least 30 minutes before serving. 

To make the bloody mary:

Add the vodka, lime juice, horseradish, hot-pepper sauce, salt, and black pepper to the chilled juice and stir to mix well.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Fill a highball glass halfway with ice. Thread the grape tomatoes onto a wooden skewer.  Pour the tomato mixture over the ice, garnish the glass with the skewer, and serve. 

Photo: Jim Franco

Wow! This was the best bloody mary I've ever had/made. The fresh tomato juice is key, and good tomatoes. It's a bit of work, but worth it!

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