Thirsty Thursday – Tomato Water Martini

This tomato water cocktail recipe is adapted from one by award-winning chef Michael Chiarello; I love his cookbooks and, of course, recipes. In his restaurant, he noticed a clear, fragrant liquid would collect on top of the large buckets of tomatoes his cooks had chopped. He discovered this sweet tomato water made a wonderful and refreshing “martini,” garnished with a cherry tomato and mozzarella skewer.

It goes without saying that this great summer treat can be made even more “festive” with the addition of some iced vodka.

Makes about 6 Tomato Water Cocktails (will vary depending on water content of tomatoes)



  • 3 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored, quartered
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • cheesecloth as needed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 6 small mozzarella balls (called bocconcini), or regular fresh mozzarella cut into cubes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves


To make the tomato water:

Toss the salt with the tomatoes. Using a food processor, working in batches, process the tomatoes, pulsing on and off, to create a very course puree. Do not over-chop, as you don’t want a smooth sauce-like product.

Place a large strainer over a non-reactive deep pot or container, and line with several layers of cheesecloth. Pour tomato puree into center of the lined strainer and gather up the edges of the cheesecloth to form a bundle. Tie off the end with kitchen string. Attach the bundle to a long wooden spoon and hang it over the container to drip.

Let the bundle hang in refrigerator for 12 hours. Discard the sack (or use it for a sauce) and transfer the tomato water to a smaller container. The tomato water will keep refrigerated for 3 days.

To make the cocktails:

Freeze 6 martini glasses. Make the garnish by skewering 2 cherry tomatoes with a piece of mozzarella in between each tomato. Rub the rim and inside of each glass with a crushed basil leaf to scent each drink. Place one tomato and mozzarella skewer into each glass. Pour in chilled tomato water and serve immediately.



  1. Mollie says:

    This has got to be the weirdest drink I've ever encountered.

  2. Bernie says:

    I have never had a Martini in my life. I know I should have one before I die at some point in time. This is a unique sounding drink. How can one go wrong with cheese? I love the idea of a mozz. in this. Yummers.

  3. Have to agree with Mollie, but I really like all the ingredients. Might be perfect for a brunch!

  4. Jordan says:

    It sounds delicious but like it's a lot of work. I need my vodka faster than 12 hours sometimes. Maybe if I planned in advance.

  5. Jordan says:

    Ooh it'd be good with waffles and football.

  6. b. lee says:

    luv me some mozz. * I'd call this a step-up from a bloody mary ~ me likey * *

  7. Danelle says:

    I just planted tomatoes in my garden today! Maybe I'll have to try this.

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