Inspired by the Carnivorous Cocktails seminar at Tales, I started Sunday brunch with the BLTini, a sandwich in a glass.
I like my BLTs on potato bread, so I opted for vodka over gin, squeezed the bejeezus out of a gorgeous heirloom tomato, then decided that lettuce was lame and so opted for basil as an aromatic garnish.
Tip: bacon is best for this purpose when crispy, flat and most of the fat has been rendered off, so I devised this little trick. Lay raw bacon in a hot pan and then put a Pyrex baking dish on top, pressing the bacon flat while it cooks. Creates perfect cocktail bacon.
- 2 ounces vodka (plain or citrus)
- 2 ounces tomato water (see note)
- 1 dash dry vermouth
- 1 piece crispy bacon
- 1 basil leaf
Shake vodka, tomato water and vermouth with ice to chill and strain into a chilled martini glass. Stir with bacon, and literally clap once with the basil leaf on your palm to release the aromatic oils before floating it in the glass.
Note: to make tomato water I diced the tomato, wrapped it in cheese cloth and squeezed out as much liquid as I could. When my hand got tired, I put the whole pulpy package into a citrus squeezer, extracted the rest and filtered the tomato water through a fine mesh strainer. A medium-large heirloom yields about 2 ounces of juice, less than you will get with a roma of comparable size.