We had just finished a Caprese salad for lunch when my girlfriend, Amy Gross, dipped her fork in the leftover sauce on the plate and said, “Why can’t someone come up with a Pesto Martini?” I was speechless. And that sent us down the long, joyous road of cocktail invention on the show.
Amy’s dream would be a vodka and tomato-water cocktail, which involves a time commitment to drain tomatoes for 24 hours. Divine, yes, but we were after something a little faster. So, Alex Province made his pesto. Chris Prosperi and Robyn Doyon-Aitken joined me for tasting, and we hit the mark on the first try. Please, please don’t let summer go by without trying this one!
We tried this with a spicy tomato juice, too, but found it overwhelmed the cocktail, and what made the drink special—the pesto—was lost. We swear by the version with the classic tomato juice. We had some fun with this; Chris couldn't get over the "pizza notes" in the drink.
- 4 oz. your favorite vodka (we used Kettle One)
- 1-2 teaspoons homemade or store-bought pesto
- 8 oz. V8® or organic tomato juice (not spicy)
- Basil leaves or cherry tomatoes for garnish (we used Sun Gold)
- In a cocktail shaker or jar filled with ice, mix all the ingredients and shake until it's too cold to hold. Pour into a martini glass and garnish, if you like, with a fresh basil leaf or a cherry tomato. Enjoy!
To make this with clear tomato water, put ripe tomatoes in a blender and buzz until smooth. Place the pulp in a strainer-lined with cheesecloth and drain in the fridge for 24 hours into a bowl. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix vodka, pesto and tomato water. Shake well until combined. Garnish if you wish.
Michael Meyers says
I am really looking forward to trying this,thank you,Faith