This deliciously different tomato water liqueur is the true taste of summer and perfect served as a chilled shot or added to a Bloody Mary for the ultimate in tomato cocktails!
Why you’ll love this liqueur
- This is a fabulous recipe for using up a glut of tomatoes from your garden or just when you can get a real bargain in the shops
- Tomato water liqueur is super easy to make!
- Having homemade liqueurs in your larder really livens up any party.
- If you can bear to part with it your tomato water liqueur makes a terrific foodie gift for family and friends.
What is tomato water?
Another name for tomato water is tomato essence and it was a big thing back in the 1990s with lots of chefs making this intensely flavoured drink and using it in all types of recipes.
Originally made by chopping up tomatoes, adding salt and then just letting them drip through a cheesecloth lined sieve. The resulting clear liquid is called tomato water or tomato essence.
Ingredients for tomato water liqueur
Tomatoes of course. Use your own homegrown tomatoes if you have them or buy some that are on the vine as they always have more flavour than other tomatoes in the shops.
You’ll need about 250g (about 9oz) of tomatoes. I used my small plum tomatoes but any type will do.
Celery seeds – these amazing little seeds are great partnership with tomatoes. Celery and tomatoes just dance rather nicely together, think of that bloody mary.
Salt, yes we must have some sea salt in here to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.
Lemon zest – that’s something else that enhanses the flavour of tomatoes (or almost anything really) and brings out the natural flavours.
Vodka – not your best Stolly here please, just a basic supermarket vodka will do nicely for making this delicious tomato liqueur.
Sugar – plain white sugar. Don’t use brown sugar as it gives an almost caramel like flavour which would ruin this delicate tomato water.
What’s the difference between an infusion and a liqueur?
This is a tomato water liqueur recipe. It’s a liqueur because it has sugar in it for sweetness. An infusion is where alcohol takes on the flavour of the fruits/berries/herbs etc that are put in with it but no sugar is added to the mix.
Boozy Tomato Water
Simply omit the sugar syrup and you will have the boozy version of tomato water. This is just perfect for savoury cocktails etc.
How to make this
Well this one couldn’t be easier folks. As you know I do like to keep things simle and this is one of my easiest liqueur recipes.
Chop the tomatoes and pop them in a jar along with the celery seeds, salt and lemon zest.
Pour on the vodka, seal the jar and leave the tomato water to infuse for a week in a cool cupboard. The vodka pulls out the tomato flavour just as gravity did for chefs making tomato water back in the 1990s.
Strain the solids out by pouring your tomato water through a sieve lined with 2 layers of kitchen roll or muslin.
Important note – DO NOT press the tomatoes in the sieve, you want this tomato water to be as clear as possible!
Make a simple syrup of 50/50 water and sugar and add this to the tomato essence.
Pour the resulting tomato water liqueur into a sterilised bottle and that’s it!
Save the leftover tomatoes to make delicious boozy Bloody Mary Tomato Sauce!
Your homemade tomato water liqueur will keep for up to a year in a nice cool cupboard.
If you are wanting to serve this tomato essence liqueur like schnapps then store some in the freezer but make sure there is headroom in the bottle to allow for expansion.
Serve tomato essence liqueur chilled as a shot. You can even put the bottle into the freezer like schnapps and serve in frozen glasses too if you like.
Try a tomato water martini – just add vodka, a swirl of vermouth, shake with ice and serve with a cherry tomato.
Add to a classic Bloody Mary for the ultimate in tomato cocktails.
Looking for more great ways to use tomatoes this summer? Then check out these recipe ideas before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Homemade Tomato Water Liqueur
- 250 g tomatoes
- 1 tbsp celery seeds
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 lemon zest
- 750 ml vodka
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- Chop tomatoes and place in a large jar with the lemon zest, celery seeds, salt and vodka, leave in a cool cupboard for a week
- Strain the solids out in a sieve lined with 2 layers of kitchen roll or muslin
- Make a simple syrup by simmering the sugar in the water for 5 minutes and add this to the tomato water and pour into a sterilised bottle