A good host always has some sort of libation on hand, but a truly stellar host has a batched cocktail, chilled and ready to pour. Since pre-made cocktails aren’t stirred or shaken, you have to dilute them with a little water, just to round them out and temper the burn. Plain filtered water works fine, but for an extra special martini, try diluting with tomato water.
Tomato water—which you can make with too-ripe tomatoes—adds just a hint of savoury flavour and umami to the classic cocktail. According to PUNCH, Mike Capoferri of Thunderbolt uses clarified tomato water to make the Liquid Picnic, a barely dirty martini that “reads like a salad,” but “drinks like a martini.”
Exactly how much tomato water you add depends on your martini preferences, so it’s best to start small before making a big batch. If you’ve never made a bottle of martinis before, the easiest way to determine your booze-to-water ratio is to measure your gin and vermouth into a tared mixing glass and note the mass of the liquids. Add ice, stir as you usually would, then strain into a tared cocktail glass note the mass of your cocktail. Subtract the former from the latter, and the remaining mass is how much tomato water you need to add per serving.
Making tomato water is also quite easy. Just blanch, shock, and peel tomatoes (make little x’s in the bottoms so they peel easily), then chop and chuck them into a blender. Whirr them up, give them a sprinkling of salt, then strain the puree through a cheese cloth overnight. Build your martini in the bottle, and chill in the freezer for about five hours before serving. (Oh, and if you have any extra tomato water, try adding it to broths and beans, or you could keep it in the cocktail family and make a super fresh Bloody Mary.)
This Frozen Martini Has a Secret | PUNCH