Drinko de Gallo Cocktail

drinko-de-gallo-crdt-studio3“Tomato season is probably my most anticipated food season of the year,” says San Francisco bartender Jeff Hollinger. “I deprive myself of tomatoes when they’re not in season, yet I spend much of the year thinking of different ways to incorporate them into cocktails or cooking. When Sweet 100s are ripe and ready to eat, I snack on them the same way that someone might snack on grapes. This drink was an answer to my desire to create a complex, savory, yet somewhat light tomato cocktail.”

3–4 Sweet 100 tomatoes (or another sweet variety that’s in season), halved
Pinch of cilantro leaves (about 10-12 leaves)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Slice of habañero chile (optional)
1  1/2 oz. silver or blanco tequila
1/2 oz. Cointreau
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Tools: muddler, shaker, strainer
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: 1 Sweet 100 tomato and 1 cocktail onion

In a mixing glass, muddle the tomatoes, cilantro and salt into a paste. Top with ice and add chili (if desired), tequila, Cointreau and lime juice. Shake until cold, strain into a salt-rimmed cocktail glass and garnish. For a “cleaner” presentation, strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Jeff Hollinger, Absinthe Brasserie, San Francisco