Tomatoes, classified as fruits (botanically), but still considered vegetables by many, have tremendous varieties, so it may not come as a surprise if you eat some tomatoes of similar appearance you are familiar with but with a different taste.
The varieties of tomatoes lie between 10,000 to 15,000, which are known worldwide, but there may be even more.
With such a vast range of tomatoes, it’s no wonder people like to use them in their dishes, eat them raw, make purees and soups with them, and even in cocktails.
However, not all tomatoes are the same. Each variety caters to a specific purpose. If you are wondering why the cocktails you prepare don’t taste the same, then you aren’t using the correct type of tomatoes.
Hence the question, what are cocktail tomatoes?
Cocktail tomatoes, not to be confused with cherry, grape, or plum tomatoes, are larger than cherry and grape tomatoes but smaller than plum ones. These tomatoes are grown and sold in 6-8 numbers still attached to the same vine, are very versatile, and are generally available throughout the year.
Here, we will discuss all you need to know about cocktail tomatoes and some cocktails you can make using this type. So, stay tuned for more!
All You Need To Know About Cocktail Tomatoes
Before we start going into the details about these tomatoes, it is best to remember no matter how much you love tomatoes, eat them in moderation.
Cocktail tomatoes fall in the category of baby tomatoes and have the best of both worlds, i.e., the taste of cherry tomatoes and the longer shelf-life of grape tomatoes. It brings about the versatility and all-season availability of these tomatoes.
If cocktail tomatoes don’t ring a bell for you, another name for these tomatoes is “Campari tomatoes.”
The size of cocktail tomatoes can vary between 2-4 cm, which is about the same as a grape and a table tennis ball. These tomatoes have a sweet flavor with a slight tangy twist and can be easily distinguished from others by size and striking red color.
Also, you can see the freshness of these tomatoes from the vine stalks they are attached to and how firm they are.
A 100-gram serving of cocktail tomatoes carries two grams of carbs and sugar each, 0.29 grams of fat, 1.07 grams of protein, and 15.5 milligrams of vitamin C.
So, from this, you can already guess that these tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C.
Also, they provide small quantities of vitamin A, iron, fiber, potassium, and folates.
You don’t have to go hard into the details to prepare these tomatoes. Start by simply plucking one off the vine stalk, wash it gently in the water, let it dry, and enjoy. That’s all.
However, one thing to be mindful of is to let them stay attached to vine stalks unless you are eating them right away for a richer flavor. Most people remove the vine stalk as soon as they get them, leading to a loss of taste.
Uses Other Than Cocktails
It won’t be surprising if you misjudge cocktail tomatoes as exclusive to cocktails because of the name. But surprisingly or unsurprisingly, there are other purposes for these tomatoes, not only cocktails.
Starting with snacking on these tomatoes, you can wash and eat them as a healthy snack. Also, you can use them as garnish and in salad mixes.
But enough about raw cocktail tomatoes; you can also cook them. Due to their small size and medium-thin skin, they cook in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
Start by adding olive oil to the pan, and then put your cocktail tomatoes in, let them cook till the skin gets crunchy, and enjoy. Also, you can steam them till they burst open in a tenderized form and use cheese and other toppings with them for pasta.
Or they can be used inside a sandwich or to make pretzels and much more.
Storing of Cocktail Tomatoes
While nothing can beat the taste of fresh fruit or vegetables, if you don’t find such things readily in your vicinity, you have to think of storing them.
Throwing your cocktail tomatoes in the freezer may do the trick for storing them, but if you want their taste closer to the fresh ones, you can’t do that.
As a general rule, it is recommended that you shouldn’t store your cocktail tomatoes in the fridge and away from the heat while attached to their vine stalks. It will keep the flavor and freshness for 3-4 days, but what if you need them far beyond that?
To answer this question, you have to check out how to make fruit puree for drinks here.
Cocktails With Cocktail Tomatoes
While now you know all there is to know about cocktail tomatoes, the primary component, i.e., cocktails with these tomatoes, hasn’t been in sight. But that changes now.
1. Tomato Campari
To make this cocktail, you need several ingredients, but half of them fall into the garnishing category, which are;
- Campari (2 oz.)
- Cocktail tomatoes (2 and a half)
- Pineapple chunks (two)
- Basil leaves and strawberries for garnish
- Half an ounce of simple syrup
- Three-quarters of lime Juice (¾ oz.)
Except for Campari and garnishings, put all the mixture in a container, and use a muddler to muddle it well. Afterward, add Campari to the mix, shake it well, and strain it over ice. Use cocktail tomato wedges, basil leaves, or strawberries for garnish, and enjoy!
2. Tomato Paloma
Another famous tomato cocktail is tomato Paloma, and tequila adds more to the fun. For a cup of tomato Paloma, the ingredients are as follows:
- Tomato-infused tequila (2 ounces)
- One tablespoon of sugar
- Kosher salt for glass rim
- Grapefruit juice (2 ounces)
- One tablespoon of lime juice
- Club soda (2 ounces)
For starters, take a highball glass. Dampen the edges (rim) of the glass with grapefruit and lime wedges, and dip it in salt. Use a separate container to mix all the ingredients except tomato-infused tequila and soda, and wait until the sugar dissolves.
Transfer the mixture to the highball glass, add tequila, and top it with ice and club soda. To finish things off, use cocktail tomato wedge, grapefruit wedge, and mint leaves as garnish.
3. Tomato Ginger Lime Refresher
For this cocktail, you can either use fresh ginger or ginger liqueur. For convenience, it is better to use liqueur.
- Tomato water (2-3 oz.)
- Ginger liqueur (1 oz.)
- Gin (1 oz.)
- Three-quarter Lillet Blanc and lemon juice
- A quarter of simple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon orange bitter
The simplest type of cocktail to make despite the long list of ingredients. Use a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients, shake well, and strain into a cocktail glass. That’s all.
Use cocktail tomatoes to make tomato water; it will have natural sweetness from these tomatoes and give a richer taste to your cocktail.
With this, you are now knowledgeable enough to tell the difference between cocktail tomatoes and other baby tomatoes, i.e., cherry and grape tomatoes and even plum tomatoes (not baby tomatoes).
However, before wrapping up, cocktail tomatoes are bigger than cherry tomatoes, have thinner skin than grape tomatoes, and carry more sweetness from the cherry tomato side, but differ in flavor because of the taste being closer to Roma/plum tomatoes.
Cocktail tomatoes are about the same size as a ping-pong ball and available throughout the year, and have versatility in their usage.