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Thai Tomato Cocktail

Serves 8


  • 4 pounds yellow or orange tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 strips lime zest, 2 to 3 inches each
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass (discard the tough outer layers before chopping)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated ginger
  • 1/2 hot Thai chile 
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped Thai basil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Vodka, to taste


  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the tomatoes, salt and sugar. Mix until the tomatoes are crushed. Transfer the mix to a nonreactive bowl and let sit for 2 hours for maximum juice extraction. 
  2. In the meantime, blanch the lime zest in boiling water until tender, approximately 5 minutes. In a blender, mix the zest and lemongrass with the lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, chile, basil and garlic and purée until smooth. Season with black pepper, then add to the tomatoes.
  3. Pass the tomato mixture through a sieve. Taste, and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Pour into a pitcher, then refrigerate until ready to serve. 
  4. Serve over ice in tall chilled highball glasses. Add vodka, if desired. Garnish each glass with a stalk of lemongrass

“I like my Thai tomato cocktails to resemble saffron, or else the peel of the ripe mandarin orange,” writes heirloom-vegetable advocate Amy Goldman in The Heirloom Tomato. Caro Rich, Aunt Gertie’s Gold, or the tie-dyed Gold Medal heirloom varieties would work nicely here, but other yellow or orange tomatoes will do.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!