Tomatoes are in full season, which usually means a batch or two of gazpacho in my fridge for the still-warm August nights. There’s nothing as refreshing as a bowl full of that Andalusian specialty. But I wanted to take it next level. And so I did. I added watermelon to the mix and blended it up until silky smooth with fresh lemon juice and Bloody Mary spices. I served it on the rocks with a salad of fruits and veggies on the rim of the glass. Dinner is served!
Even the “rocks” were next level. I poured some of the gazpacho puree into large silicon ice cube molds then topped with a cilantro leaf and froze overnight. What a fun surprise for your guests to find that cube staring back at them, as they drink down this luscious concoction What’s key is that the gazpacho ice cube won’t water down the drink, especially on hot days when ice melts fast.
The rim of the glass got a fun margarita-style remake with a blend of salt, sugar and Tagin. Be aware that you and your guests will be licking the rim of that glass!
Please note that the consistency of the gazpacho is light, smooth, and frothy as a summer drink should be. The taste and texture are very different than canned tomato juice, which is a cooked tomato product. Leave those heavy Blood Marys for the winter when tomatoes aren’t in season.
I used a mix of red heirloom, Roma, and vine-ripened tomatoes. I used the whole tomato; pulp, skin, seeds and all which will break down with a powerful high-speed blender. I don’t recommend a food processor for this recipe.
I give a guideline for seasoning the mix. Taste and season for your palate. Use good vodka. It does make a difference. This is delicious as a cocktail or a mocktail. Everyone is included.
For the ice cubes, you have two choices:
You can make a small batch of gazpacho mix the night before, just for the cubes, and then make another batch the next day. Or, you can make a large batch of gazpacho mix, pour some into ice cube trays, and refrigerate the rest in the blender jar. Re-blend the drink mix for a few seconds before serving, as it does separate overnight.
These will be fabulous for your Labor Day get-togethers. If you’re like me, you’re already planning ahead for your close-of-the-summer-season party.
Gazpacho Marys with Sweet and Salty Tajin Rims
You should get 6 ice cubes and enough mix for 6 drinks, depending on the size of the glass. I used wide rocks glasses to be able to fit the large cube and salad spears.
For the drink mix:
4 cups of large chunks of a variety of tomatoes
1 1/2 cups large chunks of red seedless watermelon
2-3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
1 heaping tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp red Tabasco sauce
Blend it all up in a high-speed blender until light and frothy, scraping down the sides occasionally. It should take about 30 seconds.
For the ice cubes:
Pour some of the mix into large silicon ice cube trays, filling almost to the top. Top with a cilantro or Italian parsley leaf. Freeze overnight. Refrigerate the rest of the gazpacho mix until ready to use.
For the Tajin Rim: *
2 T salt
1 T organic sugar
2 T Tajin
Mix together in a bowl.
3-4 lime wedges to rub the rim of the glass.
*Please note that you may need to make more Tajin mix if it gets clumpy from the lime juice.
For the Salad:
Spears of Persian cucumbers
Cut stalks of celery with the leaves if possible
Long, Rectangular spears of watermelon
Lime circles -Simply cut the limes horizontally and then make a cut halfway on each lime to rest it on the rim.
Putting it together!
You will need vodka.
For each cocktail:
- Pour the Tagin mix onto a flat plate. Mound it to the size of the rim of the glass. Rub the rim of the glass with the lime wedges. Spin the rim of the glass into the Tajin mix coating as thickly as possible. Roll the outside of the glass in the mix, as well. Set upright.
- Carefully put one Gazpacho cube, herb leaf side up, into the glass. If not using Gazpacho cubes, then carefully put ice cubes in the glass.
- Pour a jigger of vodka over the cubes.
- Pour Gazpacho mix over the vodka about 2/3 of the way up. Carefully stir up. Add your veggies into the glass, wedging between the cube and the outside of the glass. Fill up with more mix if there is room. Repeat.
- For mocktails simply eliminate the vodka.