How to Make Tomato Water (and Use it in Cocktails)

Next in our How-To series, we take a look at how to make tomato water and how to use it in cocktails.

How to Make Tomato Water

As the name suggests, tomato water is the liquid extract of tomatoes. The method of making it is very simple. Chopped tomatoes are left to slowly drip overnight over a cheesecloth-lined colander resting over a bowl. The result is a delicious liquid with a concentrated umami flavour.

For best results, use ripe tomatoes when they are in season. If they are not ripe enough, leave them on the kitchen bench for a couple of days until they ripen and soften.

Tomato water has many application in food and plays well as a modifier in cocktails. See below for suggestions on how to use tomato water in cocktails.

The following is a basic method of making tomato water using just tomatoes and salt. You can add basil, thyme or any other herbs or flavourings if you wish. After all, there’s nothing like drinking your vegetables. With booze.

How to Make Tomato Water


  • ripe tomatoes
  • sea salt


  • colander
  • cheese cloth


  1. Chop the tomatoes or pulse them in a food processor.
  2. Add sea salt and mix gently.
  3. Line a colander with cheesecloth set over a large bowl.
  4. Pour the tomato mixture in, bring the ends of the cheesecloth up and tie them with some cooking twine. Don’t press on the mixture as you don’t want any solids escaping into the liquid.
  5. Cover in plastic wrap and store in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, what you have left in the bottom of the colander is tomato water.
  7. Discard the solids. Pour the tomato water into a bottle with a metal clasp.
  8. Store in the fridge and use within 3-4 days.

What to Do with Tomato Water

  1. Tomato water makes a light and refreshing version of a Bloody Mary or Red Snapper.
  2. Add a little vodka to make a granita and serve with freshly-shucked oysters as an accompaniment to a Bloody Mary.
  3. Make a Tomato Water Vodka Martini by mixing vodka and tomato water in 1:2 ratio with 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce and cracked pepper.
  4. Make a savoury tomato water gin cocktail by using gin, vermouth, black pepper and basil served in an old fashioned glass on ice.
  5. Use tomato water with a savoury gin in a 1:1 ratio with a splash of citrus and rosemary garnish.
  6. Add tomato water to tequila, lime juice and a chilli salt rim.
  7. Use tomato water in umami cocktails made with white spirits.

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

How to Make Tomato Water (and Use it in Cocktails) was last modified: June 13th, 2017 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.