The golden rod is rearing it’s head showing signs of autumn around us. The abundant bursts of yellow remind us that summer is in it’s final phase as the tomato and summer squash vines near the end of their season. In hopes to hold tight to the remaining days of your summer harvests, we raise you a drink (recipe.)
Let’s talk about cheong! This Korean syrup traditionally made with citrus, lemon, or yuzu, is created by adding equal weights of fruit & sugar to a jar and allowing the mixture to sit for three weeks until the fruit is broken down. This technique that has been around for over 2,000 years is used in both culinary and medicinal recipes. Today you are going to learn to make the most refreshing end of summer drink with an expedited version of a tomato cheong that will come right from your garden.
Now let’s make some cheong. Collect your tomatoes to wash off and add them to an empty glass jar. There is no need to cut them up unless they don’t fit. Once you have your desired amount you are going to want to add an equal amount of sugar, pop on a lidm, and let it sit. The sugar will break down the tomato skins much faster than you think and your cheong will be ready by morning! After straining out the bits of tomato that didn’t break down, you will be left with a savory & aromatic syrup that will bring your drink to life.
Now…let’s mix. Though salt is certainly the classic rim for your margarita, I suggest using a mix of salt, pepper, and sugar. This blend brings out the flavors of your freshly made cheong and will further enhance the sweet & savory aspect of your drink. Once you have shaken and poured your cocktail into your rimmed glass drop a bright red cherry tomato and some marigold petals on top and take a load off. It’s officially time for you to embrace the flavors of your ephemeral summer garden, enjoy.
1.5 ounces tomato cheong
1.5 ounce tequila
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
shake over ice
pour into rimmed glass
top with soda