This is an old Yankee recipe I received from my mother-in-law. It’s called a cocktail but in fact it is a delicious, fresh-tasting vegetable juice, rather like V-8 but with a flavor all its own. (See below for instructions on how to make this a real cocktail!)
King Family Tomato Cocktail – makes about 1 quart
1 heaping quart of ripe, juicy tomatoes, roughly chopped (support your local farmstand, please!)
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 small onion (or half a large onion), roughly chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 whole cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place everything into a pot and simmer 40 minutes. Let cool, then run mixture through a food mill to extract the skins, seeds and cloves. If you don’t have a food mill (mine is straight out of the 1950s, inherited from my mom-in-law), you can strain the whole mixture into a bowl through a colander, pushing the juice through with the back of a spoon, or just fish out the cloves and run everything through a blender or food processor (you’ll get more texture this way). Chill, stir, and enjoy. You might enjoy it more if you add some vodka, Worcestershire, and hot sauce!
I like to make a double or triple batch in the summer and freeze in zippie bags for the winter. This also makes a delicious hot tomato soup to go with your grilled cheese.