With more time than ever to experiment at home, we're launching a special series on slow drinks – recipes for those DIY tinctures, tipples and toddys that take time to create. This week it's the turn of Jason Knüsel, bartender at The Savoy's American Bar
Why I'm fermenting
Ferments are very beneficial for the stomach and human body, and they make food and drink naturally delicious by preserving them. They are also an amazing way to optimise your diet and the shelf-life of your fresh food and drinks at home.
What I'm fermenting
Generally speaking, I ferment probably everything I can find! Fruits, vegetable, juices, kombucha, cidre etc... For today, though, I made up a basic lacto-fermented tomato water.
What my ferment can be used in
The fermented tomato water can be either used for clarified Bloody Marys or as an alternative to an olive Dirty Martini. Or, you can seal the liquid in a tight bottle and let it start a second fermentation to create a natural tomato soda for fizz variations.
250g tomatoes (preferably fresh from the market)
5g sea salt (=2% of tomato weight)
Method: Halve tomatoes and mix in a large bowl with your salt. Pack a kilner jar with your tomato and salt mix, and cover with a piece of baking paper. Make sure you have some pressure weighing down on the top in order to make sure the tomatoes are airtight.
Leave the jar to ferment for four to six days at room temperature and 'burp' your jar once a day to release the CO2.
Keep trying the ferment after four days to decide when it is ready to enjoy to your taste. You can ferment for more than a week, if you have a more sour palate. Once you're happy with the result, strain off the tomatoes and the tomato water is ready to use.
Learn how to make kvass, sima and watermelon whey soda in the first part of our series here.