This recipe is adapted from Gary Abts, the opening bar manager of Essex. To make sure that no tomato seeds wind up in the finished drink, we double-strain it through both a cocktail strainer and a fine-mesh tea strainer. —MollyandBrandon
cherry tomatoes, or 1 thick slice from a beefsteak tomato
1 1/2 ounces
gin (preferably a light, floral gin, like Hendrick's or Aviation) or vodka
freshly squeezed lemon juice
dill pickle brine
1 to 2 dashes
Tapatio, or a similar hot sauce
First, prepare a coupe glass. Put three or four generous pinches of kosher salt on a saucer or small plate, and add a little black pepper -- about six twists of a pepper mill. Run the lemon along the rim of the glass to wet it, then roll the glass in the salt-and-pepper mixture.
Put the tomatoes in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, and muddle briefly to split them and release their juices. Measure the rest of the ingredients into the shaker, add ice, and shake for 10 to 12 seconds. Double-strain into the prepared glass.
Brandon and Molly met because of a mutual interest in food - or, more specifically, when Brandon read Molly's food blog Orangette and sent her an e-mail that included some very effective compliments. The better part of a decade later, they co-own and run the restaurant Delancey and its sibling Essex, in Seattle. Brandon is the chef of both, and when he's not manning the wood-burning oven, he likes to make things from scratch that more sane people would probably buy, like mustard, vinegars, pretzels, and obscurely flavored liqueurs. Molly is the manager / Organizer of All Things at Delancey and Essex, and she is also the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the forthcoming memoir Delancey. They have a young daughter named June, who is excitedly crawling toward the refrigerator as Molly types this sentence, and two dogs named Jack and Alice.