We originally invented this cocktail at my restaurant, Zahav, as a way to use the accumulated juices at the bottom of a bowl of Israeli salad - it seemed such a shame to let all that flavor go to waste. The olive oil from the salad can be a little weird in a cocktail, so now we prepare a separate mixer of tomato and cucumber water seasoned with parsley and lemon. It pairs incredibly well with the botanicals in gin for a summery riff on a martini. The same approach also works great with vodka and a bit of the spicy green condiment, Schug, for a lighter, Israeli version of a Bloody Mary.
2 ounces gin
1½ ounces Israeli Salad Water (recipe below)
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
To make the Israeli Salad Martini:
Pour the gin, salad water, and lemon juice into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a slice of cucumber, tomato, and a twist of lemon and serve.
To make the Israeli Salad Water:
Blend 1 cucumber and 1 tomato in a food processor with a sprig of parsley and a pinch of kosher salt. Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a deep bowl and strain in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Allow the sediment to settle to the bottom of the liquid and strain again through cheesecloth.