Top | David Santos
(recipe, David Santos)
- 1 package champagne yeast
- ½ cup plus 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups plus 2 quarts water, at room temperature
- 2 cups tomato paste
- 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 1 16.0 oz. bottle Bragg apple-cider vinegar (with the live mother)
- Mix the yeast with the ½ cup sugar and 2 cups of the water, and set aside.
- In a large saucepot, combine the remaining 2 cups sugar, tomato paste, and tomatoes, and place the pot over medium-high heat. Stir the mixture over the heat until the tomatoes get soft and the mixture gets a little toasty, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Add the remaining 2 quarts water and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring the entire time with a whisk to dissolve the two together well, about 10 minutes. The end product will look something like a chunky tomato juice.
- Cool over an ice bath until the mixture comes to room temperature, or 75 degrees. Transfer the mixture into a non-reactive container along with the yeast mixture and stir well.
- Cover the container with cheesecloth so that the fermentation process has enough air to breathe. The mix will start bubbling in about 12 hours. Store in a cool place. The mix will need to ferment for about three days until the sugars are transformed into alcohol.
- After three days, taste the mixture and see if it’s still sweet. All there should be left is a clean tomato alcohol flavor. Strain the mixture of all the particles through a fine sieve.
- Measure the volume of the strained liquid. Measure 25 percent of the strained liquid amount of Bragg apple-cider vinegar and add to the liquid. (If you have 1 quart of the strained liquid, you will need 1 cup of Bragg.)
- Stir well and pour the mixture into a glass jar. Cover the glass jar with cheesecloth to let the mother grow and breathe. Age for three months to one year. The vinegar is ready when it reaches your preferred amount of acidity. Use at will.