DOTW: Sungold Zinger

Posted by Anita on 08.20.08 5:35 PM

(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**As our book club sips its merry way around the City, we’re discovering quite a few cocktails that we really like. Try as we might to work up enthusiasm for the drinks we’ve intended to sample, more often than not we actually become quite captivated by another option on the menu.

Such was life the other night at the bar at Range, where we’d gone to sample the Green Lantern, their contribution to Food & Wine Cocktails 2008. It’s an interesting enough drink, and if you hadn’t told me the lurid green came from muddled kiwifruit, I probably would have been stumped.

But the highlight of the evening was two pleasant surprises behind the bar: A newly-shorn Carlos Yturria — who, much to everyone’s pleasure has taken the Wednesday shift alongside the ever-fabulous Brooke — and the reappearance of a summertime favorite on the drinks list. The stalwart known as the Sungold Zinger has graced Range’s warm-weather cocktail menu since the restaurant’s earliest days, and its fan club is legion.

Jen ordered one, served by the man who invented it. Then Fatemeh followed, and then me, and then Cameron, and pretty soon there was a line down the bar of these sharp-looking, vibrant-orange cocktails. Well-balanced, tangy but not too tart, it’s a simple but beguiling combination… the kind of drink you wonder why nobody invented before. Everyone who tasted it had to have one of their own; we were totally smitten. And, apparently, we’re not alone: the Sungold Zinger was chosen one of the 20 best cocktails in America by GQ magazine.

It’s a simple enough recipe to make at home, especially when Sungold tomatoes are at their peak, as they are right now. But if you’re anywhere near Range — especially on a Wednesday night when Carlos is around — drop in for a little sip of summer sunshine.

by  *Fatemeh* via Flickr - Licensed under Creative Commons(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**(c)2008 AEC **all rights reserved**

Sungold Zinger
3-4 Sungold tomatoes
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 oz agave syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
1-1/2 oz 209 gin

Muddle the tomatoes, salt, and syrup together in a mixing glass. Add lemon juice and gin, and shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with another tomato on the rim.

Variation: Replace the agave syrup with an equal amount of St-Germain elderflower liqueur, a nice alternative if you want a little floral hit.

(leftmost filmstrip photo courtesy of book-club member *fatemeh* via CreativeCommons)

bar culture, Drink of the Week, drinks, recipes, restaurants, The Mission



Comment by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Looks like a winner, you’re making me wish I could be in SF right about now…

Posted on 08.20.08 at 10:02PM

Comment by Doug Cress

I agree, its a wonder I’ve never seen this sort of combination in the past. I’ll keep an eye out.

Posted on 08.21.08 at 8:21AM

Comment by EB

I love the sungold! It was the first cocktail I’d had with tomato (that wasn’t you know… a heavy tomato bloody mary thingy). It was a revelation!

Posted on 08.21.08 at 3:04PM

Comment by cookiecrumb

What’s exciting to me is that pinch of salt.

“Book Club.” Heh. Y’all buncha literary drunks. (Barkeep, another Bud over here.)

Posted on 08.21.08 at 6:21PM

Comment by Rick

Anita, this sounds delightful. My sungolds go enormous this year due to me ignoring them completely :)

Posted on 08.22.08 at 10:43AM

Comment by Eugenia

Oh MY. We’re bursting with Sungolds here in Eugene. I’m going to play around with this one.

Posted on 08.23.08 at 3:27PM

Comment by Mike S.

This drink is absolutely fantastic! An instant favorite for the deep summertime when those little tomatoes are at their best. And I’m just starting to experiment with my newly-acquired bottle of 209 Gin, which is just outstanding. Thanks for the post, and cheers to Carlos for the creation.

Posted on 08.23.08 at 9:05PM

Comment by Chris Bailey

Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I made it twice at home on Friday, and then Saturday took it to make at a friends house. They went crazy for it, and I wound up making 6 rounds! I think that the other nice thing was that this showed them a gin drink they like, and also a bit more involved cocktail and so on, but keeps it relatively easy to make.

Posted on 08.25.08 at 9:51AM

Comment by Tartelette

And you had to say “St Germain”…and I am out :( Still the cocktail sure sounds perfect for the end of summer or after a long day at work. You guys go style!!
Oh, bravo for what you wrote on Chez Pim..could not have said it better!

Posted on 08.26.08 at 2:09PM

Comment by maybelles mom (feeding maybelle)

WOW, this is brilliant. i was just finishing up my tomato sorbet, but I wished I had seen this first!

Posted on 09.07.08 at 12:06PM

Comment by Garrett

I so rarely comment on other blogs, but Anita, I love your cocktails. I so want to go to your parties. ;)

Posted on 09.15.08 at 1:33PM

Comment by sam

Anita – I love you – this recipe is fantastic, thank you for helping me something to do with my sungolds! The salt is really good like CC suspects. I might just cut back a tad on the sweetness next glass (my sugolds are super sweet). There will be a next glass & maybe it will have st germain in it because yes I have that in stock too.

Posted on 09.28.08 at 7:13PM

Comment by malarkey

Yum! This sounds sooo good. We are at the very tail end of tom season here. Still getting some good ones but I’m sure this is the last of them… :-(

where am I gonna find agave syrup?! Oy.

Posted on 10.06.08 at 8:51PM

Pingback by elliemay’s blog » Tomato Harvest

[...] other favorite pastime: cocktails. Sure enough, the Internet provided plenty of ideas. I tried the Sun Gold Zinger, a gin based drink featuring muddled Sun Golds and lemon juice. Somehow it tasted exactly like [...]

Posted on 10.08.11 at 4:38PM

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