Ceci N’est Pas Une Tomate: the Experimental Cocktail Club’s surreal blend of coffee and tomato

World Best Bar

Feb 26, 2019

Ceci N’est Pas Une Tomate: the Experimental Cocktail Club’s surreal blend of coffee and tomato
Ceci N’est Pas Une Tomate is a work of alchemy by Paris cocktail bar the Experimental Cocktail Club. It comprises tequila, quinquina, tomato liqueur and cold brew coffee and – I can confirm after my first hesitant sip – it is absolutely delicious.

Let’s start with the most unusual ingredient: the 72 Tomates Liqueur. It is a combination of homemade brandy and 72 varieties of tomatoes, produced by an artisanal French distillery. The resulting melange is robust with a serious umami kick. It serves to draw out the richer characteristics of the other elements, but the lightweight nature of the liqueur means the final cocktail maintains a delicate texture, making it dangerously quaffable.

Of all the additions to this truly experimental blend, it’s the coffee that shines through the most. As with the liqueur, a lightweight cold brew was chosen to keep the finished product from becoming too thick or heavy. Made with beans from Paris-based roasters Café Lomi, it takes on a subtly creamy, caramel quality comparable to an affogato or a white russian, despite containing no dairy products whatsoever.



This miraculous mixture didn’t simply occur overnight. Bar manager Matthew Long had the idea brewing for a number of years before deciding on the final recipe. The ultimate aim was to showcase the coffee and tomato pairing, but it’s the precise ratios of quinquina, sugar syrup and tequila that harmonise the key ingredients.

  • Begin with several large ice cubes in a tall glass
  • Pour in 50ml cold brew coffee
  • Add in 30ml Distillerie Cazottes 72 Tomates Liqueur
  • Then 15ml Calle 23 Blanco tequila followed by 25ml Dubonnet Rouge
  • Finally, add 10ml sugar syrup made of equal parts sugar and water
  • Stir the ingredients together and garnish with a sundried tomato

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