Alejandro López’s motivation for creating Toma, a ‘just-add-spirits’ Bloody Mary cocktail mixer of artisanal ingredients was because, “It’s one of the most complicated and inconsistently made drinks at a restaurant or bar as everyone has their own recipe. It’s one of the only cocktails that are made in the kitchen. That requires prep space, time, and labor.”
López is the sole proprietor of Pestano Foods, named for his mother who immigrated to Tarrytown in 1969 from Cuba. The name “Toma” comes from one of the key ingredients in López’s recipe: he uses chipotle tomatillo sauce in addition to traditional tomato juice. Another distinguishing element in Toma is organic, gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire sauce.
With the help of Cornell University’s Food Research Lab, López spent a year perfecting and scaling-up his recipe for production, and hopes to launch Toma’s second variety, a sriracha-centric blend made with natural agave instead of hot sauce and corn syrup, in late 2017.
Toma is currently available at high-end markets throughout Westchester including Mint Premium Foods in Alejandro’s hometown of Tarrytown, Market North in Armonk, Standing Room Only in Scarsdale, and online at www.DrinkToma.com and OurHarvest.com based out of Hicksville. For those looking to try a cocktail first, Toma is presently served at 251 Lex in Mount Kisco, 273 Kitchen in Harrison, 8 North Broadway in Nyack, and Lilly’s in White Plains, as well as the Prohibition Distillery in Roscoe.
For home mixologists, López’s personal recipe is made with Bootlegger 21 vodka from local partner Prohibition Distillery or Hendrick’s for gin-loving guests. If tequila is more the house style, he recommends only a reposado as “the hint of sweetness and smokiness pairs well with Toma.”
Toma Bloody Mary Mix
Pestano Foods, New Rochelle
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