If you’re someone who cares about Bloody Marys, then you have to take everything seriously.

That includes your tomato juice.

How to Make Tomato Juice

Sure, it’s easy to go to the store and pick up a basic can of tomato juice that’s going to get the job done. But you’re not like everyone else, you’re special. You want this magic elixir to taste like it came from you! So, why not do it yourself? Besides, everyone knows you’re a leader, not a follower.

The Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Tomato Juice 1

The Ultimate Guide to Making Homemade Tomato Juice

Tomato juice is a versatile and healthy beverage that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for various recipes. While store-bought options are readily available, making your own tomato juice at home allows you to control the quality of ingredients and customize the flavors to suit your taste preferences. We will walk you through the step-by-step process of making delicious homemade tomato juice.

Table of Contents

  1. Selecting the Right Tomatoes
  2. Preparing the Tomatoes
  3. Cooking and Straining the Tomatoes
  4. Flavoring Options for Tomato Juice
  5. Bottling and Storing Tomato Juice
  6. Using Tomato Juice in Recipes
  7. Health Benefits of Tomato Juice
  8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  9. Conclusion
  10. Selecting the Right Tomatoes

When it comes to making tomato juice, selecting the right tomatoes is crucial to achieving a flavorful and vibrant drink. Look for ripe, juicy tomatoes with a deep red color, as they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful than underripe ones. Heirloom varieties such as Roma, Beefsteak, or San Marzano are excellent choices for tomato juice due to their rich flavor profiles.

  1. Preparing the Tomatoes

Before you begin making tomato juice, it’s essential to prepare the tomatoes properly:

  • Wash the tomatoes thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Remove any stems or leaves from the tomatoes.
  • If desired, you can peel the tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water. Roughly 30 seconds should be fine. Then transferring them into an ice bath.
  • Cut each tomato into quarters or smaller pieces for easier cooking and straining later on.
  1. Cooking and Straining the Tomatoes

The cooking process helps release flavors and softens the tomatoes, making it easier to extract the juice. Here’s how you can cook and strain the tomatoes:

  • In a large pot, add the prepared tomatoes and bring them to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
  • Cook the tomatoes for about 20-30 minutes until they become soft and start to break down. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Once cooked, allow the tomatoes to cool slightly before transferring them into a food mill or blender.
  • Use a food mill or blender to puree the cooked tomatoes until smooth.
  • Place a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth over a clean bowl or pitcher, then pour the tomato puree through it. Press gently with a spoon to extract as much juice as possible while leaving behind any pulp or seeds.
  1. Flavoring Options for Tomato Juice

While tomato juice is delicious on its own, you can enhance its flavors by adding various seasonings and ingredients. Here are some popular flavor options:

  • Salt and pepper: Add salt (a pinch) and freshly ground black pepper to enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • Worcestershire sauce: A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce add depth and umami flavor to your tomato juice.
  • Hot sauce: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, incorporate hot sauce according to your spice preference.
  • Fresh herbs: Adding chopped fresh basil, parsley, or cilantro can elevate the taste profile of your tomato juice. Feel free to experiment with different flavor combinations until you find your perfect blend.
  1. Bottling and Storing Tomato Juice

Once you’ve achieved your desired flavor profile, it’s time to bottle and store your homemade tomato juice:

  • Sterilize glass bottles or jars with tight-fitting lids. Boil them in water for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the prepared tomato juice into each sterilized bottle, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top.
  • Seal the bottles tightly and allow them to cool completely before refrigerating or storing in a cool, dark place.
  • Homemade tomato juice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or preserved by using proper canning techniques for long-term storage.
  1. Using Tomato Juice in Recipes

Besides enjoying tomato juice on its own, here are some creative ways to incorporate it into recipes:

  • Bloody Mary cocktail: A classic use of tomato juice, mix it with vodka, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and other seasonings for a refreshing Bloody Mary.
  • Gazpacho: Blend tomato juice with cucumber, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and herbs to create a flavorful chilled soup.
  • Pasta sauces: Use tomato juice as a base for homemade pasta sauces such as marinara or Bolognese.
  • Soups and stews: Add tomato juice to soups or stews for an extra depth of flavor and richness.
  • Tomato-based cocktails: Experiment with tomato juice in other cocktails like Michelada or Red Snapper.
  1. Health Benefits of Tomato Juice

Tomato juice offers numerous health benefits due to its high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some notable benefits include:

  • Rich in lycopene: Lycopene is an antioxidant known for its potential cancer-fighting properties.
  • Heart health: The nutrients present in tomato juice may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Hydration: Tomato juice contains electrolytes that aid in hydration while providing essential nutrients.
  • Digestive health: The fiber content in tomatoes promotes healthy digestion and can prevent constipation.
  1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones? Yes, you can use canned tomatoes if fresh ones are not available. However, make sure to choose high-quality canned tomatoes without added salt or preservatives.

Q2. How can I make tomato juice without a food mill or blender? If you don’t have a food mill or blender, you can use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the cooked tomatoes. Press the tomato puree through the sieve using the back of a spoon.

Q3. Can I freeze homemade tomato juice? Yes, homemade tomato juice can be frozen for future use. Pour it into freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for easy portioning.

Making your own tomato juice at home is a rewarding and delicious experience that allows you to fully appreciate the flavors of fresh tomatoes. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to create a refreshing and versatile beverage that can be enjoyed on its own or incorporated into various culinary creations. Experiment with different flavorings and techniques until you find your perfect homemade tomato juice recipe!


  • 5 lbs of stemmed tomatoes
  • 1 quart store-bought tomato juice
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 2 Small onions
  • Water
  • Whole rosemary sprig
  • Salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half and arrange skin-side down on a baking sheet. Dice onions and add to sheet.
  3. Set rosemary and garlic cloves on baking sheet with tomatoes. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over all.
  4. Place baking sheet in oven and roast for one hour or until tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape.
  5. Remove tomatoes from oven and set aside until cooled to the touch. Discard rosemary and garlic.
  6. Place tomatoes and onions into a soup pot with tomato juice. Add water until vegetables are barely submerged. Bring to boil. Turn down heat, cover and let simmer until vegetables fall apart, or about 1 hour.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Add to Stu’s Bloody Mary Mix with spirits for the perfect Bloody Mary!

Homemade Tomato Juice Recipe

For a quick and easy recipe, you can also make this version

This Homemade Tomato Juice Recipe Yields about 3-4 quarts.


  • 5 lbs. ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small onions
  • Water
  • Salt to Taste


Step 1: Cut your ripe tomatoes into quarters. Remove stems. Place into a soup pot.

Step 2: Dice onions and add to pot.

Step 3: Add water until vegetables are barely submerged. Bring pot to a boil. Turn down

Step 4: Turn down heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables fall apart, about 2 hours.

Step 5: Remove from heat and let cool. Strain cooled liquid into a second pot. Discard the seeds and skins.

Step 6: Add salt to taste.

Step 7: Add to Stu’s THIS IS BLOODY MARY MIX with spirits for the perfect Bloody Mary!