Tomato juice is a juice made from tomatoes. It is usually used as a beverage, either plain or in cocktails such as a Bloody Mary or Michelada.
Tomato juice was first served as a beverage in 1917 by Louis Perrin at the French Lick Springs Hotel in southern Indiana, when he ran out of orange juice and needed a quick substitute. His combination of squeezed tomatoes, sugar and his special sauce became an instant success as Chicago businessmen spread the word about the tomato juice cocktail. When people heard more about this drink the businessmen became more and more famous.
Many commercial manufacturers of tomato juice also add salt. Other ingredients are also often added, such as onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. In the United States, mass-produced tomato juice began to be marketed in the mid 1920s, and became a popular breakfast drink a few years thereafter. In Canada, by law, tomato juice must be made from whole tomatoes; in the United States, most tomato juice is made from tomato paste.
Tomato juice with other ingredients found in Bloody Mary mix
In Canada and Mexico, tomato juice is popular mixed with beer, the concoction is known in Canada as Calgary Red-Eye and in Mexico as Cerveza preparada. Tomato juice is the base for the cocktails Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar, and the cocktail mixer Clamato.
Tomato juice is frequently used as a packing liquid for canned tomatoes, though it is sometimes replaced by tomato purée for international commerce due to tariff issues on vegetables vs. sauces. According to Cook’s Illustrated magazine, tomatoes packed in juice as opposed to purée tend to win taste tests, being perceived as fresher tasting.
Tomato juice is used in the preparation of tomato juice agar, used to culture various species of Lactobacillus.
Among airplane passengers, tomato juice has an increased popularity, e.g. Lufthansa served more than 1,700,000 l (450,000 US gal) of tomato juice in 2008, more than beer at 1,650,000 l (440,000 US gal). Research has shown this could be because of the different pressure conditions in flights, which alter taste receptors.