Of all the things to experience crazy synchronicity over, celery seems one of the more unusual. And celery drinks, at that — stranger still. I mean, the universe could point me in any number of directions, like towards giving up my possessions and traveling the world, or quitting my job and devoting my life to helping the less fortunate. But apparently, at this moment, it really just wants me to put celery in my booze. Who am I to argue with that?
It began with the newest issue of Imbibe and a little piece called Put a Stalk in It, which discussed celery as a versatile ingredient in cocktails, along with three recipes. As I read it, I thought about that one time many years ago when I bought a can of celery soda purely out of curiosity, and took barely two sips before declaring it mega-nasty. My palate has come quite a long way since those days (that was also the time when I couldn’t stand gin — can you even imagine?!), so it occurred to me that it might be time for me to give celery-flavored drinks another go. Then a couple hours later, Alanna sent me an email discussing, amongst other things, celery soda. “Ooo! Weird!” I thought, and I told her all about the celery cocktails. Then the next day, as I was perusing Liqurious, two more cocktails caught my eye, both of which also happened to contain celery. And to top it all off, one of them was photographed by another one of my favorite food gals, Linda. I mean, can we all agree that this is some totally weird celery mojo?
I picked up a bunch of celery on Saturday morning, just in case inspiration struck during the weekend. By that afternoon, curiosity had gotten the better of me, and I decided 3:00pm was as fine a time as any to throw together a couple of cocktails. Besides, we’re talking celery juice cocktails, people. Practically a health drink! In addition, all I’d been wanting to do since I got my Mark II on Wednesday was to have an epic photo sesh, and photo editing while sipping on a fine glass of something always proves to be most excellent.
And switching gears for a second, can I just say that I LOVE my new camera!! (I don’t want to talk about how I dropped it on Sunday after a strap malfunction that was totally my fault *repeated double facepalm*. Thank god both it and my 28mm wide angle seem to still be working fine. Otherwise, I’d probably still be frozen in my hallway, having a nervous breakdown.) I’ll talk a bit more about the camera once I actually learn more about it (so far I’ve learned that there were a lot of things about full frame sensors that I didn’t quite understand), but I’m really curious if there seems to be any clear difference in photo quality to you, the reader? For me, the most obvious difference lies in the amount of tweaking I do in Lightroom (far less with the MKII). Photos seems crisper and clearer with a lot more subtle detail, and I don’t find myself messing with clarity and the adjustment brush the way I used to with the 60D.
Anyway, moving on. It seems I can’t do a post these days without attempting at least one hands-on photo. I think I really liked the way this one turned out, despite the fact that it showcases the fine shade of translucent my skin happens to be after a VT winter, as well as my secret velociraptor knife grip method (I really should take a class or something). And if you look closely, you can see the scar on my left thumb from my bread knife incident the other week. Um, yeah, moving on from this too……
Back to the booze: This cocktail is simple and awesome. The celery works super well with the gin, bringing a fresh, vegetal taste to the drink. The juniper, citrus, and unique sweetness of agave follow the initial celery flavor, and the whole things finishes on a savory note. It’s delicious, refreshing, and goes down almost dangerously easy.
If you don’t have a juicer (which I do not), you can make celery juice quite easily by pureeing chopped celery in a food processor or blender, then squeezing the juice out through a cheesecloth. I was able to get 1 cup of juice from five large stalks of celery. And making the agave syrup is super simple since agave is already liquid, and all you need to do is whisk together equal parts agave and water. If you’re at all curious about this drink, even just a teeny bit, I highly recommend giving it a try. (Also, grab the current issue of Imbibe if you happen upon it at some point, because there are two other great celery cocktails to be found inside. Along with several recipes for homemade soda that I can’t wait to try, amongst other things!)
A Walk in the Weeds
(from Imbibe, May/June 2013)
makes: 1 drink
- 2 oz. Hendricks gin
- 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
- 3/4 oz. agave syrup (1 part agave : 1 part water)
- 1 oz. fresh celery juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass and garnish with a sprinkle of salt.