Monday, October 31, 2016

Ginger Sage Smash

Ginger Sage Smash

Last Monday, I announced some big news - Garnish is now officially affiliated with Muddle & Stir! And it's high time we toasted our new partnership with a cocktail.

If you're not familiar with Muddle & Stir, they're an online retailer that sells tools, glassware, and mixers for cocktails. I love what they're about. In their own words: "We keep running into people who are intimidated to try and create something beyond a gin and tonic at home. As professional bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts, we know that making magical mixtures in your own kitchen is not only possible but fun, exciting and delicious!"

Amen, Muddle & Stir!

Muddle & Stir

So what does this partnership mean? It means that I’m able to offer you guys a fantastic discount on everything at Muddle & Stir – 10% off your purchase plus free shipping when you use the code MS10GB. And if you buy any of their products with this code, a small percentage of the proceeds will come back to Garnish. So if you’d like to support the blog while getting some great new tools and ingredients for your bar, check them out! But don’t worry – this isn’t going to change the blog whatsoever. I’m here to write about great cocktails, not to sell anything. I’ve always liked writing about the ingredients and tools I use, and I’ll continue to do just that. I’ll never recommend anything I don’t love and use myself.

The first time I looked at the selection of bar tools at Muddle & Stir, I kind of had to stop myself from buying all of them. I’ve still got my eye on these clear ice molds and this julep mug. But so far I’ve only purchased two things I’ve been wanting for a while: a wooden muddler and a set of stainless steel cocktail picks. Until now, I’ve (somewhat ironically) been using a stainless steel muddler and wooden cocktail picks, and I wanted to upgrade both.

Muddler & Cocktail Picks

The muddler purchase was inspired by the Death & Co cocktail book, which it seems I'm not going to stop talking about any time soon. My stainless steel muddler has a rubber base with spikes on the bottom, which is pretty effective for mashing something to a pulp, but it's not really ideal for muddling herbs. To illustrate this, Death & Co recommends taking a mint leaf, gently pressing it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue, and tasting the flavor that is expressed. Then chew it up a bit and compare the way it tastes. The chewing releases a lot more bitterness, and it’s those delicate minty flavors that we actually want to capture. That’s why a blunt muddler might be preferable.

The cocktail picks, on the other hand, just look pretty.

Along with my new tools, Muddle & Stir kindly sent me a sampler pack of Black Cloud Bitters, which I was super psyched to try. Last week was basically like Christmas.

Black Cloud Bitters Sampler

I love bitters sampler packs. Other than my bottle of Angostura, which I decimated making Trinidad Sours, I’ve never finished an entire bottle of bitters, so I'm a big fan of buying lots of smaller bottles so that you can try several varieties. And the varieties in the Black Cloud sampler are pretty crazy awesome: Charred Cedar, Saffron Mango, Garden Party (cucumber and celery), Black & Blue (blackberry and blueberry), and Prairie Rose. Since I’m currently in the midst of my first attempt at making my own bitters, I’m trying to train my palate to taste them a bit more skillfully, and I tried all of them in club soda to get an idea of their flavor. They're all excellent, and Charred Cedar in particular is a total show-stopper – the fragrance and flavor are incredible.

So to toast my new partnership with Muddle & Stir, I obviously wanted to create a cocktail that would use my muddler, my cocktail picks, and my new bitters.

Black Cloud Black & Blue Bitters

I decided to build a drink around the Black & Blue bitters. A smash seemed appropriate for my new muddler. My first thought was to reach for some blackberries or blueberries, but I was afraid that would mask the delicate flavor of the bitters themselves, so I decided to keep the berries for a garnish and let the bitters themselves bring all the berry flavor to the drink.

Ginger Sage Smash

I thought sage would work well with the bitters. I used bourbon to bring out some of their cocoa and vanilla notes, and a ginger liqueur to play up their ginger flavors. (The ginger liqueur is part of a bottle swap I did with Mr. Muddle, and I'm not supposed to introduce it for a couple of weeks, but I just had to use it here. Shhh!) Using a ginger simple syrup could yield a similar result.

I'm beyond happy with the finished cocktail, and so excited to create some recipes with the rest of the bitters. Stay tuned! And don't forget to check out Muddle & Stir!

Ginger Sage Smash

Ginger Sage Smash

1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. ginger liqueur (I used King's Ginger)
3 sage leaves
2 droppers Black Cloud Black & Blue bitters

Put sage and simple syrup in the bottom of a glass and muddle until sage is bruised and syrup is greenish. Add bourbon, lemon, ginger liqueur, and bitters. Fill glass with crushed ice and stir. Top with a little more ice, two blackberries on a cocktail pick, and a sage leaf.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Corpse Reviver #2

Corpse Reviver #2

When it comes time for a Halloween cocktail, you don't need to look any further than the classics. Flip through any good cocktail menu and you will find some excellent libations with some thoroughly macabre names: Death in the Afternoon, Blood and Sand, Last Word, Zombie... the list goes on. But my personal favorite has to be the Corpse Reviver #2.

I've been meaning to make a Corpse Reviver #2 for the blog for a while, so Halloween seems like the perfect excuse. That said, this is a cocktail for any time of year (sans cherry juice blood, of course). If you're wondering what corpse it is supposed to revive, I'm afraid to say that it's you - the gruesome name is actually a nod to the fact that this cocktail was invented as a hangover cure.

This sour, citrusy cocktail is made with equal parts gin, lemon, Lillet, and triple sec. A wash of absinthe in the glass gives it a delightful hint of anise and a slight eerie green tint. I decided to use Kina L'Aero d'Or instead of Lillet, which gave the cocktail an intriguingly bitter finish - a different experience than with Lillet, but something I definitely recommend trying if you have a bottle. A bit of juice from my jar of Luxardo cherries, slightly reduced in a saucepan, made a spooky, bloody garnish.

Corpse Reviver #2

History: The fact that this cocktail is called the Corpse Reviver #2 immediately suggests that there is at least one other Corpse Reviver floating around, and that’s true - the Corpse Reviver #1, sometimes just called a Corpse Reviver, made with Cognac, apple brandy or Calvados, and sweet vermouth. Both of these recipes date back to the publication of The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, but the idea of a Corpse Reviver has been around a lot longer than that.

Prior to 1930, the term likely didn't refer to a specific cocktail at all; it was rather a catch-all term for a cocktail consumed to cure a bad hangover. Everyone had their own recipe. The earliest mention of a Corpse Reviver is in Punch magazine in 1861, in a brief article entitled “A Smash for a Sensationalist,” a humorous piece about the Trent Affair that I confess I have some difficulty really understanding. But it ends by describing a hangman who “expectorated twice with a marked gaiety of manner, and after liquoring up a Sling, a Stone Wall, and a Corpse-Reviver, he merrily danced forth into the middle of the room and sang a pleasant little song….”

The earliest printed recipe for a Corpse Reviver comes from 1871, in The Gentleman's Table Guide by E. Ricket and C. Thomas. It calls for a 1:1 mixture of brandy and maraschino and two dashes of Boker's bitters, served in a wine glass. The 1903 Steward's Handbook and Guide to Party Catering by Jessup Whitehead has a different recipe, calling for "a long, thin liqueur-glass filled with equal portions noyeau, maraschino and yellow chartreuse, one on top of the other without mixing them; to be taken off with one draught." Here I presume that noyeau is an almond liqueur like Crème de Noyeaux, which makes this a very different cocktail from any of Corpse Revivers above (and one that seems more likely to cause a hangover than cure one).

The two recipes that remain well-known today were popularized by Harry Craddock in The Savoy Cocktail Book. I don't think it's known whether he developed the recipes himself or not, but many of the cocktails in the book were his invention. #2 has stood the test of time better than #1, and is certainly better known. 

Corpse Reviver #2

Corpse Reviver #2

3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. Lillet, Cocchi Americano, or Kina L'Aero D'Or
3/4 oz. Cointreau or triple sec
3/4 oz. lemon juice
Absinthe rinse (I used Herbsaint)

Combine gin, Lillet, triple sec, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled. Wash a coupe with absinthe and strain the cocktail into the coupe.

Try as a hangover cure if you want, but take care; Harry Craddock notes that "Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again."

Recipe from The Savoy Cocktail BookLots of this history came from an article by Cara Strickland for Tales of the Cocktail.

Monday, October 24, 2016

All In

All In

It's been a big month for Garnish! After a year and a half of quietly blogging, a lot of things seemed to happen at once. I was pretty amazed to hit 2000 Instagram followers this week - if you're one of them, thank you! I'm so flattered that people enjoy my photos and my drinks. I got to attend my first cocktail competition, the Boston qualifier for the Diplomático World Tournament (which I sort of live-tweeted, if you want to take a look at the nine entries). I met a bunch of my fellow Boston bloggers in person, including Mr. Muddle and Boston Bar Hopper, which was really fun. And I had some great collaborations with Hooch, Drizly, and Cocktail Builder.

On top of all that, I've just started a new collaboration that I'm particularly excited about. Garnish is now officially partnered with Muddle & Stir, a fantastic site that sells bar tools, glassware, and mixers such as bitters, shrubs, and syrups. I'm going to do a post soon featuring a few of their products to give them a proper introduction, but I definitely wanted to let you guys know as soon as possible that Garnish readers can get 10% off and free shipping on everything at Muddle & Stir with the discount code MS10GB. This is a great deal, as their prices are already quite good. So go check out their products and buy something new for your bar! And stay turned for more about our partnership and details on some of my favorite products on the site.

Let's celebrate with a cocktail, shall we?

All In

I've come a long way from the days when I thought that the only good use for crème de cacao was in a chocolate martini or a Brandy Alexander. The Flushing - Main Street and the 20th Century both convinced me that this can be a much more versatile spirit than I realized. So when I saw this recipe pairing it with Campari, I was, well, all in. This cocktail is a riff on the Old Pal, which is made with equal parts rye, Campari, and dry vermouth. The All In changes up the proportions a bit and makes the critical addition of crème de cacao. The hint of chocolate plays beautifully with the bitter, citrusy flavor of the Campari and the rich, spicy rye.

History: The All In comes from Natasha David at Nitecap in New York City.

All In

1 1/2 oz. rye
3/4 oz. dry vermouth
3/4 oz. Campari
1/4 oz. creme de cacao

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

Recipe from Punch.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Five Pumpkin Cocktails You Need for Fall

Spiced Pumpkin Punch
Photo by Honestly Yum
Hi guys! Today I'm really excited to bring you Garnish's first ever guest post, by Jager Weatherby of Cocktail Builder. Cocktail builder is a site that helps you find drink recipes you can make with what you have in your bar. They've also got an awesome blog. Check it out today to read my guest post on Harry's New York Bar in Paris! 

We’ve reached the peak of October and you know what that means: everyone is going crazy about pumpkins. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin spice lattes, the squash is everywhere this season.

However, there’s a much more exciting way to consume the autumnal fruit. You guessed it: in a cocktail. While we still love other seasonal ingredients such as apples, cranberries, and pears, pumpkin adds a sweet and earthy flavor that’s unique and unexpected.

If you, too, can’t get enough of pumpkins, you won’t want to miss whipping up one of the following five cocktails. They’re equally perfect for unwinding by the fire or pairing with a warm and hearty meal. 

Pumpkin Old Fashioned

Pumpkin Old Fashioned

If you’re hesitant to work squash into your cocktail regimen, the Pumpkin Old Fashioned is a good place to start. This updated version of the classic from The Raw and the Cooked includes pumpkin puree and ginger snap liqueur for an adult rendition of a cookie. See recipe

Pumpkin Toddy

Pumpkin Toddy

Who doesn’t love a hot toddy when the weather cools down? This autumn-ready concoction from Better Homes and Gardens swaps honey for maple syrup, while adding apple brandy and pumpkin puree. This cocktail is so cozy, you’ll never want to say goodbye to the season. See recipe

Spiced Pumpkin Shrub

Spiced Pumpkin Shrub

While whiskey seems to the rule cocktail creations in the fall, there’s still plenty to be had for vodka lovers. This recipe from Swooned calls for a homemade syrup of pumpkin, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar. The mixture blends perfectly with vodka and ginger ale for a sip that’s spicy and sweet. See recipe

Spiced Pumpkin Punch

Spiced Pumpkin Punch

If you're searching for a simple and festive recipe to serve a large crowd, look no further than this Pumpkin Punch from Honestly Yum. Spiced rum and spiced demerara syrup deliver a double whammy of autumnal flavor. Pro tip: wow guests at a Halloween party by using dry ice for a spooky effect. See recipe

Fireball Pumpkin Pie Shots

Fireball Pumpkin Pie Shots

Pack a punch to your dessert with these whiskey-based creations from That's So Michelle. Made with Fireball, pumpkin pudding mix, milk, and whipped cream, these sweet and easy treats are simply delicious. The recipe can be crafted into a silky mousse or frozen into creamsicles. These can also made days ahead of serving, making them a stress-free dessert to dole out after Thanksgiving dinner. See recipe

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mixology Monday: Dram Positive

Dram Positive

Mixology MondayIt's Mixology Monday again! This month's challenge is hosted by Fred Yarm of Cocktail Virgin Slut and the theme is mashups. The idea is to take two cocktails and combine them into one. It was a bit challenging! I played around with a lot of different ideas. Since I just featured Drambuie on the blog last week, the Rusty Nail was still fresh in my mind. I thought it would be a good candidate for a mashup cocktail because its recipe is so simple - just Scotch and Drambuie.

I decided to combine the Rusty Nail with the Penicillin, another Scotch cocktail. I haven't featured the Penicillin on the blog yet, but I really should. It's a spectacular cocktail, one that could definitely be considered a "new classic." It was created by Sam Ross, formerly of Milk & Honey and now at Attaboy in the Lower East Side. It's a mixture of blended Scotch, lemon juice, honey-ginger syrup, and a float of peaty single malt. Since Drambuie has a Scotch base and strong honey flavors, I thought it would be perfect. I stuck to a ginger simple syrup and let the Drambuie bring the honey notes itself.

You'll have to forgive this cocktail's name, but I just couldn't resist. Sir Alexander Fleming (who was Scottish, by the way) discovered penicillin when a colony of Penicillium mold contaminated a plate of Staphylococcus in his lab, inhibiting its growth. Staph is a gram-positive bacteria. This cocktail is a Penicillin with Drambuie, so... Dram Positive!

I'll just see myself out.

Dram Positive

Dram Positive

1 1/2 oz. blended Scotch (I used Famous Grouse)
1/2 oz. Drambuie
3/4 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. ginger syrup*
1/4 oz. Lagavulin or other peaty Scotch

Combine blended Scotch, Drambuie, lemon juice, and ginger syrup in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into an old fashioned glass over one large ice cube. Float the Lagavulin on top by gently pouring it over the back of a spoon. Garnish with candied ginger.

*For ginger syrup, peel and slice a 1-inch piece of fresh ginger. Bring equal parts sugar and water to a simmer in a saucepan and add the ginger. Let simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely and strain.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lady Trent

Lady Trent

I’m quite excited to partner with Drizly to bring you today’s cocktail!

If you haven't heard of Drizly, it's an alcohol delivery service. It was started in Boston in 2013 by two Boston College graduates, and today it's available in 18 cities. For a $5 delivery fee, you can have the bottles of your choice delivered to your home within an hour. There's no markup - Drizly partners with local liquor stores and sells everything at their prices. They also sell mixers and ice!

My first encounter with Drizly was earlier this year when my brother, who lives in New Zealand, used it to send my husband a nice bottle of Japanese whiskey for his birthday. It was so convenient - he ordered it online, I got a notification and selected a delivery window, and it showed up at our door the next day. It might have even been the same evening. I was very impressed.

Appleton Signature Blend

When Drizly kindly offered to send me a bottle for this post, I jumped at the chance to order some Appleton Estate Signature Blend Rum (formerly called Appleton Estate V/X). Appleton is one of the most common Jamaican rums you find here in the States. As you may remember, varieties of rum differ from one another largely based on where they're made; each Caribbean island has its own style, largely influenced by whether they were colonized by the English, French, or Spanish. Jamaican rum is English-style, meaning it's made from Demerara sugar rather than molasses or sugarcane juice, and it has a distinct flavor that most people refer to as a "funkiness." I'd never really gotten a handle on what on earth this means, so the first thing I did when my bottle arrived was was compare the Appleton to the two other aged rums I had in my bar: Barbancourt 3 Star from Haiti, which is a French-style aged rum made from sugarcane juice, and Folly Cove from Gloucester, MA, made from fermented molasses.

Lady Trent

The Appleton is, well... a bit funkier. It stands up to other ingredients better, holding its own with a rich, fruity flavor. It's also smoother and much more pleasant to drink on its own than the other two. I was pretty excited to use it in a cocktail.

I wanted to do a spirit-forward cocktail that would really feature the Appleton's distinct flavor. I started by playing with a rum version of the Japanese Cocktail, a classic made with Cognac, orgeat, and bitters. (For the uninitiated, orgeat is an almond syrup.) It was pretty good, but when I replaced the orgeat with Velvet Falernum, I felt like I'd stumbled upon something perfect.

Lady Trent

Falernum is a spiced syrup used in many Caribbean cocktails, flavored with ingredients like citrus zest, cloves, allspice, ginger, and almond. Velvet Falernum is an alcoholic version made in Barbados. It's basically a low-proof, sweetened, spiced rum. It did a wonderful job of enhancing the Appleton. Some orange and Angostura bitters rounded out the final product, which is a sort of a rum Old Fashioned. Despite all these big ingredients, it has a surprisingly delicate, almost floral flavor, which I decided to emphasize with a slender coupe and an orchid garnish.

Lady Trent

I named my new cocktail the Lady Trent after the main character in a wonderful series of books I've been reading by Marie Brennan. It seemed to fit - the drink is strong, exotic, and elegant.

The Appleton Estate is available from Drizly here!

Lady Trent

Lady Trent

2 oz. aged Jamaican rum (Appleton Signature Blend recommended)
1/2 oz. Velvet Falernum
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 dash orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe and garnish with an edible flower.

Thanks to Drizly for making this post possible!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bottle Buy: Drambuie


I've got another new ingredient to introduce today: Drambuie. Best known for its use in the Rusty Nail, this Scottish liqueur traces its roots back to English royalty. It doesn't seem to show up in that many cocktails, but it's got a fantastic flavor that I'd like to play around with more.

Drambuie is a Scotch-based liqueur flavored with spices, herbs, and honey. The exact recipe is a well-kept secret, and has been for a long time. The main flavors I get when I taste it are anise and honey, with hints of spices and citrus. It's thick and a bit syrupy on its own. It would make a nice after-dinner drink.

Drambuie claims that the recipe was first developed by the Royal Apothecary for Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century. If you're fuzzy on your British royals like I am, let me fill you in. You don't need to know this to enjoy your Drambuie, but I think it makes it a lot more fun.

Bonnie Prince Charlie was a Stuart, a member of the royal house of Scotland. His grandfather James II was King of England, but he was exiled in the Glorious Revolution for being a Catholic. James II's son, also named James, tried to regain the throne and failed, so it fell to his grandson Charles (aka Bonnie Prince Charlie), who was named regent in 1743 at the age of 23.

Charles Edward Stuart
Charles Edward Stuart, aka "Bonnie Prince Charlie," in 1745

With the throne of England, the legitimacy of the Catholic faith, and his family's honor hanging in the balance, one can imagine that Charlie might have needed a stiff drink every now and then. Drambuie says he would have a few drops of a concoction developed by his apothecary every day "for strength and vitality." Unfortunately, it didn't help him win the Battle of Culloden, and Charlie lost his chance to re-take the throne. He ended up on the run in Scotland, where the Highlanders protected and helped him.

Legend has it that one of these Highlanders was John MacKinnon, Chief of Clan MacKinnon, who helped Charles escape from the Isle of Skye. To thank him, Bonnie Prince Charles gave him the recipe for his liqueur. The clan passed it down for generations, until a hotel proprietor named John Ross began serving it to his patrons on the Isle of Skye in 1873. His customers loved it, calling it "an dram buidheach" in Gaelic, meaning "the drink that satisfies." It was popular enough that Malcom MacKinnon began producing it to sell in 1909, using the phrase as inspiration for its name, Drambuie.

How much of this is actually true? Probably not much. Attributing the recipe to Bonnie Prince Charles is a great marketing scheme. But you never know! After all, they're confident enough to put "Prince Charles Edward Stuart's Liqueur" right there on the label.

Drambuie Rusty Nail


Price: $35
Alcohol Content: 40%
Popular Cocktails: Rusty Nail, Bonnie Prince Charles, Bobby Burns

When it comes to cocktails, Drambuie is basically synonymous with the Rusty Nail. A mixture of Scotch and Drambuie with a lemon twist, it's a simple but delicious recipe. It's also quite a strong cocktail. A knock-you-on-your-ass, I-don't-even-remember-doing-that sort of cocktail. It's something about the Drambuie that just makes it go down a little too easy. My parents introduced me to it a couple of Christmases ago, and they told me their notorious Rusty Nail story: a friend of theirs had a few too many and stumbled home drunk without his house keys. He ended up kicking down his own front door in the middle of the night. The next morning his toddler asked "Is Daddy a cowboy?"

By the same token, I have a couple of friends who say they'd love to get into Scotch but they just don't like it by itself. The sweet, herbal Drambuie makes the Rusty Nail a nice gateway cocktail for would-be Scotch drinkers.

A Rusty Nail usually calls for a blended Scotch. My current favorite is Monkey Shoulder. You'll also want to experiment with the ratio of Scotch to Drambuie. Drambuie is quite sweet, so I like the 4:1 ratio here. But it can go as high as 1:1. You can also add a little squeeze of lemon juice if you want a bit more citrus.

Rusty Nail

History: According to David Wondrich, the earliest mention of a Scotch and Drambuie cocktail is in 1937, when the B.I.F. was introduced by F. Benniman for the British Industries Fair. A 3:1 ratio served up with a dash of Angostura bitters, it wasn't quite the same as a Rusty Nail. After that, Drambuie + Scotch became a somewhat common cocktail formula, but it existed under many names, from the self explanatory D & S to the more obscure Knucklehead and Mig-21. At some point, somebody started calling it a Rusty Nail. Drambuie embraced the cocktail, and their chairwoman Gina MacKinnon (yep, still a MacKinnon) mentioned the Rusty Nail by name in the New York Times in 1963, putting to rest any other contenders. At this point, it was a 1:1 formula, meant to be built in a glass. Easy and unfussy, it became a very popular cocktail to make at home during this time. It was famously enjoyed by the Rat Pack.

Something about the Rusty Nail still evokes the image of a mirrored bar cart sitting in a den full of midcentury furniture, velvet sofas, and wood-paneled walls. It's retro, almost tacky. It's what your dad drinks. In the premier of the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, Saul Goodman makes himself a Rusty Nail at home, prompting Gothamist to write the article "Of Course Saul Goodman Drinks Rusty Nails." If you're at all familiar with the character, it totally fits. Maybe the Rusty Nail was just popular at an awkward time for cocktails - too recently to be lumped in with romantic, Prohibition-era recipes and too long ago to benefit from the current mixology renaissance. But I'd argue that it's still worthy of some attention. I hope we see a Rusty Nail comeback in the near future.

Rusty Nail

2 oz. Scotch
1/2 oz. Drambuie

Combine Scotch and Drambuie in a rocks glass with one or two large ice cubes and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Gin Hound

Gin Hound

I promise this will be my last Death & Co recipe for at least a few posts! Obviously there are tons of impeccable recipes in that book, and a few more are definitely going to show up here, but I'll try not to overdo it. When I first got the book, I tried out many of the more summery recipes, and I wanted to share a few before it got too cold. Today it warmed up a bit in Boston just in time for the Gin Hound.

One of the ingredients in the Gin Hound - and one that shows up in a few other Death & Co recipes as well - is celery. My knee-jerk reaction to celery is that I don't particularly like it. The only time I'd really like to be gnawing on a raw piece of celery is when I finish my Bloody Mary before brunch arrives. No amount of ranch dressing or peanut butter and raisins is really going to make me excited about eating celery. But it occurred to me that I do like it when it's used in a supporting role. I love it in tuna salad, and of course it's one third of the Cajun Holy Trinity. So maybe me and celery are cool under the right circumstances.

So what about in a cocktail? I've enjoyed using celery bitters, particularly in the Means of Preservation. So when I saw this riff on the Gimlet made with celery juice in the Death & Co cocktail book, I thought it was definitely worth a try.

Gin Hound

The result was a pleasant surprise. The celery in this cocktail isn't as in-your-face as you might expect; it works so well that it would probably take you a while to guess what you were tasting. It's not that the flavor doesn't come through, it's just that it's used in a way I'm entirely unused to. With the gin, lime, and honey, it provides a vegetal flavor that isn't really savory - think of cocktails that use cucumber or basil and how well they blend with gin and lime. Surprisingly, celery is in the same category.

Gin Hound

Speaking of the changing seasons, head over to Hooch to read a guest blog I wrote rounding up eight of my favorite fall cocktails!

History: The Gin Hound was invented by Joaquín Simó at Death & Co in 2009.

Gin Hound

2 oz. gin (Tanqueray recommended)
1/2 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. celery juice*
1/2 oz. honey syrup**

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with some celery leaves, if desired.

*There are several ways you can make your celery juice. If you have a juicer, you're set. If not, you can puree several stalks of celery in a food processor or blender and then strain the pulp through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. You can also use a grater and strain the grated celery the same way.

**For honey syrup, combine two parts honey and one part water in a saucepan and simmer, stirring, until honey is dissolved. Let cool completely before using. Note that in other recipes on this site, I've used a 1:1 ratio of honey and water, but Death & Co calls for 2:1.

Recipe from The Death & Co Cocktail Book.