Good Eats, as discussed in an earlier post, broke ground for Food Network in many ways. It was a different, more dynamic style of cooking show. It not only delivered recipes focused on any variety of ingredients, it educated you on why those ingredients were there. They many have been something that was carefully tinkered with, it may just be that is what the people had to eat at the time and it worked. The show, like any good chef, broke down that day's topic with such efficiency that nothing was left on the table. If that ingredient had a way to be used, Alton Brown made sure he showed you that use. One of those ingredients that he really broke down was celery. Celeryman showed up in the third episode of season twelve with many ideas on what one could do with this watery stalk, other than turning them into ants on a log.
There are two uses for celery that were not discussed on the show that offer some savory options for recipes. Celery salt, the ground up seeds of the celery plant, is a spicy addition to many dishes and some cocktails, including the Bloody Mary. Celery bitters are showing up more and more in drinks as the array of bitters that are available expands at the same rate flavored vodkas seemed to in the 2000's. Saveur magazine, in an article on organic vodkas, used both of these celery options and a little apple cider to make a fall friendly treat.
Celery Cider (by Saveur Magazine)
1.5 oz./ 45 mL vodka
2 oz./ 60 mL apple cider
1 tsp./ 5 mL simple syrup
Pinch of celery salt
3 ds. celery bitters
Juice of one lime
Garnish: Celery salt
Place all of the ingredients into a mixing tin. Add ice, then shake until well chilled, 20 - 30 seconds. Strain the mixture into the prepared glass over fresh ice, then serve.
I REALLY wanted to like this one. I am a fan of all the ingredients that went into the glass, and finding modern vodka cocktails is difficult. The balance was not there. Maybe it was too much celery salt on the rim or in the drink. Maybe the one lime I used was too large. I kept wrestling with it as I sipped, finding things to like about it but not falling in love with it. This is definitely a recipe I would like to play with to get the proportions more to my linking, since I am so excited about the potential of this savory cocktail.