This month, Mixology Monday over at Nihil Utopia is all about "forgiving cocktails," meaning ones where you can mess around with them a bit and still have them turn out well. At first, I thought I was going to do something with St. Germain, which goes with pretty much every base spirit you can imagine. But I found myself with a surplus of celery in my fridge, so I went with that instead.
I'd made this cocktail before and been surprised at how well the combination of gin, celery, lemon, and sugar worked. And it seemed like it would be easy enough to swap out the gin for tequila, mezcal, or vodka (if you must). The grassy, green flavors of tequila seemed like a natural fit for the celery, and though I haven't tried it yet with mezcal, I'm guessing that the smokey notes will complement the savoriness of the celery very well.
To punch up the flavor a bit, since I was planning on diluting it with some sparkling wine, I threw in some thyme. Both sparkling wine and thyme are also things that blend well with all types of ingredients, and give the cocktails a bit more depth.
The resulting cocktail is bright and vegetal, with a bit of lightness from the sparkling wine, and a nice earthy background from the combination of thyme and celery. I think you could make this with pretty much any clear spirit, and I wouldn't be opposed to trying it with bourbon. I've made it with tequila and gin so far—let me know if you try something new!
Sparkling Celery-Thyme Cocktail
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 oz lemon juice
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 oz tequila (or gin/mezcal/whatever)
- Sparkling wine
Muddle the celery, sugar, lemon juice, and thyme together in a mixing glass. Add ice and your base spirit. Shake and strain into a champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine.