Give Cocktails A Savory Spin With A Celery Shrub

glasses with celery leaves and lime
glasses with celery leaves and lime - Rimma_bondarenko/Getty Images

Whether you're winding down from a long work week or watching your favorite reality show with friends, enjoying a boozy libation is an easy way to loosen up and relax. From refreshing white wines to smoky mezcal margaritas, we love drinks in all their forms, but because we're adventurous drinkers, we're not afraid to think outside the box. Enter your new secret weapon: celery shrub.

Cocktail shrubs are acidic compounds made from a combination of vinegar and herbs or plants commonly used in place of citrus in beverages. Although shrubs can often be sweet and fruity, a celery shrub offers your cocktails a departure from the expected by giving them a surprisingly sophisticated and savory essence. Celery boasts a naturally peppery and mineral flavor accented by umami undertones that, when infused into a cocktail, offer equal parts earthy and refreshing. Although it has a distinct taste, celery's flavor is also pure and crisp, meaning that it can mesh well with various types of liquors and common cocktail ingredients so that you'll never have to omit any of the key details in your go-to cocktail recipe. Combined with the quintessential shrub necessities, the savory taste of celery gains a well-rounded depth and complexity thanks to the sweetness of sugar and the tart, acidic quality of vinegar.

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Celery Shrub Cocktail Combinations

Bloody Mary with celery garnish
Bloody Mary with celery garnish - Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

Now that you're ready to whip up a celery shrub for your next cocktail hour, you'll need some ideas for creative libations designed to complement its uniquely savory profile. Remember, mixology can be fun and adventurous, so tap into your inner bartender and don't take yourself too seriously.

If nothing else, celery shrub was destined for a Sunday morning Bloody Mary. Because they're often garnished with celery and typically feature some of the key flavor profiles found in a celery stick, like pepper and herbs, this savory shrub fits seamlessly into a hangover-killing Bloody Mary made with vodka, gin, or tequila. You can play around with the Bloody Mary's beer counterpart by including celery shrub in your Michelada recipe. We'd be remiss to discuss savory cocktails without mentioning a version of the dirty martini. Celery shrub brings a botanical twist to your martini's liquor base and harmonizes with the cocktail's acidic vermouth while providing its salty olives with a peppery finish.

While the savory spirit of Bloody Marys and dirty martinis are bolstered by the gentle umami notes and complex flavors of celery shrub, it can also be used to tame and refine sweet cocktails. A classic margarita, threaded with citrusy-sweet flavors, and a mojito with its garden-fresh aroma would both benefit from a celery shrub infusion by giving them an earthy, vegetal aroma that curbs their essence and mellows out their sweetness.

Food Pairings For Celery Shrub Cocktails

People eating and drinking cocktails
People eating and drinking cocktails - Pekic/Getty Images

What good is a cocktail without a proper food pairing? Whether you prefer to sip alongside finger foods or a full-fledged feast, these tasty recipe ideas pair well with celery and are selected with celery shrub cocktails in mind.

Smoked salmon canapés are bite-sized delicacies that are sophisticated and satiating in equal parts. The rich smokiness of the salmon complements the savory undertones of the shrub, while the pure, refreshing taste of celery harmonizes with the oceanic freshness of the fish. Not big on fish? Try a feta and olive tapenade instead. The tangy richness of feta cheese and the briny marrow of olives find synergy with the herbal and slightly tart qualities of celery shrub, similar to how it works well in a dirty martini.

For something heartier, a succulent grilled chicken breast marinated in a lemon and herb blend or lamb chops tinged with rosemary or chimichurri are perfect pairings for celery shrub-kissed cocktails. The former offers a citrusy brightness, and the latter brings a pointedly herbaceous flavor, both settled by the refreshing, peppery allure of a celery shrub cocktail.

Because celery shrub brings savory, sweet, and slightly sour flavor profiles, the world is your oyster when it comes to pairings. Next time you're bored with your cocktail rotation, prepare a savory celery shrub to elevate both your dinner and cocktail parties.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.