The celery gimlet, designed by Naron Young of NYC's Saxon & Parole, is the ultimate garden cocktail. Actually, it's just the ultimate cocktail plain and simple—but its vibrant green hue and delightfully bright-yet-earthy flavor make it especially welcome on a warm summer night. It does require some work: lots of celery- and lime-juicing which is a bit tedious, and multiple ingredients (including green chartreuse which is expensive). Nevertheless, the effort is well worth the trouble, and the liqueur goes a long way.
In preparation for a weekend getaway on Lummi Island hosted by photographer Stephanie Eburah and Cambria Cox of Field Trip Society, I juiced ten bunches of celery and 5 pounds of limes for the inaugural cocktail hour. A gallon of celery juice is overkill for a group of ten people, but my motto when prepping for festivities is to err on the side of abundance. Plus, I just recently discovered the amazing health benefits of celery juice, so I figured I'd balance out my alcohol consumption with a week of post-party cleansing. Win-Win. Ice-cold celery juice with a packet of Stevia is fantastically refreshing. I'm now a big fan. Try a glass of juice and/or the celery gimlet and I predict you'll be smitten, too. One final note: I added some simple syrup to make the gimlet a bit sweeter than Saxon and Parole's recipe, but the appropriate level of tartness or sweetness is subjective. So sweeten or not to your own particular taste.