Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Top with cider.
Garnish with celery leaves.
For me, spring is all about freshness — the intense smell of blossoms as you run past, herbs announcing themselves in the wake of a rainstorm. If I had to pick a food that represents spring, celery would be one of the first to come to mind. Crisp, herbaceous and bold, it cradles the taste rainy nights.
So, this week, I’m building my cocktail around a celery simple syrup. I chop 2 celery stalks, reserving the leaves for garnish. I scrape them into a small saucepan with 1/2 cup each of sugar and water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let them simmer for 5 minutes before cutting off the burner. Finally, I let them steep for 10 minutes as the syrup cools, then strain and discard them.
If freshly fallen rain were to manifest itself as gin, it would be Hendrick’s, so I start with 2 ounces of Hendrick’s and half an ounce of celery simple syrup. I shake it with ice and strain it into a chilled coupe. To bring a sour note and a little sparkle, I top it with 1.25 ounces of Millstone Vin de Pomme, a tart, dry, slightly funky Basque-style apple cider.
The result is checking-my-watch-to-see-if-it’s-5pm good. Although it strikes me as an idyllic representation of spring, I won’t shun it if it swings by for a visit during the rest of the year.
Celery Simple Syrup
2 celery stalks
1/2 cup sugar
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan with 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes before cutting off the heat. Steep for 10 minutes as the syrup cools, then strain and discard the celery. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.