Thanks to everyone who joined me last night for Food History Happy Hour live on Facebook. This week we used the celery gin I made last week in a choose-your-own-adventure cocktail! Although I could not find any historic references to celery gin, I did find celery bitters, and several other gins that were made by steeping botanicals in gin, including tansy, wormwood, and pine log slivers (yes, really).
We discussed historic sauces, peanuts and soybeans, tomatoes, the reasons why flavor extracts and bitters are only available in grocery stores, not liquor stores, ramps, victory gardens, I showed off some of my new cookbook acquisitions, and we discussed comparisons between now and historic pandemics.
Celery Gin Recipe
Washed celery leaves and tops
gin to cover
Place celery leaves and tops in a mason jar small enough to hold them so that they mostly fill the jar. Cover with dry gin, screw on lid, and store in a cool dark place for 24-48 hours. Remove celery and discard. Gin will keep indefinitely.
Blood Orange Celery Gin Cocktail
Juice of one blood orange
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar
1 ounce gin
Shake over ice and serve in a cocktail glass.
And here we have a few of the inspirations for this week's choose-your-own-adventure cocktail, from "The Complete Buffet Guide, or, How to Mix All Kinds of Drinks" by V. B. Lewis (1903).
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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