Celery Salt - Using Leftover Celery Pulp
Celery Salt is a useful condiment that doesn't often get used, mostly because it's gotten a bad rap from the commercial stuff that you find at the supermarket.
Making your very own Celery Salt using leftovers will result in a cheaper and tastier ingredient that will open up a whole new world of veggie cocktails.
Most of the venues that I've had the pleasure of working in had celery salt somewhere hidden away to be lost and forgotten. Nowadays however, celery along with other vegetable ingredients, have made a huge comeback in the craft cocktail and bartending world.
With more vegetables being used in cocktails, people are consistently focusing on their health, putting celery on the podium as one of the healthiest and most versatile vegetables to work in cocktails and mocktails.
Each stalk of celery contains a large amount of vibrant green juice that not only works well in Bloody Marys but also mixes with all types of light spirits (Aquavit, Vodka, Gin, Light Rum, Tequila, and more).
Using fresh celery in cocktails works great in refreshing drinks, shrubs, sodas, and can work as a great cocktail pairing to have with food because of its refreshing and pleasant taste, but if you're using fresh juice you will be left with plenty of leftover pulp.
Still packed with flavor, this pulp is perfect to use for soup stocks in the kitchen, but if you have too much on hand you can always turn it into a salt.
How is celery salt used?
There are a couple of ways to use Celery Salt behind the bar, but the simplest way is to use it in Bloody Marys or for related twists.
The Bloody Mary is perhaps the most popular of classic savory cocktails around, but the beauty of it is that it can be made in an infinite amount of ways.
For Bloody Marys and other cocktails, Celery Salt is usually used in 1 of 2 ways:
In the drink, or
as a Salt Rim
In the first case, when preparing a batch or single Bloody Mary cocktail, Celery Salt can be used instead of actual salt.
This gives the cocktail not only some salinity and enhanced flavor, but also a vegetable note to complement its savoriness.
Rather than using Celery Salt in the cocktail itself, some bartenders prefer to use it as a salt rim, giving the sipper the personal choice of having it compliment their drink or not.
But whichever way you choose to use it, remember that celery salt is much more versatile than it seems, and all you'll need is a touch of it to add complexity to a cocktail.
The best part about making homemade fresh celery salt is the natural flavor and freshness it has compared to the commercial stuff.
Once you realize how easy it is to make you'll never go back to the expensive processed stuff.
Save Your Pulp & Dehydrate
After having juiced your celery for cocktails, mocktails, or natural health benefits, you'll be left with lots of leftover pulp.
Collect your pulp and place it in a food dehydrator.
If you are using your dehydrator, set it at 70 -100C for 6 to 7 hours.
If all you have is an oven, you can dehydrate the celery by setting the temperature at 70 - 100C for a similar amount of time with the fan on!
Weigh Your Dried Pulp & Salt
Once you've achieved a dry and brittle consistency from the pulp, you can now weigh it.
The ratio of dried celery to salt you'll need is a flexible 3 : 1 ratio of Dried Pulp to Salt.
Typically for every 10g of Dried Celery Pulp, you should combine somewhere between 3.5 to 4g of Salt.
Use these two (slightly) different ratios when making your celery salt, but you yourself will have to find the sweet spot on your own depending on how salty your salt is.
Once you have weighed the dried celery pulp and salt, grind both together using a coffee or spice grinder until very fine.
Taste your salt to verify the flavor and salinity of it and add more salt if needed.
You'll notice immediately how much better it tastes compared to commercial celery salt, plus you'll have made it with a product that usually gets thrown out or wasted.
Now you have fresh homemade celery salt that will be preserved for a lifetime and will give your food and drinks extra flavor and complexity.
How to Use it
As mentioned before, celery salt can be used as a garnish or as an actual ingredient in cocktails.
When approaching summer, pair it with a michelada.
Pair it with sours like Daiquiris, Margaritas, and Gimlets to give a slightly vegetal note to a classic cocktail.
Whenever using it directly in a cocktail, put in a pinch, and after shaking, give everything a double strain.
Celery is a great ingredient to have during spring and summer, and the best part is that it's one of the cheapest ingredients you can find on the market.
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