I don’t write cocktail recipes all that often, but I shared this one with readers of my newsletter a few years ago, and it became one of my most popular recipes. It’s easy to see why: It takes a perfect cocktail (a margarita) and makes it extra quenching by virtue of an underdog vegetable (celery). Celery is naturally quite salty, so that lends the drink a savory profile, but like cucumber, it contains loads of water, so it also adds a fresh, vibrant juiciness that fully infuses the drink. These margaritas are best made to order rather than scaled up and batched, because the lime juice will oxidize the celery, giving the drink a murky hue (it’ll still taste great, though). — Lukas Volger
Watch this recipe
Spicy Celery Margarita
- Lime wedge, for rimming the glass
- Kosher salt, for rimming the glass
- 1 1/2 ounces sweetened celery juice
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco or reposado tequila
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Celery sprig and lime wedge, for garnish
Sweetened Celery Juice
- 4 long stalks celery, scrubbed and chopped into 1- to 2-inch segments
- 1 serrano chili, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- Spicy Celery Margarita: Prepare the salted rim of your glass by rubbing a cut lime around it and dipping it into a plate of salt.
- In a shaker filled with ice (or anything roughly the same size as a shaker that you can seal), combine the celery juice, tequila, and lime juice. Shake for 15 seconds.
- Strain the drink over fresh ice into the prepared glass, garnish with the celery sprig and lime, and serve immediately.
- Sweetened Celery Juice: Combine the celery, chili, sugar, and water in your food processor or a blender and blend for 60 to 90 seconds, increasing the speed incrementally, until the mixture is thoroughly blitzed and the sugar is dissolved.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (or cheesecloth-lined colander), pressing on the solids with a spatula or wooden spoon to extract as much juice as possible.