If you’re wearing sunglasses at the breakfast table, you have no chill. As a public service to the hungover, every week we track down the best bartenders in America and ask them to share their favorite hair-of-the-dog remedies. This week we’ve got a crushable, light green cocktail that you’d never guess was based on a gloppy Bloody Mary.
THE SPECIALIST: Sean Frederick, bar manager of Townsman brasserie in Boston
HIS ELIXIR: GREEN GIRDER
ITS ORIGINS: A shrub is an alcoholic drink made with vinegar. (Imagine if instead of drinking a pickleback you poured the pickle juice right into the shot.) Shrubs were very popular during colonial times, when settlers used vinegar to preserve fruit. After the preservation process, they mixed the fruity vinegar with sugar and spirit to make a sweet-and-sour cocktail. Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub is a modern take on that version; it contains vinegar, spirit, celery seed, ginger and apple.
ITS HEALING POWERS: Sean Frederick, bar manager of Townsman in Boston, makes a celery-forward brunch cocktail that includes celery shrub, celery juice and Kümmel, a European liqueur that’s flavored with cumin, caraway seed and fennel. “Kümmel tastes like pickling spice or like liquid rye bread,” he says. "All of these ingredients make celery taste more like celery; they make it pop just a little bit more.”
Frederick named his lush and verdant cocktail the Green Girder, after the nearby Greenway park. But in a roundabout way, the drink follows a similar template to a Bloody Mary. “You have a clear spirit base, a vegetal component, some citrus and salt,” he says. “That’s a time-honored, proven mixture for hair-of-the-dog needs. But what’s great about this drink is that you don’t have the gloppiness of tomato juice. Instead you get lots of water from the celery. It’s refreshing and crushable.”
AN IN-FLIGHT HANGOVER IS THE WORST HANGOVER: “Bloody Marys are far and way the liquid hangover cure of choice for most Americans, but put in non-expert hands, it can do just as much damage as the night before,” Frederick says. “The canned Bloody Mary mix on airplanes is especially bad. It’s so packed with sodium that you’re actually kicking yourself while you’re down.“
- 1.5 oz. Beefeater gin
- ¼ oz. Fidencio mezcal
- 1 oz. fresh celery juice
- ¾ oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. simple syrup
- 1 barspoon Combier Kümmel liqueur
- 2 dashes Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub bitters
Make celery juice: Purée celery stalks in blender and then strain through a fine mesh. Set aside. Assemble the drink: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail tin with ice. Shake until well-chilled and frothy. Strain into a celery-salt rimmed rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with celery stalk.
Alyson Sheppard is the resident hangover specialist at Playboy.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amshep