Of all of the spirits that I have endeavored to salvage, my Bitter Truth Celery Bitters had the most promise. First, unlike most of the other spirits, it is neither super sweet or a basic spirit but of low quality. Second, and more important, it is interesting. More than anything else, "interesting" ingredients are what separate drinks at high end bars from those of more conventional bars or restaurants. They use rosemary infused vodka instead of Stoli for instance. Celery bitters falls into that group of interesting ingredients, which could help make unique cocktails. The trouble is that it is really strong and tends to dominate drinks. The several times I've tried to use celery bitters, the drinks all came out tasting like a Bloody Mary, which was never the intent.
One thing that I've learned about these bitters, more so than orange or angostura bitters, is that they are potent and should be used in very small doses. I've also come to the conclusion that bitters should help shape a drink, but in most cases not be a featured flavor. With that in mind, following a decent bit of contemplation, I came up with a very tasty cocktail.
2 ounces of Old Tom Gin (Ransom)
1 ounce of Dry Vermouth (Nolly Pratt)
1/2 ounce of Elderflower Liqueur (St. Germain)
1 dash (6 drops) of celery bitters (Bitter Truth)
Stir ingredients with ice, pour into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with a lemon peel.
This is a legitimately good drink, which is at its heart a martini variant. The celery bitters mix nicely with the elderflower liqueur. The bitters did not overwhelm the drink but kept the St. Germain from giving the drink a sweet lingering aftertaste that I've experienced in some drinks with the spirit. The sweet herbal quality of the Old Tom gin works with both the floral taste of the St. Germain and the savory quality of the celery bitters. This cocktail might fall just a hair sweeter than my preference on that scale but it works. In fact, my wife, who likes her drinks a bit on the sweet side really liked it. Though I lack it at the moment, I think genever gin, which like Old Tom gin is very herbal, but isn't quite as sweet, might prove better still. This drink is good enough that I might submit this or a variant of it for this month's Mixology Monday.