Since I am headed to the San Diego area for a long weekend, I thought I would feature a drink from Erick Castro of Polite Provisions in San Diego via Tasting Table. Johnny Utah might be considered a version of a NorCal Margarita with a hint of celery (perhaps that explains the Utah reference in the name; there is a celery variety called "tall Utah"). It is a refreshing, clean-tasting drink with a slight botanical touch from the celery seed syrup and bitters.
2 ounces blanco tequila
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
3/4 ounce celery seed syrup
1 dash celery bitters
Top with about 1 ounce soda water (I used Topo Chico)
Lime wedge for garnish
To make the celery seed syrup: Bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1/8 cup of celery seeds. Allow to cool about 25 minutes, then strain into a clean glass jar and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Sealed and refrigerated, the syrup should keep for up to two weeks. To make the cocktail: In a shaker, combine the tequila, lime juice, syrup, celery bitters and ice. Shake well, about 30 seconds, and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Top with soda water and garnish with lime wedge. (Serves 1)