I have a particular affinity for cocktails made with vegetable juice. The bloody Mary has always been my go-to brunch order, and when I received a gift of one of those heavy-duty juicers designed for fibrous, leafy greens, my first thought was what a great addition it would make to my home bar. I find that the earthy, bright flavors and slight salinity you get from fresh vegetable juices are wonderful with all sorts of spirits, from neutral vodka to fortified wine.
So when I stopped by Northern Spy Food Co. in Manhattan recently for a drink, I didn't have to think twice about my order: I immediately went for the Celery Tonic, a stunningly bright green concoction of fresh celery juice, dry vermouth, Cocchi Americano (a tart, minerally fortified wine), lemon juice, and soda. Because Cocchi Americano and vermouth take the place of a stronger spirit (lacking a full liquor license, Northern Spy has a cocktail menu that's exclusively wine-, beer-, and apéritif-based), the drink is on the lighter side, perfect as a warm-weather afternoon sipper—and an antidote to cocktails that are often either cloyingly sweet or overwhelmingly strong. I've started keeping a bunch of celery in my crisper drawer just for cocktail purposes, and I truly believe no juicer has ever been put to better use.