Celery and Salt Shrub

This celery-flavored shrub features slightly sweet white balsamic vinegar and a welcome pinch of salt to balance everything out.

Celery Salt Shrub

Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Total Time:
5 mins
1 1/2 cups

The flavor of this earthy, celery-forward shrub was developed by award-winning bartender Masahiro Urushido of NYC’s Katana Kitten. Urushido is a wizard when it comes to cocktails, effortlessly blending unexpected flavors like celery with spirits for cocktails that are as whimsical as they are delicious. 

A shrub is a vinegar-based syrup that is infused with fruits, herbs, or in this case, vegetables, and sweetened. About the thickness of simple syrup, this flavorful shrub blends seamlessly into cocktails and is even delicious on its own topped with seltzer. At Katana Kitten, Urushido pairs his Celery and Salt Shrub with vodka, lime, and cucumber in an ice-cold highball that is ultra-refreshing. A small amount of shrub goes a long way, so use about 1 tablespoon for a single-serve highball. 

While celery is an unconventional ingredient in a cocktail, this shrub’s flavor is reminiscent of Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray soda, a vintage soda that might be very familiar to those who frequent Jewish Delis or other popular sandwich spots in the Northeast. Celery brings a vegetal herbaceousness that is so refreshing, and tastes delicious when sweetened. While Urushido uses vodka at Katana Kitten to highlight the uniqueness of this shrub, it also pairs beautifully with gin. The floral and herbaceous characteristics in botanical gin play off the green notes in the celery shrub. Tart white balsamic vinegar provides a hit of acid to lift everything up without overpowering the blend of celery and spirit.

Though a big pinch of salt might seem like this shrub is entering into vinaigrette-territory levels of savoriness, it actually helps accentuate the sweet and sour flavors of this syrup while bringing the celery notes to life. Try out this shrub at home, or visit Urushido’s Katana Kitten in New York’s bustling Greenwich Village neighborhood — it’s always a party with cocktails that are guaranteed to be delicious.


  • 1/2 cup cold-pressed celery juice

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine celery juice, sugar, vinegars, and salt in an airtight container with a lid. Shake vigorously until sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

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