Jonathan Solis, bartender at the recently renovated Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, loves customizing cocktails. “I like getting to a point where anyone [can walk] into my bar, and I can confidently create a personalized cocktail specific to them,” he says. In fact, Solis’ creativity led him to be named one of three bartender finalists in Marriott’s hemisphere-spanning Masters of the Craft epicurean competition.
One of his favorite creations is The Green Apio, which takes its name from the Spanish word for celery. “I crafted this cocktail drawing inspiration from celery bitters,” Solis says. “This is not a common ingredient, and I wanted to challenge myself to create a refreshing, healthy spring cocktail to get everyone excited for summer.”
The Green Apio, Solis says, is a great fit for groups. “It’s such a versatile beverage,” he explains. “You can swap out the gin for tequila, rum, or vodka. It’s also a drink that can be batched and served in pitchers, which makes it easy to enjoy in any setting. The fun part of batching the cocktail is that guests still get to enjoy the showmanship of making the drink, but they wait less time to taste it.”
2 ounces Botanist Gin
1/2 ounce Chartreuse Green liqueur
1/2 ounce St-Germain Elderflower liqueur 3-5 slices each of cucumber and ginger
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 dashes of celery bitters
1 cucumber strip
1 celery stalk
1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, ginger, lime juice, and simple syrup.
2. Add the gin, liqueurs, and celery bitters.
3. Add ice and shake vigorously.
4. Double strain beverage into a glass garnished with a cucumber strip. 5. Add a celery stalk as an additional garnish.