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grannysmithdaisy.jpgThe waiting game for sausage and mushroom-strewn ricotta cavatelli at tiny Battersby may seem like cruel punishment. Although the food makes the hunt for a table worthwhile,it was ecstacy when the Carroll Gardens restaurant recently unveiled its more spacious sibling, Dover, a short walk away. Here, chefs Walker Stern and Joseph Ogrodnek turn out equally thoughtful dishes, like black spaghetti bright with Peekytoe crab, Meyer lemon and chile.

Airy and calm, Dover's ambiance beckons diners to get comfortable with one of Matthew Walters' cocktails before digging. Among the compact menu's offerings is the Granny's Daisy, a margarita-inspired Tequila concoction that skews tart and savory through a well-balanced marriage of homemade Granny Smith apple shrub and celery bitters.

"A margarita is one of the cocktails I order regularly when I go out," says Walters. "A well-made one, where the lime melds perfectly into a distinctive agave flavor that is highlighted by a hint of orange sweetness is a wonderful experience. I was hoping to create a cocktail that finds that same balance of acidity and agave with a touch of sweetness using more seasonal ingredients."

And so he turned to crisp, green Granny Smith apples. "I love their flavor with celery," he says. "Making the shrub allowed me to maintain the acidity that quickly mellows after the apples are juiced."

Addictive apple salt rimming the glass will leave you licking your lips long after your food hits the table.

 
Recipe

 2 oz. Cazadores Blanco Tequila

*1 oz. green apple shrub

1/4 oz. lime juice

2 dashes celery bitters

Shake ingredients. Strain over ice.  Pour in glass rimmed with **apple salt.

*Green apple shrub:

2 1/2 cups freshly juiced Granny Smith apples

1 cup simple syrup

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. ascorbic acid

**Apple salt:

Thinly slice one green apple. Dry for two hours in 125-degree oven. Cool until crisp. Grind to a powder. Mix with kosher salt.

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