Sunday, September 24, 2006

bitters

I subbed for a teacher who went out of town last week, and to thank me for teaching her class, she brought me back a bottle of Angostura Bitters from her home country of Trinidad. Now I need to figure out what to do with it! It tastes strong and, well, bitter. Web searches haven't given me any recipes that sound that good to me (gin and bitters, for example, would surely be just as bitter) or use ingredients that we keep handy (no apple brandy here). Most recipes, in fact, seem to call for just a dash or two of this liqueur (perhaps because it's, well, bitter?), although who knew that Betsy Ross was a bitters drinker? (Here's more about its history, if you're curious.) Please share your favorite recipes that use bitters!

6 Comments:

Blogger lis said...

Sarah, aren't you a fan of the old fashioned? (or was that just an act of desperation at the airport Applebee's?)

7:23 AM  
Blogger lis said...

you should also check out the drinks database on Epicurious.

7:47 AM  
Blogger tara said...

I think most recipes I've seen do, as you say, only call for a dash or two. There's always the Manhattan: whiskey, sweet vermouth, a dash of bitters. My Bartender's Guide book also lists a whole bunch of champagne cocktails that also call for Angostura bitters.

I had an interesting drink last weekend at Viridian: habanero-infused vodka, mango liqueur, and mango puree. Very spicy, but a pleasantly warm, back-of-the-throat sort of spicy. And the mango wasn't cloyingly sweet. In fact, it was fairly dry, not a froofy, fruity drink at all. I loved it! It cost too much, so I won't be making a habit of this one, but I'm now intrigued by the concept of chili-infused vodkas.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I never knew that the old fashioned had bitters in it. I'm curious to try some of the champagne cocktails--I'll try anything with champagne in it!

Tara, your habanero drink sounds fantastic. My friend Cynde infuses vodka and reports that it's quite easy. She's done so with everything from rhubarb to ginger to spices. I bet you could find a recipe--or wing one yourself--for chili-infused vodka.

There's a Russian restaurant in Denver that makes a garlic-infused vodka. Very sassy.

I've never heard of mango liqueur before! That sounds lovely too.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

While working at a restaurant in NC during undergrad, I came to love bitters - as an upset stomach cure. A couple of splashes with some club soda works really well.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

My mother uses Chartreuse elixir for upset stomach. The bitters actually reminded me of that when I first tried it--the strong, herbal flavor.

10:33 PM  

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