Everyday Food Blog

bitters 101

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Bitters are an essential part of any bar and help make a good drink spectacular. Created by distilling aromatic herbs, barks, roots & plants in alcohol, bitters have a bitter and slightly medicinal taste. Originally developed as health remedies to sooth an ailing stomach and to help with digestion, in many cultures they are still sipped after dinner for this purpose.

There are two types of bitters – those that can be enjoyed on their own (such as Amaros, Campari, Cynar, & Fernet Branca) and those that are used in small quantities in cocktails to round out the flavor and add complexity (such as Angostura, Fee Brothers, and Peychaud's).

Now that spring has sprung I am craving drinks made with Campari – a simple Campari and soda or a Negroni. What would a Manhattan (made with Rye whiskey of course) be with out a couple dashes of Angostura? – good but not great. Another favorite at home lately has been a Bennet Cocktail (2 ounces gin, 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 3/4 ounce simple syrup, and bitters) with a couple dashes of Fee Brothers Barrel Aged or Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters.

Comments (1)

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    I had a cocktail at FnB in Scottsdale called a "Sundowner", a traditional Italian bitters cocktail. It was Aperol, something they called "bubbly float", and a twist of lemon. I sort of recreated it at home with Campari, Izze Grapefruit soda and a twist.

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