Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SE Minn
    Posts
    980

    My Bitter Friends

    So, i've always been the guy amongst my friend who likes things a bit different than most. Back in the college days, this included bourbon and decent microbrews, since they were hitting Des Moines pretty big and there were a couple of good brewpubs to choose from.

    Along for the ride with bourbon has aways been the steadfast bottle of Angostura bitters, because they just make everything better. Any whiskey cocktail just is not complete without a healthy dose of them.

    Back around 01' i was really excited to find my first bottle of Fee Brothers orange bitters in Omaha. My interest had been piqued by the mention of them, and recipe, in "The Book of Bourbon" by the Regan's. if you don't already own it, great read to pick up.

    Since them, Regan's orange bitters and Peychaud's have also held a place in the bar. Also have picked up on the orange one from Urban Moonshine, great flavor and love the homemade, cloudy look of them.

    But most recently, I've really been loving bitters in the realm of Apéritifs and Digestifs. Straight, mixed or diluted, they are fantastic!

    Aperol, Ramazzotti, and Fernet-Branca have all been in rotation in the bar. The sometimes strangely sweet ,herbal, citrus-e flavors are wonderfully brisk, refreshing and yet contradictory all at the same time. Aperol has a great upfront orange flavor and sweetness that is not too forward, but yet then hits you with that bracing bitter note that takes you by surprise, but yet wanting more.

    They are prefect before, and wonderful after dinner drinks. Many a night where the meal has been a bit too rich, has these come into play to bring a level of comfort. Yes, they absolutely do have some medicinal value to them.

    And you can always sub in some Angostura for the above, since just about every place has this one hand. If you never tried any of the above, try this next time you are felling a little full after dinner, into a pint glass dash, with heavy hand, about 10-15 shakes of Angosture, maybe more if you are using the small bottle, the larger one is what I have on hand and measure form, and then just fill with cold water.

    Drink it down, and repeat if needed.


    So, any other bitter friends out there??

    B

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,892

    Thumbs up Re: My Bitter Friends

    I love bitters. I have Angostura and Stirrings Blood Orange bitters on hand. I love Peychaud's, but don't have any.

    I also like a dash or two of bitters in a glass of orange juice or Coca Cola.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sutton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,202

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    My first exposure to all things bourbon/rye was with a Sazerac. I bought some Peychaud's and Angostura to make it once I had one in San Fran. I love what this stuff brings to a bourbon/rye cocktail. I've never tried just bitters and water, but ... well, not much else going on tonight ... maybe...
    Mark

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    183

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    I will slightly quibble with OP here in that I see cocktail / aromatic bitters and bitter liqueurs as separate animals / categories. Both work well as cocktail ingredients, of course, but "bitters" tend to be defined by their particular dominant flavor (angostura bark, orange, chocolate, wormwood, even celery) whereas bitter liqueurs tend to be "secret family recipe" type concoctions. The liqueurs are known in Italy as amari (plural) or amaro (singular). These are funky, weird, and certainly not for everyone.

    I love amari neat or with soda. For cocktails, amari can often work as a substitute for or an accompaniment to vermouth. Some are sweet enough that the addition of vermouth can throw things off balance. But suffice it to say that these bitter friends play well with our other, perhaps better friends, bourbon and rye. Try something like Cynar (an artichoke based amaro with carmel and chocolate notes) mixed w/ rye + chocolate or barrel-aged bitters. Amazing.

    Two I've been particularly enjoying are Meletti, which has interesting caramel and orange notes, and Punch Abruzzo, which has cream soda, amaretto cookie, and anise flavors. A lot of them have anise notes, but those I find too close to absinthe or other anise-y liqueurs to be interesting.

    One thing I love about amari is the mad scientist / crazy monk up in the monestary / old folk remedy vibes they have. I was in Italy last summer and sampled dozens of these not available in the States. Over there, they see them as primarily a digestif type concoction rather than a mixologist's tool. Tourists rarely order these, so it's a good way to build cred and get some free drinks!

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SE Minn
    Posts
    980

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    Quibble accepted.

    Yes, the bitters that most think of, and the amari family are really two different beasts. Each having their place in the bar lineup.

    But, with the main base ingredients that many commonly share, and the original intended purposes of each, they really are closer than most people think.

    Speaking of the mad scientist part, makes you wonder what type of other, and probably not so palatable versions they brewed before hitting some of the versions that we know of today. There must have been some long winters of boredom to brew up some of these things

    The trip sounded fantastic. What a great experience and sampling variety you had that you just can not get here.

    B

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kilgore, TX
    Posts
    686

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    Peychaud's are always in my bar, I love the liquorice/wormwood flavor in them. I add a hefty 4-5 dashes to my bourbon and ginger ale cocktails for when I want more fluids on these hot days.

    I've tried them straight, but it's just OK for my tastes.

  7. #7
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    I love Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Bitters. The clove/Christmas spice flavor is tops in my book. I rarely use Angostura these days.

  8. #8
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Louisville
    Posts
    1,091

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    So would Jaegermeister fall into the amari camp, or are medicinal herbal liqueurs a different thing?

  9. #9
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    746

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    Quote Originally Posted by craigthom View Post
    So would Jaegermeister fall into the amari camp, or are medicinal herbal liqueurs a different thing?
    Jaeger = liquid Valium. Great stuff. A shot right from a chilled bottle out off the freezer is a treat. Medicinal in its own right.
    "There's nothing better than a fine dinner, a good bottle of whiskey and a bad girl"

  10. #10
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Louisville
    Posts
    1,091

    Re: My Bitter Friends

    Quote Originally Posted by HP12 View Post
    Jaeger = liquid Valium. Great stuff. A shot right from a chilled bottle out off the freezer is a treat. Medicinal in its own right.
    I was thinking about it's traditional application as a digestive, not it's marketing-created one as a speedy way for the cool kids to get drunk.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Bitter Truth 24yr Rye
    By libertybar in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-11-2009, 06:00
  2. One of Those Bitter Nights
    By Squash in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-17-2009, 19:35
  3. Least bitter american whiskey
    By heatmiser in forum New to Straightbourbon
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 12-13-2006, 17:06
  4. What is the most bitter American Whiskey?
    By dougdog in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-12-2006, 16:58
  5. Rogue Brutal Bitter
    By jeff in forum Non-Whiskey Alcohol
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 08-30-2004, 14:16

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top