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??