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Just bourbon and bitters?


aardvark

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I realize that technically a cocktail is supposed to have bitters and syrup, but I have never been a fan of sweet drinks, or cocktails in general.  I have always taken my bourbon neat.  My bartender daughter finally talked me into trying something more exotic and was pushing an old fashioned.   I decided to first try the bourbon with just a dash of bitters - no syrup - and it was pretty good.  So I was wondering if anyone else takes their bourbon this way, and does this have a name (other than bourbon and bitters, I suppose) in case I decided to order it at a bar. I have scoured the internet and searched this forum and the only thing that keeps coming up is old fashioned.  

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I've never tried that, but it sounds like it would be pretty good. Maybe I'll try it later today while the ballgame is on.

 

Tim

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2 hours ago, ratcheer said:

I've never tried that, but it sounds like it would be pretty good. Maybe I'll try it later today while the ballgame is on.

 

Tim

 

Let us know what you think.

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I do this often as well.  Here in Montreal our Bourbon selection is limited by the government-run outlets, but we have access to a wide variety of aromatic bitters!

 

To me adding a couple of dashes of bitters to my bottom shelf bourbons can be a fun modifier.  Orange, vanilla, etc - they usually work since most of these boutique bitters circle around flavours that are part of the bourbon taste rainbow.

 

... I don't like too much sweet with my bourbon cocktails, so when I do mix myself an old fashioned, I barely coat the bottom of a rock's glass with simple sirop.

 

Eric

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  • 7 months later...
WoodrowinManassas

I've been adding a couple of dashes of Cardamon Bitters ( Fee Bros ordered thru amazon)

 

Doesn't sweeten the bourbon - it does impart a faint sassafras aroma.  I've also tried it with rye which seems (to me) to soften the bite, yet intensify the flavor.

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Harry in WashDC
22 hours ago, WoodrowinManassas said:

I've been adding a couple of dashes of Cardamon Bitters ( Fee Bros ordered thru amazon)

 

Doesn't sweeten the bourbon - it does impart a faint sassafras aroma.  I've also tried it with rye which seems (to me) to soften the bite, yet intensify the flavor.

Welcome to SB.  (Did you check out the "New to StraightBourbon" thread?  It's a good place to post stuff about you and your likes if you are so inclined and has some helpful hints for getting around the site as well as for putting up with the rest of us;).)  If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask them.

 

I agree with you about cardamom bitters (and thanks for bumping up the thread).  Our Old Fashioneds sometimes have muddled fruit, sometimes don't, sometimes have fruit garnish, sometimes don't, sometimes use simple syrup or demerara or agave syrup, sometimes don't (but that's rare).  However, they always have varying drops of various bitters, sometimes more than one bitter flavor.  I haven't done a lot of experimenting with ryes and bitters, though, as my wife prefers rye only when it is in Manhattans.  So, thanks - I now have a way to use up some of the bottles of bitters I have accumulated even if I have to drink them all myself.B)

Edited by Harry in WashDC
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  • 4 months later...

Been thinking I'd like to try an old fashion. Might be a good way to use some of the bourbons I'm not that crazy about. I picked up some Angustora bitters and some sugar cubes. I'll try  with and without the sugar this weekend and see if I like it.

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13 hours ago, brock957 said:

Been thinking I'd like to try an old fashion. Might be a good way to use some of the bourbons I'm not that crazy about. I picked up some Angustora bitters and some sugar cubes. I'll try  with and without the sugar this weekend and see if I like it.

You are, of course, welcome to try anything you wish; but, for me making an Old Fashioned with Bourbon I don't like neat would be a non-starter.    Lots of other cocktails mask the shortcomings of an inferior whiskey better than an Old Fashioned.    I suppose, if you use enough bitters, and even some orange rind, maybe some extra sugar if the dram is excessively woody, it might be OK; but not where I'd start, in order to draw down some less-than-stellar bottle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Being a Southern Comfort fan for umm, ahhh, a long friggin time, I have found that lemon juice cuts the sweet, right nicely. Even my variation of an Old Fashion, needs the lemon juice. I use honey instead of simple syrup or sugar. It's just too sweet without the lemon...

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  • 4 months later...

I often add bitters with no syrup to bourbon. My recent favorite is Dr. Boker's Bitters (a few drops). I have a collection of different bitters that I sample from time to time. Depending on the base flavoring, you will find that some bitters are better than others in specific bourbons. It's really a matter of personal preference and it can be fun to experiment.

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  • 5 months later...
On 12/30/2016 at 8:25 PM, aardvark said:

I realize that technically a cocktail is supposed to have bitters and syrup, but I have never been a fan of sweet drinks, or cocktails in general.  I have always taken my bourbon neat.  My bartender daughter finally talked me into trying something more exotic and was pushing an old fashioned.   I decided to first try the bourbon with just a dash of bitters - no syrup - and it was pretty good.  So I was wondering if anyone else takes their bourbon this way, and does this have a name (other than bourbon and bitters, I suppose) in case I decided to order it at a bar. I have scoured the internet and searched this forum and the only thing that keeps coming up is old fashioned.  

I inadvertently did this when making an Old Fashioned. I forgot the simple syrup. Turned out pretty good.

 

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  • 1 year later...
Harry in WashDC

BUMP!  Bittermilk bitters from SoCarolina??  Wife's sister said I should try these.  She's not a drinker, BUT she tried a rye cocktail featuring one of their several mixes at a restaurant and was told by her husband she could NOT have a fourth.  Before I mailorder, I'd like some candid comments.  PM's are fine with me.

 

https://bittermilk.com/

TIA.  AND, I have no connection with Bittermilk or SoCar but do have a distant connection with my sis-in-law.

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I have seen the Bittermilk around town but have never tried them. These are more like a bottled cocktail mixer where you add the alcohol of your choice rather than a more traditional bitters like Angostura. That said the #1 sounds like an interesting way to make an old fashioned and probably what your SIL has.

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  • 1 year later...

I quite like having Baker's with a couple of dashes of Angostura over ice. Heaven in summer.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I bought a bottle of Rebel 100 today. It is by far the youngest tasting bottle of this I've had. Since I want it to feel like spring after this snowy week, a few dashes of Philman's strawberry bitters are in order.

 

On deck, the same bourbon with Meyer lemon bitters.

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  • 2 months later...
phrasewarden

I find that Old Fashioneds are generally too sweet for me (especially with sweet bourbon to begin with), and so I just tried a dash of Angostura bitters in a pour of Maker's Mark, which is already quite sweet. It's not bad at all, and basically tastes like an Old Fashioned (and I didn't use any ice -- it isn't hot enough these days, yet). It certainly doesn't need to get any sweeter. It could do with a citrus garnish, but I don't have any at hand right now. If you don't experiment, where's the fun in it? And in general, I'm pretty lazy about making cocktails, so just two ingredients suits me just fine. BTW, I'm new here, and I have a bunch of tasting notes for all kinds of whiskey (and whisky) that you can look at, if you are interested. I've only been taking notes for a year or so, and I've gotten better at it, so the later reviews are a bit better than the first ones. :)  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KYlbLjQyADQskTHFoOPbRmqPqRvne_ceqniX4oEpF9k/edit?usp=sharing

Edited by phrasewarden
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bayouredd
17 hours ago, phrasewarden said:

I find that Old Fashioneds are generally too sweet for me (especially with sweet bourbon to begin with), and so I just tried a dash of Angostura bitters in a pour of Maker's Mark, which is already quite sweet. It's not bad at all, and basically tastes like an Old Fashioned (and I didn't use any ice -- it isn't hot enough these days, yet). It certainly doesn't need to get any sweeter. It could do with a citrus garnish, but I don't have any at hand right now. If you don't experiment, where's the fun in it? And in general, I'm pretty lazy about making cocktails, so just two ingredients suits me just fine. BTW, I'm new here, and I have a bunch of tasting notes for all kinds of whiskey (and whisky) that you can look at, if you are interested. I've only been taking notes for a year or so, and I've gotten better at it, so the later reviews are a bit better than the first ones. :)  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KYlbLjQyADQskTHFoOPbRmqPqRvne_ceqniX4oEpF9k/edit?usp=sharing

While I do like sweet, there is a trick that I've done since my youth. In your case you can kill 2 birds - lemon! You can even keep the bitters.

I like some bourbons with bitters and honey... and of course the lemon. Without it, it is waaay too sweet. Works well with ECBP.

 

P.S. Welcome to the board!

Edited by bayouredd
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