What are bitters? Let’s focus on the definition and history of this infamous flavoring agent. To expound upon, and therefore, to give a better understanding of its role with cocktails and how they are putting creative freedom in the hands of bartenders and home advocates everywhere.
The name ‘bitters’ is a reference to category and while many can be bitter on their own they will not necessarily make a drink itself taste that way. It is because so-called bittering agents are used in their recipe
to balance out sweetness from other additions. An infusion with high-proof alcohol, a wide variety of ingredients may be used to create each individual concoction; from roots and barks, to herbs and flowers. They have been touted as everything from cure-alls down to an after dinner indigestion rescue (even Angostura
was formulated by a doctor who administered it to Bolivar’s troops).
When the decimation of cocktail
culture from ‘The Great Experiment’ had set in, bitters were also all but forgotten. It is only recently with the rediscovery of classic drinks
that these dynamic spirits have emerged from the past to shine again. Dashes of bitters can balance out a cocktail
, add depth of flavor, highlight a certain aspect of the drink, or all three of these together. This gives people (professional and otherwise) much more opportunity to experiment with and explore the vastitude of flavor combinations had in the practice of mixology.
Try a dash of orange bitters yourself in a Gin & Vit
– Miles Munroe, House Spirits Distiller