or an ingredient usually measured in drops and dashes,
bitters are getting quite a bit of attention these days.
Trend watchers such as Time Magazine;food;writer;Josh
Brad Thomas Parsons, author of Bitters: A Spirited History
of a Classic Cure-All;(Ten;Speed;Press,;2011),;writes;that;bitters
provide depth, nuance and balance; unify disparate and seemingly
incompatible elements; cut through richness and tamp down
And there are plenty of labels and varieties to choose from.
space with a multitude of artisanal handcrafted aromatic bitters
made by small producers around the country. Many serious
bartenders are taking a do-it-yourself approach. It’s hard to say
better selection and quality of bitters that’s fueled the enthusiasm
for their possibilities. Either way, this is their moment.
BUILDING ON THE PAST
They were bartending in different cities, and both were making
PHOTO CREDITS Opposite, Courtesy of Bittercube; above, Gabriella Marks
Todd Thrasher, Owner // PX // Alexandria, Va.
1 oz. Buzzed Mix (recipe follows)
1 oz. Chairman’s Reserve White Rum
½ oz. Bombay Dry Gin
¼ oz. Pok Pok honey vinegar
method: Chill glass. Stir together
Buzzed Mix, rum, gin and vinegar.
Strain over Juliette ice cube (large
square cube). Float with lemon
bitters; finish with lemon twist.
¼ qt. ginger (peeled, sliced)
¼ qt. honey
1 t. cloves
1 T. cardamom
1 anise pod
1 T. lavender
2 qts. water
method: Simmer ginger, honey,
cloves, cardamom, anise and
lavender in water, low and slow,
until ginger is translucent. Strain.
Opposite, Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters drop into an old fashioned cocktail;
above, The Bitter End’s curry bitters pair up nicely with gin.
There used to be many commercial bitters available. But few
businesses survived the lean years when the Volstead Act banning
The liquid concentrates start with high-proof alcohol—a
The base note comes from bittering agents such as gentian, cassia
blackstrap molasses, dried fruits, black pepper and hibiscus.
A CULINARY PERSPECTIVE
in the kitchen, too. “They’re a great addition to braises, marinades
chef who garnished scallops with a drop of our orange bitters.