All that you want to know about Cocktail Bitters
We don't mean the enraged thoughts you have about the bartender ignoring you when we say "bitters." Bitters are a family of liquor-based flavoring compounds that are used for everything from stomachaches to cocktail recipes (confusing because they aren't necessarily bitter). They're usually available in a small bottle and deliver a lot of taste in small quantities, so it's a good idea to learn a little about them before you buy, if not before you try.
Bitters are prepared by infusing a neutral spirit with a variety of aromatics such as spices, tree bark, roots, seeds, fruits, and other botanicals. Bitters have been manufactured and marketed for therapeutic purposes long before the cocktail, with substances generally supposed to confer good health kept in neutral liquor. Health claims began to be a little extravagant, as with most marketing campaigns—restoring youthful vigor, treating malaria, for example—but, happily for all involved, bitters finally made their way from the medicinal cabinet to the liquor cabinet.
Bitters: A History
Bitters are so common in spirits that even if you don't drink cocktails, you've definitely heard of a handful of the most popular types of bitters. There's Peychaud's, which was created in 1830 by Antoine Amedee Peychaud, a Haitian pharmacy who settled in New Orleans, and is used in the Sazerac. With their enormous label, Angostura may be found in anything from Old Fashioneds to hangover treatments. Then there are orange bitters, which are clear orange-hued citrus bitters with a mix of lighter-spectrum flavors that varied by brand.
What Do Bitters Do In A Cocktail?
Bitters are a sort of alcohol infused with botanicals, which include fruit, spices, leaves, bark, roots, and herbs. Bitters are essentially a sort of alcohol that has been infused with plant materials. Bitters should usually be added to a cocktail that already has a lot of sour and sweet flavors. Bitter, salty, sour, astringent, sweet, pungent, and umami are the seven fundamental tastes. Adding a bitter note to a flavor profile with a lot of other primary flavors helps to flesh out the character and structure. If you stick to that basic rule while making your own drinks, you'll be following best practises. Bitters can be used to make spring cocktails, summer cocktails, fall cocktails, and winter cocktails. For further inspiration, look through some of the top bartending books.
What is the Purpose of Bitters?
Bitters are used to balance out the flavor of a cocktail. Cocktails are generally sweet and sour in flavor. A cocktail's flavor profile is made more complex—and complete—by adding another primary taste, bitter, to it. The most frequent bitters-based beverages are Manhattans, martinis, Negronis, Sazeracs, and Old Fashioneds.
What Do Bitters Consist Of?
Bitters are traditionally produced by soaking herbs in a clear alcohol, usually grain alcohol. A botanical is “a material produced from a plant and used as an ingredient, especially in gin or cosmetics,” according to the Oxford dictionary. There are two reasons why clear or grain alcohol is favored. Stronger alcohol, for starters, maximizes flavor extraction and preservation. Second, a neutral spirit highlights the botanicals' characteristics.
Bitters: What’s in the name?
Bitters get their name from the flavor profile they have. However, this does not always imply that they are bitter. Because of their high tannin content, herbs and barks used to have a pungent and biting flavor. As a result, bitters are frequently used to balance the flavors of drinks with sweet and sour notes.
It's not only for Cocktails
Bitters are a concoction made with mostly bitter components, as the name suggests. Aromatics and botanicals, which can include any combination of herbs, roots, bark, fruit, seeds, or flowers, make up these substances. If you've recently visited a cocktail lounge, you've definitely seen new additions to the mixed drink menu, on the other hand, can be found anywhere from the bar to the medicine cabinet. While bitters are now a popular craft cocktail ingredient, they weren't always that way. And it's not even close to everything they're capable of.
Why Use Bitters at all?
Bitters are herbs in their own right. Bitters can assist relieve stomach problems and seasickness depending on the makeup of the leaves, roots, barks, and fruits used to manufacture them. They're also good for indigestion.
Another advantage of bitters is that they help our bodies absorb nutrients more quickly. The liver can swiftly take in the good stuff from the food we eat and purify our bodies because it stimulates digestive secretions.
Is That It?
Oh yes, you've learnt everything there is to know about bitters, and you're now the happy owner of Bab Louie cocktail bitters in highly concentrated orange. For a softly spiced citrus backbone and subtle vanilla undertones, add a dab to your favorite cocktail. Bitters offer your drink an edge and a unique flavor note you've never experienced before. Don't be put off by its unappealing moniker. Bitters, contrary to popular belief, don't just make your drink bitter; they also bring out the other flavors in your cocktail.