zondag 11 oktober 2020

Bitters: The Salt & Pepper in your bar

Ask any Chef which two ingredients he really can’t miss in the kitchen and the answer will probably be “salt and pepper”. A meal without seasoning is boring and flat. Of course the Chef won’t limit himself to those two seasonings, but he will have an array of herbs and spices to use as his personal touch to the dishes and recipes. 

The same applies for bartenders and cocktails. And even when you are making cocktails at home, you really should invest in a few tiny bottles of liquid seasoning. Of course I’m talking about cocktail bitters. Just a few drops of bitters will complete your cocktail. And you can buy them in most liqueur stores. I’ll share with you what I have in the ‘bitters box’ on my homebar. 

Let’s start with the absolute salt and pepper of the cocktail world. The two bitters that you really can NOT be without, because they are essential ingredients for sooooooo many classic cocktails: 

The classical aromatic bitters are the ultimate bitters you need for the best known classic cocktails and the Angostura bottle with the oversized label is still my favourite. Orange bitters you will find from many brands and each one of them will taste slightly different. You might even be tempted to add a few more to your herbs cabinet to have a variety. In my bitters box I have three extra bottles : 

And just like the herbs cabinet in your kitchen, you can start building your own collection of herbal and fruity bitters. I’ll show you mine (if you show me yours ???): 

Extra dash bottles or sprays that might come in handy for some cocktails : 

Last but not least, you really need to add a few kitchen classics too, you’ll need them for spicy cocktails like a Bloody Mary or Michelada. Again, these three are currently in my box : 

I know a lot of bartenders are also reading my blogs. If you can think of just one bitter I absolutely need to add to my (home bar!) collection, please shout and tell me why I need it !!!

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