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All About Bitters (Part 2)


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344 replies to this topic

#331 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 01 December 2013 - 12:28 AM

Using some cheap Chinese vodka I found (53.7&% APV distilled from sorghum with a little bit of barley and wheat) I started my first three batches of bitters. Aside from the coffee ones, I used Chris Amirault's Hess House Bitters as a starting point. The coffee ones were from the book Bitters but modified somewhat. I have to use gentian as it is the most readily available bittering agent (well, I can get wormwood, but I've yet to see a recipe that uses it as the sole bittering agent).

 

Coffee, cinnamon and cocoa nibs: self-explanatory. The coffee (I used some nice single origin beans) is supposed to dominate.

 

Die Boer: I worked off the spices used in boerwors: allspice, coriander seeds, cloves, black peppercorns and nutmeg. Allspice and coriander are meant to be the main players. 

 

Star anise, black cardamom, coriander seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon and clove. 


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#332 Vieux Carré

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:29 PM

Which online sites offer the best selection of bitters for purchase?



#333 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 05:30 PM

If you were in Australia I'd say OnlyBitters.

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#334 Rafa

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:26 PM

Introducing the latest in artisanal bitters: ground cricket


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#335 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 01:58 PM

Introducing the latest in artisanal bitters: ground cricket

Any purpose to this other than shock factor? I am trying to imagine the taste of toasted crickets and what that could bring to a cocktail... some people say they taste like sunflower seeds.



#336 Rafa

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:15 PM

Based on their press materials, part of the point is "normalizing entomophagy through cocktails," i.e., getting people to think it's okay to eat bugs. Plenty of people think that's the future of protein for humans as the strains of maintaing livestock take their toll on the planet. 

 

The rest of it seems to be, as you rightly put it, shock value. 


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”In Demerara some of the rum producers have a unique custom of placing chunks of raw meat in the casks to assist in aging, to absorb certain impurities, and to add a certain distinctive character.” -Peter Valaer, "Foreign and Domestic Rum," 1937


#337 lesliec

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:30 PM

So will the cochineal beetles be going back into Campari?


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#338 KD1191

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 07:39 AM

This wouldn't be my first run-in with aromatic insect-based additives. I'm reminded of the 'Water Bug Extract' up-charge at various specialty restaurants in Southeast Asia. You'd add a few drops to a dish, inhale deeply, and pay some ridiculous amount...not unlike having truffles grated over your risotto.


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#339 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:57 AM

I watched this presentation by Arielle Johnson yesterday, which is interesting if you are curious about the chemical makeup and sensory analysis of cocktail bitters.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 05 June 2014 - 10:58 AM.


#340 MisterGreen

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Posted 12 June 2014 - 08:17 PM

Hello all,

 

I'm pretty excited by just how much bitters have exploded recently. I've only been into the whole scene for a little while and there is so much to try and experiment with!

 

I am also making my own bitters now and since when I get into something I become obsessed with it, there is no going half way.

I currently have 34 mason jars of botanicals macerating. I am trying both the mixed and individual routes, with 5 jars of pre-mixed roots and herbs, and 29 individual tinctures.

 

For mixes I am making two recipes from a book I bought, a Raisin Btters and a Cola Bitters.

 

I am also doing two variations on a personal recipe;

Lime and Black Pepper Bitters

lime peel

black peppercorns 

cardamom

fennel seeds 

star anise

licorice root 

cinnamon

cloves

One in rye and one in vodka.

 

Then I have a faux Root Beer Bitters

sarsparilla root

burdock root

cinnamon

vanilla bean

star anise

licorice root

Spearmint (couldn't find wintergreen)

molasses

 

for individual ones I just grabbed everything I could from my local herb and spice store.

 

I've read most of this thread, and I have some questions.

 

I'm doing both an orange peel and a lemon peel tincture in addition to the two lime focused mixes, so it sounds like this jelly thing is something I'm going to have to deal with. When should I expect that to start forming and is there anything that can be done to minimize it?

 

Is macerating the botanicals for longer better or can I macerate them for too long? and how long is too long?

 

Thanks for all the information you have shared already, this has been a good read. I'll let you all know how they are once they're done.

 

Cheers!



#341 Kerry Beal

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 04:52 AM

Interested in picking your brains.  I want to make some black walnut bitters.  I can't seem to determine from reading if it's the leaf, the nut or the nut encased in it's hull that is the flavour component.  There are still some green walnuts (albeit kinda big) available to me.  

 

I haven't tasted the Fee Brother's offering to see if they taste more like nocino or more like the dried nuts.  

 

Thoughts?



#342 haresfur

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 09:07 PM

Haven't tried them but seems to me it would make sense to do it like nocino without sugar, adding other bittering and flavour agents as desired.


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#343 Kerry Beal

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 04:36 AM

It occurs to me that I can make a few different infusions - been walnuts vs roasted walnuts - and blend at the end to get the flavour I'm after.



#344 Paul Bacino

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 11:32 AM

MisterGreen,

 

Found this article!!

 

http://spiritsandcoc...o-make-bitters/


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#345 Hassouni

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:47 PM

I saw some blog post recently about making bitters and other such things out of ingredients in a "flavor library" - a collection of single flavor infusions. So, if I wanted to have a gentian, clove, ginger, and cinnamon bitters, for example, I'd make it out of little bits of each infusion, rather than infusing the whole batch of ingredients together.

 

I can see the appeal, as it allows for infinite adjustment of the finished product, but I was wondering if there is any discernible difference in taste between something done like that, and something infused the old fashioned way, all together.

 

 

ETA, I see the post linked above describes exactly the same, though that's not the blog I had in mind.


Edited by Hassouni, 10 September 2014 - 09:49 PM.