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Everything posted by evo-lution

  1. It'll essentially be a reformulation inspired by past products but suited to modern drinks/palates.
  2. Many non-potable bitters were intended to be mixed with water/wine/alcohol (thus giving you a potable bitters of sorts) before consumption. In essence you would have a small bottle of bitters concentrate which you could dilute/lengthen (as above) or dash into other drinks. Many bitters that were being sold in the US (as a medicine) were only doing so to avoid the additional taxation that other spirits incurred. Bitters/amaros also have a long tradition and history in Europe, they can't get enough. Why would the market be driven by the number of classic cocktails? The target market, in this case those at the forefront of cocktail culture around the World, are typically geared toward classic drinks coupled with their own creations; - For the former it's great to have famous drinks calling specifically for your product (see my Boker's Bitters and the Japanese Cocktail, Crusta or Martinez) - For the latter it's giving bartenders something new that has a multitude of uses in various drinks (TBT Celery Bitters in the Martini, Bloody Mary and Tom Bullock's Celery Sour) - The third factor is having a product that fits with the following saying, "People know what they like but they don't know what they want till you show them." My Dandelion & Burdock and Limited Edition Spanish fit here, as does the Bittermens range, TBT Celery and JT Decanter Bitters... There's a lot of interest in Peach Bitters and it's an ingredient I see listed regularly on drinks menus. Producing a better and more authentic product than those currently available is an interesting prospect. That's why you don't just sell/market to cocktail enthusiasts.
  3. Short answer, yes, based on the bottlings of vintage Peach Bitters I own. I've been analysing them for some time and hope to submit them to a gas chromotography in the coming weeks. Whether I ever release these as a bottling I've yet to decide, although I would love to release a true Peach Bitters. That's about all I can share just now.
  4. Or you could use a non-potable bitters in smaller quantities which is extremely likely to have an increased level of bitterness, hence the distinction from their potable cousins. Wait a second, people actually do that already don't they, as there are numerous reasons non-potable bitters (with their heavily concentrated flavour/bitterness) are used in drinks which are consumed for digestive purposes (as an aperitif/digestif). This may be news to you but it's quite popular you know... There's plenty of info on this forum and on the web which goes into great detail explaining how compounding bitters is now part of my career as a bartender so I don't need to cover that. All I will say is that I compound my bottlings from a bartender's mind-set, not that of a doctor. My branding is a tongue-in-cheek stab at bitters history. The bitters found in most bars are not likely to have been compounded with their medicinal qualities in mind (even though Angostura/Peychaud's were) however as I've repeatedly pointed out non-potable bitters are (to this day) used in drinks to aid digestion. If you don't want to buy the types of bitters that are used for this reason you won't be left with very many. As for your continued assertion that bitters are archaic as a medicine there's plenty of information and products around that disprove this point. It may be worth noting that there are bitters created with drinks/food in mind and there are those created for their (proven) medicinal use. I'd be baffled if you were to think that I thought that bitters were only added to a drink for their bitterness. What would be the point in different flavourings?!? As for the definition you can accept it or not, bitters are what they are, and you've offered nothing to suggest or make me think otherwise. Haresfur, redefining categories since...
  5. http://mlkshk.com/r/1DR5 Archaic use as medicine. Really? So there is no-one consuming bitter beverages to aid digestion? And no-one consuming bitters as a remedy due to their proven medicinal qualities? Bitters aren't just added to a drink for bitterness (although the bitterness plays a key part in affecting the taste of the drink) but if you want to use this nonsensical point then you're free to do so.
  6. We were talking about the recipe in Imbibe not Fee's rhubarb bitters. And there is a distinct difference between Aperol (which are bitter) and non-potable bitters (which we're discussing here).
  7. Why not use your own logic? My thoughts on the bitters category are not based solely on historical formulas but on the various facts I've pointed out in this thread, coupled with logic by weighing up all the information we have at hand. Anyone suggesting that bitters aren't bitter really needs to do some more research of the category instead of making up their own assumption based on, let's be honest, nothing.
  8. Utterly bizarre. Can you point me in the direction of something, anything, that suggests bitters shouldn't be bitter? Some people's logic is just strange...
  9. Shameless self-promotion... Image: http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/507/fosburyflip.jpg
  10. To be honest there's more than enough information around to clarify what bitters are as I've mentioned in this thread; the obvious being the name and their medicinal/culinary use. Anyone that's ever tried a bitters recipe from an old guide/manual will also testify that these bitters were bitter. I've lost count of the number of recipes I've put together and each and every one has been bitter. One last consideration would be that Peychaud's and Angostura, bitters that have been around for almost 200 years and still available today, are without question bitter. As are the various vintage bottlings I have tried... Were that recipe from Imbibe to contain rhubarb root alongside the rhubarb stalk they'd then be a bitters. Without the bittering agent they're not.
  11. If anyone were to take the time to study the category they'd see what bitters are, and it's definitely not "all concentrated liquid in dasher bottles." All that's been offered thus far from those opposing the definition of bitters that I presented is an individual perception that is essentially redefining a category. If we are to accept that then products such as Worcester Sauce and Tabasco Sauce are also bitters. Can you see how ridiculous that is? Nope, the cock-tail consists of spirit, sugar, water and bitters. The Old-Fashioned is a cock-tail and as I understand it not a specific recipe. They are one and the same thing. That was my point in that thread, and it has no relevance to this discussion. Bitters are a specific product, the cock-tail is a family that encapsulates a number of specifics. Even if I was on "the other side of the words mean things debate" I can assure you the bitters in this case would mean one thing and one thing only.
  12. Ah, now that we're recommending specific reading could I point you in the direction of bitters articles which clearly define that category?
  13. people putting their own interpretation on something that is already clearly defined. As proven in this thread.
  14. You mentioned you'd never seen a recipe calling for tinctures so I pointed out the first example that came to my head. It's almost like there's a willingness not to accept a difference between tinctures and bitters! Bars all over the World use tinctures in their recipes. Which category doesn't exist in the marketplace? The two in discussion here are bitters and tinctures, both are readily available to buy and both can be made with experience. I find it baffling that people can't accept the differences. Is it the same for the gin category (Old Tom, Genever, London Dry, et al)? The whisk(e)y category (Bourbon, Scotch, Rye, et al)?
  15. Raspberry Syrup The fermentation breaks down the pectin and this old method makes for a truly amazing syrup. I still make it this way regularly...
  16. It's odd that you present this paper as fact but seem to disregard facts surrounding the bitters category as irrelevant as they don't fit into your perception of the category?
  17. It's not that these things are new to me, I had an idea that you were writing in analogies after eating a thesaurus , it's that;
  18. Regarding the topic of bitters versus tinctures, I think Sam and Chris have given some pretty good analogies/explanations. I have to be honest the majority of the time I have no clue what you're going on about and I don't think you do either, the only thing I have really deciphered is that you seem to suggest you can smell bitterness which as far as I'm aware - and I'd be glad to be shown otherwise - you can't. There's a lot of science in your postings that simply isn't true... Sadly Peychaud's is not as bitter as it used to be. They still have a decent level of bitterness to be honest. You haven't?
  19. See Chris' reply #734, that pretty much covers it. We've already covered what bitters are, tincture would be the answer to your bolded question. A tincture is defined as an alcoholic extract/compound that would lack the bittering agent. To say that this is a semantic argument is ridiculous to be perfectly honest, what is the point in having any category of spirit then? I do agree that the function is vitally important, and I doubt this is something that is overlooked by those in the drinks industry. The reason for having a clear distinction between bitters and tinctures is to help understand the role they play in drinks and food, the bitterness being a major component in any discernable differences they'd offer. What is also of vital importance (and oft overlooked) is the botanicals used, something I've been happy to share as it is the flavour of these botanicals that bind together with existing flavours in a drink. Not everyone will have tried these botanicals, in which case I share tasting notes. It's already been pointed out that bitters and tinctures are still used for their medicinal purposes. And there are plenty of people around the World still consuming bitter drinks as aperitifs and digestifs. Would these people consume non-bitter beverages for this purpose? I think not. And let's not forget people accepting products sold under a banner that they aren't.
  20. To be perfectly honest the problem is the lack of understanding of the bitters category. It's not the only category that suffers, you only have to look at some of the products that have been released as a gin in recent times. And as you've rightly said drinks with the Martini moniker. The definition of bitters is pretty simple, I don't see the need to blur the lines.
  21. Yeah, but do you agree that bitters should contain a bittering agent and are intended to be bitter?
  22. I do, as it is that quote which the remainder of your post was based around. My reason for asking your opinion was due to the fact that amaros have a distinction where bitterness plays a huge part. Bearing that in mind they have a striking similarity to the non-potable bitters at the heart of this discussion, they also have a distinction which is now being muddied by products calling themselves bitter when they're anything but, and people like yourself accepting that a bitters don't have to be bitter. I know what you're getting at but for the most part it is irrelevant to this discussion. I've pointed out the facts to you with regards the bitters category and you've chosen to ignore them for whatever reason.
  23. I didn't suggest they were however bitterness plays a major part in what an amaro is, hence the name. The reason I asked is that there is a distinction between amaros and other products consisting of botanicals and alcohol. In the same way that non-potable bitters have a distinction differing from the products you suggest qualify as bitters.
  24. Sorry, but I'd suggest it's you who is completely missing the point as to what bitters are. The suggestion that the name "mainly exists to exploit a tax & licensing loop hole" is just nonsense. There is only one company who benefits from any such loop hole and that is to be tightened up by all accounts. The only exploitation I know of in the history of bitters were brands that released their alcoholic products under the banner of bitters in the 1800s to escape the various laws and regulations that were being put in place due to the various temperance movements and the like. Hence why the 1906 Pure Food & Drug Act came into force in the US. The following is a pretty good definition as printed in The Standard Manual of Soda and Other Beverages: Put simply, bitters are a compound of herbs, roots, barks, spices and spirit which were originally used as a medicine. The final product should have layers and layers of flavour with a pronounced bitter, or bittersweet, flavour. Within the category there are two defined categories, potable and non-potable bitters. There isn't a third which consists of bitters that aren't actually bitter. With regards this particular discussion we are focusing on the non-potable category. All true bitter recipes will consist of alcohol, bittering agents and supporting flavourings. The botanicals chosen will have been selected for both their flavour and/or the similar medicinal qualities they contain. While some in the drinks industry may have deviated away from non-potable bitters original use there are still plenty of examples of products of this nature being commonly available that are not associated with the drinks industry at all. Without a bittering agent you have what is probably a tincture or extract. I am all for evolution and progression but it is a simple fact that many bottlings being bandied about as bitters simply aren't. I saw a recent quote attributed to Joe Fee that suggested that vanilla extract qualifies as a bitters. That quite simply is nonsensical... I'd also be intrigued to hear what you define as an amaro?
  25. Both adverts speak specifically of barrel and bottle aged cocktails and are seemingly Worlds apart from the mixes you speak of. Worth noting that John Martin was President of the Heublein company. That be the same John Martin of Smirnoff and Moscow Mule fame... This be the ad you speak of? Absolutely, this doesn't detract anything from those that have rediscovered the technique, or any other technique from a bygone era.
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