My first step was to try out cocktails – other than my beloved Manhattan – where bitters represent the finishing touch. How could cocktails imbibed by millions – if not billions – of people over the course of decades possibly suck?
|Photo borrowed from Today.com|
- 2 parts brandy or rye whiskey
- 1 dash Peychaud's bitters
- 1 dash of Angostura bitters
- 1 teaspoon sugar or simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon absinthe
– Famous New Orleans Drinks and How to Mix 'Em by Stanley Clisby Arthur, 1937, via Huffington Post
|Image credit: Howdini|
Rachel Maddow's Champagne Cocktail
- sugar cube
- Angostura Bitters
|Image credit: the awesome gearpatrol.com|
- 1 sugar cube (or 1 bar spoon simple syrup)
- 2 dashes Angostura bitter
- 2 ounces rye or bourbon
- Orange twist
From the New York Times: "Muddle the sugar cube and bitters with one bar spoon of water at the bottom of a chilled rocks glass. (If using simple syrup, combine bitters and one bar spoon of syrup.) Add rye or bourbon. Stir. Add one large ice cube, or three or four smaller cubes. Stir until chilled and properly diluted, about 30 seconds. Slip orange twist on the side of the cube."
|Credit: Food and Wine|
- 2 fl oz (8 parts) Pisco
- 1 fl oz (4 parts) lime juice
- 3/4 fl oz (3 part) simple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 1 dash Bitters
The verdict: these are awesome drinks... when I left out or went light on the bitters. In every case, bitters seemed to overwhelm, not complement.
So what's my deal?
TBC: The Quest, Phase 2: What the Hell Are Bitters, Anyway?