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D.I.Y. Angostura Cocktail Bitters

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Most of us have heard of Angostura Bitters, and probably have an aged bottle in our pantry somewhere for use in the occasional Manhattan or other classic cocktail. But what are Bitters?

Bitters are the bartenders' secret. They are liquid concentrations of flavors. Some of them have dozens of botanicals -- spices, herbs, obscure roots, leaves, flower buds -- collected, concentrated, extracted into an alcoholic base. Liquid alchemy, steeped in history, folklore, and mythology -- these wondrous and obscure concoctions have come into their own.

A revolution that started with microwbrewed beers and then graduated to microdistilled vodkas, gins and other artisan small-batch products -- now has a new competitive ground: the bitter. The world's best restaurants and mixologists are making their own bitters and using their unique properties -- lemon bitters, spiced bitters, chocolate bitters, even sriracha bitters -- to drive a new level of signature drink.

So, can you make your own? Absolutely! Tracking down the ingredients can be somewhat of a treasure hunt. This recipe also requires a little TLC and patience. 

I've tweaked the original recipe inspired by the book " Bitters" by Brad T. Parsons.  I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of bitters or making your own. 

Keep an eye out for my signature chocolate bitters. They should be ready soon! :)

cheers!
 
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shancre1 year ago
Quick question for you.

I wanted to make a Tulasi/ginger/lime flavor concentrate to be mixed with club soda.
My 'victims' would be furious if i made them unwittingly partake of alcohol.

1. Can I use dry tulsi leaves for this?
2. Is there any way to do w/o the alcohol?
3. If alcohol is a must, can it be removed from the solution/syrup later?
4. If it can't is there any flavorless alcohol that can be used instead?
jhill122 years ago
Thanks for this wonderful recipe! I'm thinking of making and gifting this for the holidays. I would also like to ask permission to sell this at a farmer's market I go to, would that be okay with you?

Also when a few questions about the ingredients list:
I'm assuming you meant to put "1/4 cup quassia chips"? the list just says "1/4 quassia chips"

And for the cinnamon sticks (I'm purchasing through Rose Mountain) are you using the Cassia Sticks or the Sweet Sticks?

And must I use Turbinado Sugar? Could I possibly use Cane Sugar instead or any other type?

Thank you again!
lmnopeas (author)  jhill122 years ago
I updated the ingredients. I did mean 1/4 cup. Don't forget to add a couple cracked cardamom pods as well. Go with the Cassia sticks.

Turbinado sugar is unrefined and has some of the brown or molasses like flavors. If what you mean is cane sugar that is amber colored and unrefined, absolutely! Don't use the standard refined white sugar. Demerara is another good option.

As for selling these, there are certain steps you have to take in order to sell them legally. The farmers market may have their own rules about the sale of bitters because they contain alcohol. Check out this website and it will guide you in the right direction.

Good luck!
mikeasaurus2 years ago
Awesome, I always wondered what made my Manhattans so tasty!
lmnopeas (author)  mikeasaurus2 years ago
thanks! just a couple drops works wonders!