5 Flavored Bitters that you NEED to Start Using.
The first level-up everyone goes through in being a bartender is realizing the magic of bitters. Just like adding spice to your food, small amounts of these potent little flavor bombs can improve even the most terrible cocktails.
For anyone here who’s new to the game of bartending. You may be wondering, what are bitters?
Bitters are made by infusing a potent neutral spirit (like Everclear) with some kind of roots, herbs, spices, or any other aromatic substance.
Bitters were around even before cocktails. Originally produced and marketed for their ‘medicinal’ purposes. The spirit was used to extract and preserve medicinal qualities found in natural ingredients.
Thankfully for the human race, we’ve evolved beyond using these in hospitals and have repurposed them into our liquor cabinets.
It’s no lie that alcohol does capture the essence and aromatics of whatever you are infusing. Which is one of the reasons that makes bitters such an important ingredient in the cocktail culture today.
Everyone knows Angostura and Orange, maybe you’ve even used Peychaud’s before! But what about some of the flavored ones that are not so common everywhere?
Here are some bitters I think are easy to use and that everyone would enjoy, from your serious bar chemists to your home bartenders who just enjoy getting plastered with some pizazz.
Fee Brothers Plum Bitters.
Plum bitters are my absolute favorite addition to any fruit forward cocktail. The bitters add an almost bubblegum like flavor, while still somehow managing to remain bitter. Careful not to overuse these because they tend to overpower the more subtle cocktails. (combine these with some sort of chocolate bitters for a tasty surprise)
Bittermen’s Xocolat Mole bitters.
Mole bitters taste like spicy chocolate. A perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Cacao and chile. It’s complex and extremely well made. Perfect for those high-level, sophisticated and boozy cocktails that just need to give you an extra kick in your tastebuds.
Fee Brother’s Aztec Chocolate bitters.
Different from the mole bitters, yet the ‘bitter’-ness gives it a bit of a kick anyways. The flavors of it remind me almost of a chai mocha latte. My favorite pastime is abusing these bitters during my holiday cocktails R & D.
Fee Brother’s Black Walnut Bitters.
Bringing a smokey nutty flavor, this is one of my most commonly used bitters. It’s easy to blend the flavor of this into almost any type of cocktail. I recommend incorporating this into ‘herb’ forward cocktails. Like rosemary or sage.
Fee Brother’s Toasted Almond Bitters.
Probably the sweetest option on this list. It smells like straight amaretto, but don’t be fooled it’s still highly potent and should just be used in dashes. I love using it in cocktails that are just a little too dull and would benefit from that extra sweet and caramelly kick that this brings. Perfect with anything creamy or chocolatey. Also great for balancing flavors in something bitter or spicy.
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