By Lauren Shockey – September 25, 2010
When seeking to enliven a drink, a mixologist looks no farther than his bottle of bitters. “With the addition of a single dash of bitters, I have effectively added dozens of ingredients to that cocktail,” explains Joaquin Simo, a bartender at New York City’s Death & Co. “Even better, you can add a dash of one or two bitters to a cocktail and increase that depth exponentially.” ”
Highly concentrated mixtures of alcohol and aromatics like gentian root and orange peel, bitters were originally touted as medicines before becoming popular cocktail flavorings. Angostura and Peychaud’s have long dominated the market, but now is a heady time in the small-batch bitters world, particularly for Bittermens, Inc., owned by Boston-based Avery and Janet Glasser.
Bitters can be marketed either as beverage alcohols or non-beverage alcohols. Bittermens’ used to be classified as the former, which made for difficulties dstributing the product in states with tough liquor laws. In July, the Glassers began personally producing the bitters (including a new Boston Bittahs, flavored with chamomile and citrus) as non-beverage alcohols. Thus, the bitters are now freely available for purchase online. Cocktail enthusiasts rejoice!!
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