Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate, $18
The bespoke bitters-maker boom is one of the more ridiculous outcroppings of the handcrafted-everything movement. (Has Portlandia taught us nothing?) But it’s also helped bring erstwhile products like orange bitters — an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the original martini — back to our shelves. This take on the pre-Prohibition staple, from Brooklyn-based producer Bittermens, favors the fresh, juicy flavors of a glass of O.J. to the baking-spice profile of a classic orange bitter. Their Orange Cream Citrate, a tart and sweetish tincture of orange cream and citric acid, is based on a soda fountain syrup. And because it isn’t actually bitter, it plays well with amari and other dry spirits. Counting Room bartender Maksym Pazuniak pairs it with Campari, Cynar, citrus, and smoked grenadine in his 8 1/2 cocktail. At home, use the Citrate to bring a dose of day-glo brightness to deep, rich spirits like scotch, or add a drop to any cocktail that calls for an orange garnish (negronis, sherry cobblers, any kind of collins).
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