Hess House Bitters

by :: [Bitters]

House Bitters is the results of the first attempt on my part to re-create the recipe for "Abbott's Bitters", an excellent cocktail bitters which unfortunately hasn't been made for perhaps over 50 years. I fortunately have several bottles of it stashed away, and so have a starting point from which to begin.

This particular recipe doesn't quite achieve the results I was wanting, but I feel that it did result in a very fine bitters none-the-less, and so am providing the recipe for it here.

Hess House Bitters Recipe:

Ginger Root
1 tbls
Cardamom Seeds
1½ tbls
Cassia
2 tbls
Cloves
1 tbls
Rye Whisky
480 ml
Water
750 ml
Sugar
1 cup

Instructions

1. Place all ingredients, except for the sugar and water, into a large mason jar and seal. Store for 2 weeks, shaking the jar once a day.
2. Strain the liquids/solids mixture through cheesecloth. Squeeze hard to extract as much juice into the reserved liquid as possible.
3. Place the dry ingredients into a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4. Allow to cool completely, then pour the water and solid mixture into another mason jar. Store for 1 week, shaking the jar once a day.
5. Strain the water mixture through cheesecloth. Discard the solid ingredients, and add the water to the previously reserved alcohol.
6. Put the sugar into a small non-stick skillet and stirring constantly over a medium-high heat, allow the sugar to melt and then turn to a rich brown color. Quickly remove from heat and allow the melted sugar to cool for a couple of minutes.
7. With the sugar still slightly warm, pour it into the water and alcohol mixture. It will probably crystallize at this point, but with continued stirring it will eventually dissolve.
8. Allow this mixture to rest for a couple of days, then skim off anything that rises to the surface, and gently pour (or siphon) the clear liquid from the top into another container, trying to avoid as much of the sediment on the bottom as possible.
9. Measure the amount of liquid you now have, and add half that same amount of water.

House Bitters are now ready to bottle and use. This bitters can be used in virtually any recipe which you might have otherwised have used Angostura bitters (even though the flavors are significantly different). It works mighty fine in a Manhattan.

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The swelling on my bee stung ear is approaching the comical mark. #beekeeping
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Can it really be called "craft" if it is made in a 10,000 sq ft bottling and packaging plant? drnk.ca/1DkAQ2I
.@susebraids comparing honey with sugar would be a better idea. I do know sugar works when my kids get needles vs no sugar (lots of crying)
.@susebraids I wouldn't discount it as parental bias, sugar is a known "pain killer" because it causes the brain to release dopamine
Getting stung in the ear hurts, I wouldn't recommend it. #beekeeping
@ryanfeeley cool, glad you enjoy the Abbott's Bitters. Wiser's 18 works well.