Bitters

Manhattan Cocktail Redux

Recently I’ve been musing about the Manhattan Cocktail and with Woodford Reserve and Esquire Magazine launching the “Craft the Ultimate Manhattan” contest, it has given me an opportunity to put my thoughts to pixels. Why? Because the recent trend in Manhattans has been to make it the absolutely most flavourful… [Continue]

Brandy Old Fashioned

Brandy Old FashionedAnother month, another Mixology Monday. This one is being hosted by Marleigh at Sloshed! As usual I waited until the last minute before writing, and as I write this I haven’t even decided what I’m going to write about! Obviously the… [Continue]

How to Make a Martini

I just spent the last two Saturdays whipping up some cocktails at the LCBO and came to the realization that there are some big gaps in the knowledge people need to make a decent martini, or any cocktail for that matter. Art of Drink has always been about the dissemination of information for the betterment of cocktails so we’re going back to basics. Even though a lot of us are good at discussing… [Continue]

Pisco Sour

The class of drinks called “sours” are pretty common. The general recipe is spirit, lemon/lime, sugar, egg white and sometimes bitters. The Whisky Sour is a classic sour, which is probably the most commonly ordered in North America. But you can have a brandy sour, a Midori sour or a Pisco Sour. Pisco is the national spirit of Chile / Peru and they are currently still fighting… [Continue]

How to Make Bitters

Bitters have been popular in Europe for hundreds of years, but in North America, they haven't quite stayed as popular since the introduction of refined sugar. However, there seems to be a rekindled interest in bitter liqueurs and cocktail bitters. This could partially be caused by the Jagermeister shot phenomenon. Or, it could be that people just get bored and need to try new things. Either… [Continue]

Planter’s Punch

The heat and humidity have finally arrived and it is time to break out some summer sippers. The Planter's Punch is a pretty common summer drink and one that I haven't had in a very long time. I remember having one many years ago, but it was pretty basic and was probably just rum, sour mix and grenadine. Lots of grenadine. I only had one and went back to drinking beer I'm sure. But it… [Continue]

Bitterness Makes You Judgmental

A recent research paper published in Psychological Science has shown a relationship between bitter flavours and judgement. The interesting result was that after tasting something bitter, people were harsher in their judgement. If you are politically conservative, the effects are even more pronounced. Since bitters are a key part of cocktails, and alcohol in itself can be bitter to a significant… [Continue]

Vieux Carré

Last year I drank Sazerac's, this year it seemed Vieux Carré's were my drink of choice. New Orleans has such an interesting history, especially as the birth place of the cocktail. But, finding a good cocktail in New Orleans can be a task. Forget Bourbon Street, except for a rare few establishments. Some other places in the French Quarter offer potential, but aside… [Continue]

Burdock Blood Bitters Ephemera

Digging through some historical ephemera, I found this interesting ad from the 1800s for Burdock Blood Bitters. It was recommended to treat the four greatest afflictions in America; dyspepsia, biliousness, constipation and sick headache. A little fibre in the American diet might have helped. Anyway, the illness isn't the part that gets you, it's the advertising imagery. On the ad page is… [Continue]

How do you stop sedimentation in bitters?

Question from Blair: I've noticed a phenomena when I'm making bitters.  After I macerate this that or the other in the alcohol, I filter it to remove any sediment, twigs, etc.  I then add cooled caramel syrup to lower the proof and give it a nice texture/color. After adding and blending the syrup, I start to get some… [Continue]

Anti-Bitters (aka Bitter Blockers)

I've always like the idea of molecular mixology, but not necessarily the name or some of the end products. The name has been abandoned by most practitioners of the art, but the media refuses to move on. So be it, it's just a name and if it promote's better drinks / solids / foams / beads then that's fine. Hence forth the anti-bitters discussion will be classified… [Continue]

Abbott’s Bitters Quest

Tasting history is one of the more enjoyable aspects of classic cocktails, however many of those original ingredients have been lost to time. Abbott's bitters is one of those ingredients, and without it we really don't know how the original Manhattan tasted. Sure, there are those rare vintage bottles of Abbott's bitters floating around on eBay, but… [Continue]

Bitter Recipe List is Back

For those who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I have finally recreated the bitters recipe database. It was originally "lost" when I migrated from one hosting company to another, but I have managed to find most of the recipes and have put them… [Continue]

Irish Mermaid Cocktail

Creating a good cocktail is tough, making it popular is even tougher. There are currently thousands of very talented bartenders around the world who take their profession seriously. Many have honed their skills so they can mix high proof spirits with bitter components to make a worthwhile cocktail, which is no easy task. Once you have a good cocktail, how do you make it popular? That's actually… [Continue]

Old Bitter Labels

Bitters are big business in the cocktail world and historically a cocktail wasn't a cocktail without bitters, so it only makes sense. We often associate bitters with bars because of the cocktail, but the reality is that bitters were most likely sourced from the local pharmacy prior to prohibition. Even when bartenders were making thier own bitters, they probably sourced the ingredients from… [Continue]

Abbott’s Bitters

After 3½ years of extensive research, Abbott's Bitters is just about ready to be revived. This is not a reverse engineered project, this is based on an old recipe I found that had an Abbott's name on it.

For the full history of my Abbott's research, check out this slidecast. I am taking pre-orders for bottles of Abbott's which should ship sometime in May or very early… [Continue]

Tempus Fugit’s Cease & Desist (Abbott’s)

The inevitable has happened. Tempus Fugit Spirits has sent me a cease and desist letter asking me to stop using the Abbott's Bitters name as they feel they have a legitimate trademark on it. I disagree and I will explain why below. Though the letter is polite, like all cease and desists, it is implied that it will get much less pleasant if I ignore them. Consider this the first response. And… [Continue]

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