An essential ingredient when making cocktails, but do you know what they are? Or what do they do to a drink? Well, this Cocktail 101 article will help you decipher cocktail bitters.
The long and short of it is that Bitters are an alcoholic ingredient that is made by distilling and blending a selection of herbs and spices. They’re certainly not beer, they certainly aren’t an IPA. Bitters are the same for drinks that salt and pepper are for cooking.
Traditionally Aromatic Bitters are made using a number of different herbs and spices and are often the perfect choice for tiki and whiskey drinks. Generally, Aromatic bitters have quite a high ABV, but are definitely a go to base for cocktails and drinks.
After Aromatic bitters, you then have Flavoured Bitters, the most popular being orange and chocolate. Made the same way, flavoured bitters combine the specified flavour along with additional spices, flavours and herbs. Usually, a little bit lover in ABV, flavoured bitters are a great way to add hints of flavour to drinks and cocktails.
The most common way of using bitters is by adding a few drops of the bitters into a cocktail shaker or mixing glass whilst making the drink. Alternatively, you could also spritz your bitters.
There are two ways you can spritz your bitters. The first one would be to spritz and coat an empty glass. A bit like ‘washing’ or ‘rinsing’ a glass a spritz of bitters will add a flavour accent to your cocktail and will ensure that it doesn’t get lost in the cocktail.
The second way to Spritz a cocktail is by using the burst of flavour instead of a traditional garnish. By adding a spritz of flavoured bitters to the top of a cocktail you’re giving it that burst of initial flavour when the cocktail is enjoyed.
For more information on Bitters check out our Youtube Video by Steve the Barman.