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Ingredient

Bitters

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What is it?

A bitter or bittersweet liquid used to flavor cocktails, apéritifs, and foods. It is distilled from aromatic herbs, barks, roots, and other parts of plants. It has a high alcohol content. The most renowned of any bitters is Angostura bitters, first created by Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert in Venezuela in 1824. It is made by combining an infusion of herbs and gentian root with a strong rum base. It was originally used as a medicine for some illnesses as well as seasickness, but today it is used primarily to flavor beverages and cooked dishes.

How to store:

Due to the presence of many herbs, spices, and high alcohol content, bitters will keep for a long time once opened. Store in a cool, dry place, and make sure to properly seal the bottle.

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    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Sangria

    This is more of a formula than a specific recipe: it starts with a base of simple syrup, orange juice, brandy, and a dash of bitters. To that you can…

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    Maui Mule

    This twist on the classic Moscow Mule cocktail (lime, vodka, and ginger beer) incorporates that Hawaiian staple, pineapple.

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    Old Old Fashioned

    This cocktail is all about great bourbon and slow-melting ice, so find an ice cube mold that’s almost the size of the glass.

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    The Ruby Cigar Cocktail

    Nick Roberts, Chef Williamson’s husband and co-chef at the couple’s L.A. restaurants, uses both tequila and mezcal in this colorful cocktail with a kick. While tequila is made from the…

  • Recipe

    The Sazerac

    Sometimes it’s helpful to think of a garnish in an uncommon way.  Consider the absinthe rinse found in a traditional Sazerac cocktail as an aromatic garnish that’s placed underneath the…

  • Recipe

    Glazed Lamb Chops

    An unusual mix of pantry ingredients—including Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, Angostura bitters, and honey— provides sweet and tangy flavors in this rich glaze. Serve the chops with herb-roasted tomatoes and…

  • Recipe

    Watermelon Blush

    Made with St-Germain, an elderflower liqueur, this summery drink is sweet, with a light effervescence.

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    Chi Chi Pache

    Created by Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, this drink is reminiscent of a creamy piña colada with a hint of spice. Visit our Drinks & Entertaining page for dozens…

  • Recipe

    Lift-Off!

    This drink was invented by Blair Reynolds, bartender at Thatch Tiki Bar, in Portland, Oregon. Made with falernum, a syrup spiced with ginger and clove, it gets a fiery boost…

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