DON`T BE BITTER

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There´s a fun contest going on..Dietsch over at “A dash of Bitters” and Samantha Harrigan over at Cocktailculture is having a “Don`t be Bitter” contest for cocktail bloggers. I wasn`t aware of it buried in work as i`ve been lately. But just the other night  i discovered that Stevi over at “Two at the Most” had written about me! and while i started to read i said to myself oh my…what is going on here??

The contest is simple – give some link-love to a fellow blogger and write about an occasion when you was envious of their good luck, fortune, booze-collection – something you wish you had.

The prize?

Hm…….the prize is a very sought after bottle of bitters…namely the Bitter Truth’s Beefeater 24 bitters, specially made for Beefeater 24. There was already a contest earlier over at Cocktailculture to win a bottle of these bitters but you had to be in the US and you had to be the first on a photo with a bottle of these precious bitters in hand taken at certain bars.

Now we who weren´t able to do that have now got a second chance and i sure wanna try! If i`m lucky to win i have promised to share half the content with Stevi.

So who is at the top of my list? First of all its all those people who are able to (more than say – once a year) meet fellow booze bloggers and cocktailians that they can share their passion with and then well..i have to say it has to be Rick over at Kaiserpenguin.

Man, that guy seems to have everything! He takes fantastic photos, has a real garden..and not just “a garden” its THE garden, complete with fishpond, awesome fireflys, beautiful plants and flowers and not one but two large great grills, and there is an abundance of fresh mint growing wild everywhere..so when you want a garnish you just go out there and pick some mint and a lily or a basil in bloom..

And that`s not all..he`s fortunate to live in a big house, has a great kitchen (he´s a great chef too) and a real icemaker..just press a button and you get either crushed ice, cubes or cold water. I actually made the ice to finish..

And what about the booze-collection? – no surprise its great and there´s a lot of stuff there i wish i had but cannot get like Laird´s bonded, Old Overholt, Sazerac, Vieux Carré..but ok, i do have access to all those demeraras so i think we are even there.

So i do get a bit envoius when i compare that to how i have it here with no garden, no grill, a very small and dark10 squaremeter sized room to live in and no ice maker – instead i go through one handcranked device after another.

And oh yeah, his blog is fantastic, one of the best, if you haven`t been there its time you go and read – i guarantee you will enjoy it.

Second on my list of envy has to be Jeffrey Morgenthaler because of all his travels…even though well-earned, and third got to be TraderTiki for his awesome home tikibar Reyonld`s Galley and the fourth is Jay at Oh Gosh! for living in London and having access to so many great bars, events and great spirit shops like Gerry`s and the Whiskey Exchange.

So there you have all my envies…but no…i`m not bitter;-)

BITTERMENS BITTERS TO BE SOLD WORLDWIDE THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH THE BITTER TRUTH

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This is some great news! when i got the press release i say yaaaaaaaay! its longtime i`ve been waiting to be able to order the mole bitters for instance.

Bittermens Bitters has now entered into a partnership with The Bitter Truth, who are as we know award winning German producers of many interesting classic and lost bitters, spirits and other cocktail flavorings. Now the Xocolatl Mole and Grapefruit Bitters will be exclusively produced and marketed under a shared The Bitter Truth/Bittermens label. And over the coming months these bitters will be available through The Bitter Truth’s worldwide distribution.

XOCOATL MOLE BITTERS

These bitters has chocolate and spice flavours. Its inspired by the mexican mole sauce and highlights tequila, aged rum and whiskey cocktails.

GRAPEFRUIT BITTERS

When you want a citrus punch to your white rum, cachaca, tequila, mezcal cocktails.

All you need to do now is go to The Bitter Truth`s online shop and place your orders and as soon as the first production batches are ready in July, they’ll be sent out on a first-ordered, first-shipped basis.

BOB`S AMAZING BITTERS

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It was through a friend that i first heard about Bob`s bitters, and when i graciously received samples my joy was complete and curious as never before because these are some unusual flavors, i started to taste them. The interesting thing with these bitters is the whole concept of using one flavor in each bitter which leaves a lot of potential for cocktails. Bob first got involved in the booze trade when he started to create fresh fruit infused sake using only natural ingredients and no preservatives or coloring, blended with Junmai Ginjou Sake, thus creating Nijizaki wines.

The bitters started 3 years ago when Bob was approached by Guiliano Morandin who has been the bar manager at the Dorchester Hotel for 25 years. With the relaunch of the new bar Guiliano had the idea of the gin experience which with your gin & tonic, you could choose from a selection of bitters.

The first experiments were made with the botanicals that are used in the making of gin in mind and it started with individual ingridients creating individual flavors and from there it has developed. Bobs Bitters has become more popular with bartenders as it allows them to use their creativity in adding just the ingredients they want to add.

A good example of how well it works is the Perfect Ten, a martini based around Tanqueray Ten Gin and grapefruit bitters that has been created by Guiliano. The Liquorice Bitters was created for Ago Perrone of the Connaught Bar for use in developing cocktails using the newly reformulated Galliano L’Authentico.

As i write this i get to hear about a new flavor in the process of being developed by Bob which is tangerine – made from 20 year old tangerine skins! According to Bob the skins get better over the years and these are also sundried thus having a brownish coloras apposed to orange, very similar to what the Italians do with sun dried tomatoes. I also hear that the prototype for the coming bitters are very fresh, bright and crisp like the grapefruit bitters and with a sharp edge. Interesting, and those i can imagine goes well with cachaca, rum and tequila as does the grapefruit bitters. Bob did also mention heavily aged bourbon with these bitters. Right now they are tested at the Dorchester bar.

The first one of the bitters i tried was the  grapefruit bitters as i`ve heard about how nice they are, and that is true, they have an incredible freshness, its like bitter fresh cut grapefruit peel. Very nice and with a laidback bitter background. The next i tried was the ginger flavor and it started quite bitter immediately followed by a natural ginger flavor. I look forward to experiment with the ginger bitters.

I like spices so i went on with the cardamom and coriander bitters, interesting flavors for bitters i think. They are both very spicy, very warm, these two will be among those i use the most i suspect. Also very interesting is the licorice bitters, this one has a very fresh aroma, immediately i got to think about pairing it with pineapple and vanilla. I`m usually not so much a fan of licorice but in very small amounts i like it. The licorice bitters have a very clean flavor and i find them intriguing.

Me who loves vanilla so much and with an aversion of those artificial vanilla flavors you see everywhere on the shelfs is not dissappointed at all with these vanilla bitters. They have a pronounced natural vanilla flavor but not overpowering, followed by a lingering warm aftertaste.

The last one of these wonderful bitters i tried was lavender. These are not surprisingly very floral – and light with a strong lavender flavor. This is definetily for Gin!

So of course i had to make a cocktail with these bitters and so i decided to mix up a cachaca drink that combines cardamom and vanilla bitters with african rooibos tea and honey. It will take time to experiment with all these bitters and find out specific cocktails paired with specific bitters but oh so fun!

ROOIBOS ICED TEA COCKTAIL

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2 oz cachaca

2 oz rooibos tea

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.75 oz honey

1 tsp orgeat

dash Bob`s vanilla bitters

dash Bob´s cardamom bitters

vanilla bean

3  lime quarters.

Split the vanilla bean and scrape out all the seeds you can and add to shaker. Save the bean for garnish. Add to shaker: cachaca, rooibos tea, bitters, lime juice, orgeat and honey (melted to liquid) Shake over ice and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with lime quarters in the glass and the vanilla bean. The cardamom flavor mixes well with the cachaca while the vanilla flavor, honey and tea makes for a mellow background. The amount of honey and orgeat may be adjusted to your taste.

I can safely say that after trying Bob`s  bitters both by themselves and in various cocktails (one was a Mai Tai with the grapefruit bitters)  i give my thumbs up! When these samples are finished Bob can count me into his line of regular costumers;-)

Bob’s Bitters is used at The Connaught and Dorchester Bars in London.They are also available to commercial and private customers directly from Nijizaki.

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Sugarcane bar