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Shipwreck Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

1 oz bourbon
1 oz aged rum
3/4 oz lime juice
3-4 dashes Bittercube Jamaican #1 bitters
Garnish: Mint sprig

Steps

  1. Combine ingredients, except bitters, in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain in a highball glass over ice.
  4. Top with bitters.
  5. Garnish with mint sprig.

History

With some basis in the daiquiri family of cocktails, the base of the drink is rum and lime juice. The addition of bourbon and bitters by Jamal Hassan brings some depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Regardless of its origins, this cocktail is a perfect summer sipper.

Sazerac Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz Rye whiskey
1/4 oz Absinthe
One sugar cube or a dash of simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Garnish: Lemon peel

Steps

  1. Rinse an old fashioned glass with absinthe.
  2. Add ice to glass.
  3. Stir whiskey, sugar, and bitters together over ice.
  4. Discard ice in glass and strain drink into glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

History

There are few drinks more synonymous with a location than the Sazerac with New Orleans. Most historians accredit the Sazerac cocktail to Aaron Bird who took over the Merchants Exchange Coffee House in 1850. He began serving a drink of cognac imported by the previous owner of the bar, and bitters made by local apothecary Antoine Peychaud. In 1870, a new ownerThomas Handy began using whiskey due to cognac shortages. The cocktail was first recorded in 1908 in The Words Drinks and How to Mix them by William T Boothby.

5 Angostura Bitters Alternatives

Angostura bitters may be the most well known cocktail bitters in the world. They’re almost certainly the most versatile and easily found cocktail bitter on the market. Classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan traditionally call for Angostura bitters in their recipes. But what if you want to mix up your bitter selection?

We did a taste test of 10 bitter alternatives to see which ones we thought were the best Angostura alternatives. The only requirements we put in place was that the bitter had to be classified as an aromatic, which is how classic Angostura bitters is described.

We also weren’t trying to find an Angostura replacement with this exercise. Every bitter is unique in it’s own way. That said, Angostura has a unique blend of herbs, roots, and spices that gives it a fruity bouquet and a rich flavor. For our tasting, we looked for other bitters that could stand up to this flavor profile in some way.

With that said, here are our top 5 Angostura bitter alternatives:

1. Best Overall Alternative – Bitter Housewife Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters –  Tasting notes included a fruity nose with undertones of spice, similar yet more mild than Angostura. We recommend this as an ideal go-to in an home bar, but especially if you are looking for a flavorful change from Angostura.

2. Raft Aromatic Bitters – We felt like this bitter was a brighter and lighter version of Angostura with citrusy notes layered with cherry and ginger. This would make a great summer time Old Fashioned with a light whiskey.

3. Bitters Lab Aromatic Bitter – Bitters Lab is clearly one of our favorite bitter makers here in Salt Lake (they were our October 2020 feature). Their aromatic bitter is sweet and floral compared to Angostura, but it’s tones of cinnamon, anise, citrus & clove make it feel like a close relative all the same.

4. Dashfire Old Fashioned Bitters – We’re calling this one our Holiday cocktail bitter. While the use of fall spices like cinnamon make it feel a bit like Angostura, there is a heavy clove flavor that can’t be missed and makes you feel like you’re sitting next to a warm fire.

5. Scrappy’s Aromatic Bitters – The flavor of Scrappy’s is much woodsier and herbal than Angostura, but because it is usually easier to get than the others on this list, we wanted to include it. There is a distinct anise smell that does still keep it in the Angostura family, but we recommend a sweet bourbon to help balance the flavors.

Our taste test was performed by placing 10 drops of bitters into 1.5oz of sparkling water to help aerate the bitter and open up the flavors. We first sip all of the bitters and then did a side by side comparison with Angostura specifically.

That said, the best way to enjoy these bitters would be in an Old Fashioned.

Are you a bitter maker? Do you have an aromatic bitter in your collection? Reach out and let us taste test, you could make our top 5 Angostura alternatives.

Other Angostura bitters alternatives that have been considered:

  1. Dashfire J Thomas Decanter Bitters
  2. Bittermens Transatlantic Modern Aromatic Bitter
  3. King Floyd Aromatic Bitters
  4. Peychaud's Aromatic Cocktail Bitters
  5. Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters

Brooklyn Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Alpino bitters
Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherry

Steps

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice.

  2. Stir until well chilled.

  3. Strain into chilled coupe glass

  4. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

History

The Brooklyn first appeared in Jack’s Manual in 1908, and was made popular by Jacob Grohusko who was the head bartender at Baracca’s Restaurant on Wall Street. While it drinks similarly to a Manhattan, it has remained relatively obscure since prohibition until recently, mainly due to the use of Amer Picon bitters, which are difficult to find in the US. For our version, we’ve substituted the Alpino bitters, which gives the drink a similar and yet distinct flavor to the original Brooklyn.

XYZ Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces dark rum
3/4 ounces orange liqueur (we recommend Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao)
3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
1 dropper of Crude Bitters The Lindsay
Garnish: slice of lime

Steps

  1. Combine all ingredients except bitters in a shaker.

  2. Shake vigorously.

  3. Strain into chilled cocktail glass

  4. Top with bitters.

History

The XYZ was the name first given to the Rum Sidecar when it appeared in the Savoy Cocktail Book published in London in 1930. While the original recipe called for white rum, many variants have introduced a dark rum over the years. The introduction of bitters in our variant creates an herbal and slightly spicy flavor profile you're sure to enjoy.

Nor’Easter Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce maple syrup
Ginger beer
1 dropper of Crude Bitters The Lindsay
Garnish: slice of lime

Steps

  1. Combine all ingredients except bitters in a shaker.

  2. Shake vigorously.

  3. Serve in rocks glass over ice.

  4. Top with ginger beer and bitters.

  5. Garnish with slice of lime.

History

The Nor'Easter was originally created by Sean Josephs. It was served at his bbq restaurants. Maysville and Char No. 4 (both now closed) as a spicy-sweet bourbon cocktail to complement the food. Clearly given it's flavorful past, we'd recommend it next to a plate of slow smoked pork, but we'll let you decide on your sides.

Top 5 Gifts for a Better Home Bar

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper cocktail at a bar. But, we’ve gotten good at making our own, so we’ve decided to proclaim 2020 the year of the home bar. And it’s not just us, everyone seems to have improved their home liquor collections, as well as their personal cocktail creativity. 

 

With that in mind, we’re sharing some our top 5 home bar holiday gift picks. Whether you’re buying for someone just building their home bar, or for someone with a well established collection, we feel like the list below has something for even the most discerning home mixologist.

1. A Better Shaker – If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, it’s time. If you don't have a stainless steel shaker, then it's time for an upgrade.The top rated shaker of 2020 is the Oxo 24oz shaker which you can buy here. What makes it so great? It’s construction makes for a tight seal when shaking, but still lets you easily pull it apart once you need to pour your drink.

2. Knowledge – Grab the recently published, The Cocktail Codex. One of the newer books on the market, it was written by the same folks who brought you Death & Co. It is sure to become an instant classic and provides great advice for understanding and altering both classic and modern cocktails.

3. Better Ice – Consider a large ice cube tray like this one. For many classic cocktails that require ice in the glass, a large cube will melt slower, allowing a bit more time to enjoy your recently created concoction.

4. A Diversity of Glassware – This set of 22 styles from Food 52 should get any home bar started, or upgrade even the most well stocked cart. It has 12 bodega classes, 6 stackable wine glasses, and 4 coupes – preparing you for pre-dinner, post-dinner, and dinner time drinks with a single purchase.

5. A great peeler – Kuhn Rikon makes a great metal peeler. It is stainless steel, meaning it will last longer than your traditional plastic option, plus the orientation makes it simpler to peel citrus used for garnish.

(BONUS) An Easy-to-Clean Juicer – The Chef’n juicer is a great option for both limes and lemons, and the paddle design helps get the most out of the fruit. Plus, it opens wide making it easy to rinse after use.

And the best way to make the most out of your newly upgraded bar? Sign up for a bitters.club subscription. With new bitter flavors and cocktail inspiration each month, you’ll have an all new home bar adventure.

 

Are you buying any of the above items for yourself or as a gift? Let us know if you do and how they perform for you.

Southern Toast Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liquer
2 ounces dark rum
1/4 ounce simple syrup
3 dashes The Bitter Bottle Chocolate Cherry Bark bitters
Garnish: Strip of orange peel

Steps

  1. Pour maraschino liqueur into rocks glass.

  2. Tilt glass and rotate gently to coat inside of glass. Pour out excess.

  3. Combine rum, simple syrup and bitters in mixing glass. Stir.

  4. Pour into prepared glass over large piece of ice.

  5. Garnish with orange peel and stirrer.

History

The Southern Toast was created at the Bird and Bone in Miami, FL. It is meant to be a rum forward twist on the classic old fashioned. The Maraschino liqueur provides the fruity notes to the drink instead of using any actual fruit. While Bird and Bone created the cocktail to feature a Trinidad rum called Afrohead, you can really use any darker aged rum.

Campfire Sling Recipe

Ingredients

2 ounces bourbon or rye
1/4oz Maple Syrup
3 dashes the Bitter Bottle Chocolate Cherry Bark Bitters
Garnish: Flamed orange peel

Steps

  1. Add all the ingredients into a cocktail glass with ice, and stir until well-chilled.
  2. Squeeze orange peel and spritz into cocktail.
  3. Take match and flame orange peel over glass.
  4. Garnish with flamed orange peel.

History

Looking to warm up as the weather cools down? The Campfire Sling is a variant on the Old Fashioned cocktail, using maple syrup instead of simple syrup created by Kevin Felker at the Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles. Garnish with a flamed orange peel to add a touch of smokiness that makes you feel like you’ve sipping the cocktail in your favorite camp chair around a fire.

November Maker: The Bitter Bottle

Kaleena moved to Chattanooga, TN in 2013 where she started bartending. With less experience than some of her peers, she started making and studying bitters as way to understand a core component of cocktail making. According to her, that's really where the hobby started to take over.

She began researching the background on all of the botanicals being used, which led her to begin studying herbalism. That led her to start creating tinctures and blends in her studio apartment. Her love of plants and botanicals has merged with her career in the hospitality industry, coming together to create something unique.

In 2017, she helped reformTennessee legislation around bitters, making them regulated as a non-beverage product. With this victory, she leased a space and began producing bitters at a larger quantity for others to enjoy. She officially launched the first legal alcohol based bitters in December 2019.

In our conversation with Kaleena, we asked her what her favorite type of bitter is. While she said, “bitters like Angostura and Peychauds are such classics and always will be,” she loves a bitter that is creative. In her own line up, she likes the Roasted Dandelion Root, a product meant to speak to their roots in the city of Chattanooga.

What is her go-to cocktail? A Mezcal Sazerac, using Peychauds, or a Mexican hot chocolate with a dash of her Chocolate Cherry Bark bitters.  Missed out on our November shipment? Try the Bitter Bottle Chocolate Cherry Bark Bitters by purchasing our stand alone November box.

While she originally studied and worked in music, Kaleena now uses bitters as a creative outlet. She even promised her father at one point she would never bartend, but clearly that decision to mix a few drinks has led to an amazing flavorful brand of bitters.

Follow the Bitter Bottle on Facebook or Instagram. Or head over to their site to learn more about their bitter options.