If you’ve been sipping the same seasonal spirits year after year, it’s high time you spice things up with a good bitters.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown. Bitters is basically a type of alcohol-based flavoring infused with an array of different botanical ingredients to give it a bitter/bittersweet flavor – hence the name. These mixtures have been around for centuries, and while the recipe differs from brand to brand, most of the well-known and widely available brands generally use aromatic plant extracts like cinchona bark (quinine), gentian root, wormwood, and angostura bark.
As a rule, they’re extremely strong in flavor. Just a couple drops of warm, spicy, astringent-y bitters can transform a plain-Jane cocktail into something extraordinary, balancing its flavors and adding new dimension and depth. They’re a must-have for any well-stocked home bar.
Bitters from longstanding brands like Angostura or Peychaud’s have been around for centuries, but lately we’ve been enamored with a new elixir from Basement Bitters called Bitter Frost. It’s a special blend of unaged rye spirit, Sarsaparilla, and fourteen other herbs and spices, which are then balanced with maple syrup and aged in cured rye whiskey barrels. The result is a distinctively aromatic bitters that’s crisp, bitter, warm, and completely different than any other you’ll try.
You can pick up a bottle in Basement Bitters’ online store for $20 bucks.