Lets talk about bitters. If you are like I was just a short time ago you might be thinking “Bitters, does he mean Sour Patch Kinds?” Sadly, I do not. I know. I am embarrassed for him.
Bitters are a key ingredient in many drinks that you have probably had at a bar or seen here on The Bouche. As I have learned over the past few months, many of the classic cocktails have 3 main components. The first is the booze (duh and/or hola). The second is the sweetness. This could be a sweet juice (orange or pineapple), sweet vermouth, or even sugar. The third component is bitterness. Bitterness can take the form or a sour citrus (lemon or lime), bitter liquors (compari), or your standard cocktail bitters.
Now, classic bitters are really just a combination of high proof alcohol, bitter roots and herbs, and any desired flavoring. There are a number of different varieties of bitters. Two of the most commonly used and found are Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters.
While either of those will work fine in your house, we here at Casa de Bouche decided that we wanted to create our own bitters to use mostly in a classic Manhattan but also to have around for when we play with creating other types of concoctions. The first variation that we decided to make was a Cinnamon bitters because doesn’t a cinnamon Manhattan sound divine? We made a number of other varieties as well but we will get into those later. For now, please enjoy our recipe for Cinnamon bitters. I know it takes a while and most of the herbs are things that sound like they come from an Alice in Wonderland book but seriously, having your own flavored bitters around is truly a joy.
For when the bottled stuff just isn't good enough.
- everclear - 2 cups
- cloves - 4 whole
- cinnamon sticks - 5
- vanilla bean - 1, split
- cinchona bark - 1 tablespoon
- black walnut leaf - 1 tablespoon
- cassia chips - 1/2 teaspoon
- gentian root - 1/2 teaspoon
- milk thistle seed - 1/2 teaspoon
- maple syrup - 3 tablespoons