Today’s Mixology Monday is hosted by Michael at A Dash of Bitters and the theme is (surprise, surprise!) bitters.
I considered buying some Cynar, but spending money on a liqueur made out of artichokes that I just know will be disgusting is frivolous.
Jonas is a huge bitters fan. He particularly loves Campari and Montenegro even more so.
A classic Italian digestive: run an orange wedge around the rim of a glass, throw in some ice, top up with a nip of Montenegro, squeeze in the orange juice then drop the empty orange wedge in. Eccolo! Un digestivo buonissimo!
For my cocktail I decided to explore the idea of a dash of bitters using the Angostura bitters I had in my liquor cabinet. I wanted to see whether the ingredients we use as cocktail flavour enhancers could become more prominent elements in their own right.
After doing a little research on Angostura bitters, which is headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, I learnt the recipe was created back in 1824 by a German surgeon Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert. He was fighting with Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and developed the concoction as a tonic and digestive aid for the soldiers.
Other producers often add the bark of an angostura tree (cusparia febrifuga) so they can legally call their product Angostura, but the original does not include this.
One trademark of the original Angostura bitters is that the label is oversized for the bottle. Rumour has it this was the result of the relaxed Caribbean culture and when someone ordered the wrong size label for the bottle they just made do.
Angostura bitters are pretty versatile. They are included in a huge number of cocktails and are also used in a lot of Caribbean cooking. Stories on the internet claim some people even use it as insect repellent.
Be warned though, when using Angostura bitters you’ll find that it stains easily and if given a chance to dry it will be near to impossible to remove.
My cocktail is based on an idea I saw on the Angostura website, but I’ve changed it quite a bit to suit my palate and the ingredients available in Sydney.
Coco Baby Bitters
Anna’s recipe. Makes 1.
5 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon condensed milk
1 tablespoon gin
1 tablespoon coconut rum
1 teaspoon Angostura bitters
1. Mix coconut milk and condensed milk
2. Add gin, coconut rum and bitters
3. Add ice and shake.
4. Serve with more ice.
Check out the Mixology Monday recap for more bitters cocktail recipes.