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Mixers, Water, Ice and Glasses

All of the ingredients in a cocktail contribute to the experience.


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Old 07-06-2010, 12:30 AM   #1
Andyafro
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Default Bitters for Beginners

Ok so I'd like to branch out and start exploring the world of bitters but there’s so many to choose from orange, grapefruit, rhubarb Creole, no’6, fee, bitter truth and the list goes on and on. Some are obviously more specialised than others with more limited range of uses.

So the question is where to start? as they aren’t dirt cheap in the UK what would you class as your top 3 can’t live without bitters?
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:47 AM   #2
bunnyhugs
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Personally I'd suggest - in order of importance:

Angostura Aromatic
Angostura Orange
Peychaud's

Those are the classics for general mixing. With them you can mix up pretty much any classic cocktail.

However, if you are exclusively a rum drinker maybe you can drop the Peychaud's. Traditionally it is mostly used in Sazeracs, and if those aren't your thing maybe you don't need it.

That might leave you able to replace the Peychaud's with another variant of aromatic bitters? I like the Fees Whiskey Barrel Aged (complex, and more about cinnamon versus the cloves of Angostura), but heard they were a limited release. I've not had the change to try the Bitter Truth products. For a rum-fiend, Trader Tiki's falernum bitters could be another option.

For orange bitters I find it hard to go past Angostura. They are great, and work especially well with rum. Fees are too mild and one dimensional, while Regans are less versatile - carrying a spicy and gingery note that probably doesn't work in all drinks.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
itsme_timd
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Thanks for the thread, I've been wondering about bitters as well.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:59 PM   #4
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Awesome Bunnyhugs!

You have helped me enormously. Keep up the good work!

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Old 07-09-2010, 01:13 PM   #5
Joe Riley
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The Bitter Truth line of cocktail bitters is indispensable. Their orange bitters might just be the best one on the market, and everything else that they make is great quality.

Angostura bitters has to be the cornerstone of your bitters collection. No bar should be without them.

Peychaud bitters is required for Sazerac cocktails, and they are fun to play with for other drinks, to be certain.

Fee Brothers bitters are a great value. Their Peach and Grapefruit bitters are bar staples here.

Look for an exciting line of cocktail bitters coming soon from Scott Baird and Josh Harris, of Bon Vivants in San Francisco. I've tried a prototype of their forthcoming "Gold Rush" bitters, and they are fantastic.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:12 AM   #6
Andyafro
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Thanks alot Bunny and Joe, nice tips!

Always good to have a starting point.
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