Back To Basics

Bitters!

Ah, simplicity. It’s a beautiful thing. Naturally, as a ‘tender, I get excited when I see something like this on a cocktail menu. This one is from the list at Malt in Newport, Rhode Island. With the current resurgence in whiskey and classic cocktails, it is no wonder that there is a concomitant resurgence in bitters. Bitters are, after all, a principal ingredient in the original cocktail, by definition, along with spirits of any kind, sugar, and water. As a professional mixer of spirits, I have great respect and admiration for an establishment that pays homage to this classic. Not only does it allow us to imbibe and appreciate history, it also lets us savor the flavor of the principal spirit—in this case, whiskey—unadulterated by too many added ingredients and flavors. Whenever a discriminating patron asks me to make them something, I almost always use this archetype as my inspiration, selecting a good bourbon or rye as my base, and build it from there.

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