Since adding a POMBAR to Pomegranate Bistro, I have been obsessed with creating craft-style cockatils that incorporate our own house-made bitters, tonics & tinctures – what fun! That’s why I dashed straight from the airport to a IACP Bitters Class taught by barkeep, Sother Teague aka “creative drunk”. The class was held in the East Village at Amor Y Amargo (love & bitterness). Converted from a storage room it was a pop-up bar that permanatly stayed “up” with popularity.
The class was filled with fun facts for bitter’s geeks! Here are some of the tips and nuggets Sother shared with us:
- You don’t add bitters to a cocktail to make it bitter, as you wouldn’t you add salt to your cookie dough to make it salty… same thing
- Vermouth is fortified wine and should be treated as such as its not stable after opening, so buy small bottles & refridgerate after opening.
- TWO catagories of bitters
o Tinctures (think- Angostura, Peychaud’s & Bittermans) – a little dab’ll do ya.
o Potables (think- Campari, Aperol & Fernet-Branca) – less bitter & drinkable on their own.
- Bitters are not distilled from anything, nor is any fermentation involved. They are macerated, or steeped.
- 3 components to a bitters recipe: alcohol, a bittering agent, and flavoring agents.
o The most common bittering agents are quinine, orris, gentian, and cinchona.
o The most common flavoring agents are Citrus fruits, with cardamom & cinnamon being popular as well.