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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » What is the best bitters currently available?
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What is the best bitters currently available?
SuperEight
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 16, 2004
Posts: 270
From: Palo Alto
Posted: 2009-07-08 8:46 pm   Permalink

I am new to bitters and would like to know what is the best kind to make Tiki drinks. I have access to some very good liquor stores near Palo Alto but would like to avoid mail order.

 
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Coco Joe
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2008
Posts: 721
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2009-07-08 9:08 pm   Permalink

I like this topic. Fee Brothers have a large variety of flavors and from what I'm tasted they all seem good.

 
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Shaun of theTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Posts: 109
Posted: 2009-07-08 10:49 pm   Permalink

Fees old-fashioned bitters are great for tropical drinks (not so much for whiskey cocktails), but Angostura is the tiki standard. As for orange bitters, Regan's makes a great one. I haven't tried the Bitter Truth brand but I heard many raves about them.

I only found Fees in a few gourmet shops and since you live in Palo Alto, I'd recommend the Cask store in downtown SF.



 
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Chip and Andy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 13, 2004
Posts: 2217
From: Corner table, Molokai Lounge, Mai-Kai.
Posted: 2009-07-09 10:26 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-08 20:46, SuperEight wrote:
I am new to bitters and would like to know what is the best kind to make Tiki drinks.



That depends entirely on the cocktail you are making.

Most of the 'tiki' drinks that call for bitters use Angostura. Actually, most drinks that call for bitters use Angostura because they have been around the longest.

Most recipes that use something other than 'Regular' bitters will specify Orange Bitters, or Lemon Bitters, or whatever Bitters.

As an ingredient, most bitters generally don't do much on the tongue except be bitter. There are stronger and weaker notes in each of them and I have a lot of fun changing up the bitters used in a cocktail to see what happens. Where they all really make a difference is in the aroma of the finished cocktail. Some bitters are more aromatic than others, like Reagan's Orange, and can really take a cocktail to that next level as far as final presentation.

So, to answer your question directly, get the small bottles of what ever Beltramo's (sp?) has to offer.

And, if you don't want to do the mail-order thing, Beltramo's is pretty good at getting stuff if you ask.


 
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suzanne
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Joined: Mar 31, 2005
Posts: 660
From: A Jet to Paradise
Posted: 2009-07-09 11:23 am   Permalink

A wonderful cocktail that I have had the pleasure of having at Drink, in Boston, several times, is something called the DLB, or Don's Little Bitters, which is a cocktail which consists of nearly all bitters, with a rum base and a little bit of lemon juice. Bitters can be more fun than just that little dash!

Suzanne
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The Mayor Of Exotica
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 392
From: Boston
Posted: 2009-07-09 1:07 pm   Permalink

While I haven't tried this drink at the bar, I have tried Suzanne's version of it, for which I can indeed vouch. Yes indeedy! Quite a marvelous tour of taste!

 
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hiltiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2004
Posts: 3163
From: Reseda, calif.
Posted: 2009-07-09 2:05 pm   Permalink

Do bitters get old? I have had some for a while.

 
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swizzle
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2007
Posts: 882
From: Melbourne,Australia
Posted: 2009-07-09 3:09 pm   Permalink

One of my regular haunts stock a huge range of bitters and also make their own.They recently got in the Bitter Truth range,which i've tried a few of,and must say they are very good.

 
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sirginn
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 20, 2003
Posts: 280
From: Sunset Cliffs , CA
Posted: 2009-07-09 3:55 pm   Permalink

I have no problem finding angostura, and Peychauds at routine stores, but for other varieties and flavors, I have ordered over the internet.

The below link, has a variety, including Regans orange, Angostura orange, and several Fees flavors.

They even have a variety pack of Fees.

https://www.kegworks.com/search/search.php?keywords=bitters

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CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 368
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2009-07-10 1:51 pm   Permalink

As others have said, I think that you'll find Angostura to be the most versatile overall, followed by orange bitters. I love Gary Regan's Orange Bitters, although I find them to work better in old school whiskey & gin cocktails. Personally I find the new(ish) Angostura Orange Bitters to work better in Tiki cocktails. The AOB seem to be more aromatic and spicy than Gary's Orange Bitters. Fee Brother's Grapefruit Bitters work well in Tiki cocktails as well, which figures since grapefruit juice is such a common ingredient in so many Tiki cocktails. As an aside, I find that bitters add more than just bitterness on the palette, they add an important aromatic note to cocktails. Try making a Manhattan with and without bitters and you will see the difference.

 
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telescopes
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 06, 2007
Posts: 569
From: Palm Springs
Posted: 2009-07-12 12:38 pm   Permalink

Okay, about that Manhattan. How much bitters would you add? 1 drop or several. Also, what proportion of vermouth do you recommend?
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Shaun of theTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Posts: 109
Posted: 2009-07-12 2:17 pm   Permalink

For Manhattans, I usually go for two dashes of Angostura and a dash of orange bitters. Vermouth is no more than half an ounce.

 
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Ojaitimo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 04, 2006
Posts: 1317
Posted: 2009-07-12 9:18 pm   Permalink

Stirrrings makes a Blood Orange bitter that I like.




 
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CincyTikiCraig
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2009
Posts: 368
From: Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posted: 2009-07-12 9:27 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-12 14:17, Shaun of theTiki wrote:
For Manhattans, I usually go for two dashes of Angostura and a dash of orange bitters. Vermouth is no more than half an ounce.



I do nearly the same-2 dashes of Angostura, one of Orange (preferable Regan's), but I mix 3/1 Rye to Vermouth. Love the Rittenhouse 100 proof, and Wild Turkey 101 proof Rye. My favourite Sweet Vermouth is Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry.


 
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Shaun of theTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 25, 2008
Posts: 109
Posted: 2009-07-13 12:08 pm   Permalink

Indeed, there's a happy balence in that bitter combination. For ryes, I stick to 6-year Sazerac. I'm tempted to either get Vya or the Antica Formica vermouth.

 
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