My mother’s favourite new drink is tonic water with a dash of (Angostura) bitters. Nothing too revolutionary there – who hasn’t added a dash of bitters to a G (or V) & T, etc. But what is pretty damn cool is a whole underground of bitters that I knew nothing about until a friend who lives in the US started boasting about all the cool cocktails he drinks, featuring goodies like blood orange bitters (excellent with gin). To make up for his sins, he gifted us a bottle of celery bitters, which turns a great bloody mary into a stonkingly great bloody mary.
If bitters interest(s?) you, go read this description of a bitters tasting, complete with fascinating stuff like why the ‘Ango’ label is bigger than the bottle, and what goes with what: ‘Ango’ pairs well with rum, whisky, gin, coke (!), and coffee (!), but not with Cognac, while Peychaud’s works with Cognac, tequila and whisky, but not with gin.
Even more interesting is what led me to that post in the first place, which was my own sneaky suspicion that bitters and ice cream would rock. And so they apparently do – over at the Angostura site their advice is to ‘to dash 5-6 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters onto some plain vanilla ice cream. Voila, your ice cream is transformed into a gourmet dessert!’:
Gourmet yawn. Nah, what we need is the bitters in the ice cream. I am talking rock shandy-flavoured creamy goodness. Made with creme fraiche, a touch of lemon, and plenty of the red stuff to offset all the sugar in the condensed milk. The perfect post-Christmas tonic.
Now excuse me while I go talk to my ice cream machine.