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My First Bitters

StriperGuy Jul 9, 2009 05:15 PM

Just started my first batch in a nice 375ml corked bottle. Used to hold a half bottle of tequila.

- Fill with grain alcohol
- Funky white raisins from the chinese supermarket
- 8 saffron threads
- 3 allspice berries
- 8 Sichuan peppercorns
- Piece dried tangerine peel
- 1 whole walnut meat toasted
- 4 regular peppercorns
- 1 smallish stick true cinnamon (not cassia)
- 4 cardomon pods crushes
- 1 small star anise crushed
- One nice 5 second grind of nutmeg
- 3 clove buds
- 1/2 TSP Gentian
- 1/2 TSP grains of paradise
- 1/4 TSP chichona
- 1/4 TSP wormwood
- 1/2 TSP valerian
- 2 small bay leaves
- zest of one meyer lemon
- zest of one lime

Gonna wait at least 2 weeks.

Thinking of adding a dash to some Cava. Not a manly drink, but bet it'll rock.

Also maybe just a dash in some cold gin.

Then certainly with gin and a spritz of citrus, served very cold.

It's gonna be a long 2 weeks.

  1. c
    Chefpaulo Jul 9, 2009 05:51 PM

    Wow, what a recipe! Never in a million years would I have come up with this for bitters.

    The valerian will surely help you get through the next two weeks, if you don't have to work that is.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chefpaulo
      StriperGuy Jul 9, 2009 06:42 PM

      I just googled it is a mild sedative, but what else more then that?

      1. re: StriperGuy
        isadorasmama Nov 10, 2009 07:26 AM

        That's it. I'm sure you noticed it smelled a bit like bad feet, right? That said, I've had it homemade in a tincture with nothing more than some vokda and it tasted pretty awesome.

    2. c
      craigasaurus Jul 10, 2009 08:33 AM

      This recipe sounds great. Don't forget to add some caramel after straining and before bottling to round out the flavors (melt 3 - 6 oz. of sugar, add the same volume of water and stir, let cool, then add to your strained bitters).

      FYI, I always strain my bitters through a cheesecloth and then a coffee filter to get out as much sediment as possible. I use mason jars for steeping, and pour off the whole jar into a measuring cup, stick a cheesecloth-lined funnel into said jar and pour them back in. I repeat the same process, this time with a coffee filter in the funnel. Then I add the COOLED sugar syrup (hot sugar + 190 proof alcohol = bad news), stir/shake the jar, and let it incorporate for a day or so before decanting into 50 ml shaker bottles I got online somewhere.

      If you'd like to trade, I've made grapefruit, sassparilla (one bottle of which is behind the bar at Drink - ask Sam or Ben about them!), anise/absinthe, and lime/lemongrass.

      1. w
        wormwood Oct 23, 2009 10:38 AM

        wondering where you came up with this recipe? i've made a few different batches of my own invention and read dozens of recipes in books and online and never saw anything quite like this. i can't really imagine what the finished taste of this is supposed to be?

        1 Reply
        1. re: wormwood
          StriperGuy Oct 23, 2009 10:45 AM

          Tastes kind of good. Complex, a hint of anis comes through, spicey.

        2. jerryc123 Oct 26, 2009 03:00 PM

          I would like to start my own bitters.

          The fruit, baking spices, and Chinese spices are easy to find.

          May I ask where you found the more exotic, bittering spices?
          The gentian, grains of paradise, chichona, wormwood, valerian, etc.

          4 Replies
          1. re: jerryc123
            StriperGuy Oct 26, 2009 03:14 PM

            Most of em I got at a funky witch/herbalist shop in Salem, MA. You

            1. re: jerryc123
              JMF Nov 8, 2009 06:41 AM

              www.pennherb.com is great for sourcing all kinds of common and hard to find botanicals.

              1. re: JMF
                jerryc123 Nov 10, 2009 04:20 AM

                Thank you, JMF, that was EXACTLY what I have been looking for!

              2. re: jerryc123
                rlh Jan 21, 2010 12:34 PM

                I had better luck ordering online at www.tenzingmomo.com - a retail shop site for a store in Pike Place Market in Seattle

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