When it comes to using bitters in a cocktail, don't worry if you're completely in the dark. Adam McDowell, the “Fix My Drink” columnist for the National Post, shared the following recipes to spice up your next cocktail party.
QUEEN’S PARK SWIZZLE
- 6 mint leaves and one mint sprig
- ½ oz. rich simple syrup
- 3 oz. Trinidadian rum
- Crushed ice
- Juice of ½ a fresh lime
- Several dashes Angostura bitters
- Spent lime shell, for garnish
Place mint leaves, simple syrup and some ice at the bottom of a collins glass and swizzle well. Add rum, then fill glass to the top with crushed ice. Swizzle again. Douse the top of the drink with Angostura to create a rust-coloured surface layer of bitters. Garnish with mint sprig and lime shell, serve with a straw.
- Small amount (perhaps a teaspoon) absinthe, or substitute (Herbsaint or pastis)
- 1 sugar cube
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
- 3-5 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 2 oz. rye whisky (or Cognac, or a combination thereof)
- A lemon
Chill a rocks/old fashioned glass (I put it in the freezer). Rinse the inside of it with absinthe and discard excess. In a separate mixing glass, add sugar cube, a splash of water, bitters and muddle until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add a scoop of ice and rye/Cognac and stir gently for at least 60 seconds, preferably 90. Strain into glass. Do not add ice. Squeeze a piece of lemon over the glass.
CLASSIC WALL STREET
- 1 oz vodka
- ½ oz gin
- ½ oz Lillet
- ¼ oz lemon juice
- ¼ oz honey syrup
- 2 dashes Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach Bitters
Shake ingredients vigorously with ice for 7-10 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass or V-shaped cocktail glass, garnish with an orange cheek.
- 1½ ounce pisco
- ¾ ounce lemon or lime juice, by preference
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Egg white
- A few drops of Peruvian Amargo Chuncho bitters
Shake egg whites in a cocktail shaker without ice, until frothy. Add ice and liquid ingredients except bitters. Shake vigorously again for at least 20 seconds, and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Drop bitters in an attractive pattern on the surface of the froth.