I just attended a great course on bitters mixology. The class was put on by Jesse Dean of Libations Bar School and hosted by the Spice and Tea Exchange in Georgetown…both of which I would encourage you to check out. The Libations Bar School has some interesting courses, including an advanced mixology and molecular mixology offerings (who wouldn’t want to try working with liquid nitrogen behind the bar??)
After going over some of the background behind tinctures, extracts, and bitters, teacher Jesse Dean had us put together our own mix of bitters from the stock of the Spice and Tea Exchange. The concoctions will be steeping for the next several weeks, at which point we’ll be having a cocktail night with the better mixtures.
Some people may think that making bitters is too complicated for them, but it can be as easy as taking a small, sealed container of over-proof liquor, adding a small amount of fruits, herbs, or other flavorings, usually including one ingredient categorized as a bittering agent, then allowing it to steep for a couple of weeks. Make a few of these at a time and figure out which recipes work best for you. Just make sure you label the jars with what you used…that way it can be reproduced later in larger quantities.
I’m going to keep the recipe for my group’s bitters under wraps for now, but it included a spice, a flower, some pepper, and a bittering agent.
Here’s a couple of shots from the evening:
I’ll provide an update when we have the cocktail night…I’m looking forward to trying out the winners.
–Spice and Tea Exchange – Georgetown 1069 Wisconsin Ave, NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 333-4540 http://www.spiceandtea.com/dc-georgetown-ezp-31.html – Libations 1734 Wisconsin Ave, NW Washington, DC 20006 (202) 642-1256 http://www.libationsbarschool.com/