Here are the latest additions…an extract, a few bitters, and some liqueurs. Most of these acquisitions were chosen because of cocktails I’ve tried at The Passenger, so a hat tip to them.
Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub – Celery, apples, and as it’s a shrub there’s vinegar as well (more on what shrubs are here).
Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters – I discovered this one in an unnamed cocktail at The Passenger that included Green Chartreuse, gin, aperitif wine, and said bitters…great cocktail. I’m a fan of allspice dram, and the tiki bitters endeared themselves to me with their flavors of cinnamon, allspice, and other spices. Besides “tiki” it also makes me think “Christmas” (a la mulled cider), so that opens up some other drink options.
Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6 – Great orange bitters, and it’s pretty popular in the D.C. mixology scene. The nose is heavy on the cardamom and carraway, which I’m definitely a fan of…the orange peel is in the taste combined with the cardamom. This should definitely be in your collection as your go-to orange bitters.
The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters – Initial smell I get on this one is fruit with anise. Major flavor in this one is definitely the anise. This review mentions fennel as well, which I get at the finish. Both that last review and this one mention it as a replacement for Peychaud’s, which I’d go along with. I’ll probably save my bottles of Peychaud’s for drinks that call for large proportions of it, while using this one in dashes.
Ilegal Mexcal Añejo – I bought this one with a specific cocktail in mind (The Beety Bastard by Gina Chersevani), but they’ve got a few others on their website that sound promising. This is a small batch production (I’ve got bottle #840 of 1350)…more on that here. I haven’t cracked it open yet, but based on the review here this may also be good as a sipping mezcal (the price also lends itself to that at $100/bottle).
Luxardo Maraschino – A bittersweet, cherry-based liqueur. I primarily bought this one to make the Aviation and Martinez, but there are many other good options. Founding Farmers has one called “Nice Coat!” with Bluecoat Gin, Maraschino, basil, lemon, and orange bitters.
Amaro Averna and Gran Classico – I’d compare/contrast these two together and with Cynar (which has a sweet start and more bitter finish than Averna). The Gran Classico starts more bitter and less sweet but ends slightly less bitter than the Cynar. I’m not a huge fan of bitter for bitters sake, so I’d go with the Averna as my favorite of these three…when mixed right though, all three have great potential. Recently, I had Averna at The Passenger in the “Mother of Dragons” (it was Game of Thrones night). Averna, grapefruit, Canton, orange bitters, garnished with FIRE…tasty.