I know lots of folks who are into the craft beer movement and that is a topic for another day, but I like my whiskey. In the past few years, I have become especially fond of bourbons. I love the subtle nuances of bourbons. And I love unlocking some of those nuances with flavored bitters. There are quite a few brands on the market and the flavors are limitless. There are even books on making your own bitters. I am a fan of Fee Brothers Bitters . I currently have seven different kinds at home. I have lemon, peach, grapefruit, orange, cranberry, mint and of course the traditional aromatics. Bitters impart flavors without the sweetness of most mixers and they don’t dilute the bourbon. It only takes a few drops of bitters to do the trick.
I have a few of my favorite combinations. My top choice is Basil Hayden with lemon bitters. It’s a lighter bourbon and the brightness of the lemon is perfect. I like to pair Bulleit with orange bitters. For a reasonably priced bourbon, I like Buffalo Trace with grapefruit bitters. I’m not a fan of overly sweet drinks so a great substitute for a Mint Julep is bourbon with mint bitters.
There are some bars that carry flavored bitters, not as many as I would like! Liquids and Solids in Lake Placid is one of my favorites. Keegan at the bar makes some of them herself. Morgan and Company in Glens Falls has a small selection. The Bourbon Room in Saratoga Springs also has a few.
Bitters also have medicinal benefits and mixed with club soda or seltzer is great for settling an upset stomach.
I’d love to hear about other bars that carry a selection of bitters or different combinations of bourbons and bitters.