BENGALURU: An important and widely used ingredient in cocktails is Bitters. Bitters is a blend of botanical, herbs and spice extracts, so that the end result is characterised by a bitter flavour. Originally, bitters were used as medicines, but over time, they have evolved to being used as digestives and herbal infusions in addition to being used in a wide variety of cocktails in modern time.
Bitters, known as salt and pepper for cocktails, are used mainly to introduce an additional flavour profile to complement the taste of the cocktail. Ever since bitters came into use around two hundred years ago, they have always had an alcoholic base, usually around 30 to 40 per cent by volume. With the modern trend veering towards lowering alcohol content and consumption without compromising on the taste, more consumers and mixologists are finding non-alcoholic substitutes for bitters.
We have something called “Better than Bitters” which is the first non-alcoholic bitters and is competing taste wise with traditional alcoholic Bitters. They have crafted 16 variants of small batched bitters made with natural ingredients, to suit every individual’s taste profile from the classic Aromatic bitters, Orange bitters and Celery bitters to interesting flavour profiles like Chrysanthemum, Mole, Tonka Bean to name a few.
There’s now very little to differentiate the taste between alcoholic and non-alcoholic Bitters. In fact non-alcoholic Bitters give an added twist to mocktails, non-alcoholic beverages as well as cocktails. Some of these with suggested cocktails are:
Celery Bitters are a long-forgotten cocktail ingredient that add a nice savoury boost to the cocktail. It offers a well-rounded and a full bouquet of notes such as white sweet grape, high land Shizuoka Sencha tea, lemon grass, celery leaf and fresh root ginger. Recommended for – Bloody Mary, Margarita, Daiquiri, Gin & Tequila Cocktails.
If you love a good Manhattan,
a drop or two of the Cherry Bitters adds complexity and balance to the cocktail. It also works for Cuba Libre, Manhattan, Martini, or an Old fashioned.
The award-winning Mole Bitters are a perfect addition to cocktails made with tequila, mezcal, or dark rum to bring a little chocolate, smoky flavour with a mere hint of heat. They are also recommended for coffees, teas, smoothies and milk shakes and Espresso Martini’s.
Japanese Matcha Bitters
Matcha Bitters are made from Japanese Premium Matcha. It highlights complex umami flavours, and adds an earthy element and a retro hue to cocktails. Recommended for – Highballs, Sake Martinis or a Vodka Sour.