Sunday, July 14, 2024

A Shot of the Black Stuff

July 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Spirits Events

bittersThe Tales of the Cocktail seminar A Shot of the Black Stuff: Amazing Amaros and Brilliant Bitters, was well worth being part of the standing-room-only overflow. Best I could count there were about 30 or so folks like me standing on top of the 140-150 seated. And packed it should have been. It was a very informative and entertaining seminar on history, ingredients, health and bullshit (old snake-oil remedies and tonics, etc.). Jacob Briars (@vodkaprofessor) and Sebastian Reaburn (@drinks1806) are engaging and bring a great deal of information about digestif and flavoring bitters of all sorts. Basic takeaways were:

1. Flavor before history: just because someone made some bitter pre-Prohibition doesn’t mean it didn’t suck back then, so don’t slavishly follow some old recipe and re-create crap.

2. Health before history: know the health effects of your ingredients, and especially watch the laxative ones.

3. Know the good stuff and how to get at it: it’s pointless to try alcohol when something ingredient is water soluble and equally the reverse, and harmonizing the flavors when you have 10, let alone 20, 30, or 40 ingredients will take a lot of time and effort.

4. Arrive early at their next presentation: it will be worth it.


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