Better Bitters from your Buddies at B1

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

Have you ever tasted a something and thought ‘man I could do a better job myself’? BartenderOne had the chance to back up this statement when Lauren Mote, celebrated Mixologist from The Refinery Bar in Vancouver came to assist with a culinary approach to cocktails.

Our goal was to start the process of making our very own house bitters. While there are tons of bitters available commercially making your own at home you will be able to taste the difference. Rob Montgomery, Scott McMaster and Gavin MacMillan created their first round of house bitters a few years back so when the chance came to get a west coast perspective on this particular culinary application Gavin jumped at the opportunity!

A spread of fruits and spices lay out on the counter ready to be used for a variety of experiments and tasting and Lauren came ready filled with knowledge on how to conquer this huge task. Currently in Vancouver she makes all her own bitters and syrups preferring to venture the home-produced route because of health components firstly and also due to the taste difference in the cocktails in the Refinery which you should check out if you are in Vancouver: http://www.therefineryvancouver.com/ – it is a must see!

Citrus prep

Citrus prep

First up were the bitters which composed of a variety of citrus fruit peels, spices, ginger and a spirit base; exact ingredients of BartenderOne’s first ever home bitters are just below -knock yourself out! The dry ingredients totalled up to $65 and will last you quite some time so are certainly worth the investment! The peel of all the fruits was placed into a 1 litre container alongside some cinnamon bark and then the real fun with the spices began. Imagine the scent of an Indian kitchen mixed with a touch of Vietnamese and Cambodian aromas wafting through and you may have an inkling of what the smell was when the spices were toasting.

Herb before smoking (lol)

Herb before smoking (lol)

Once finished they were put in alongside the peel and liquorice sticks. We did two containers to vary the bitters so one was then topped up with vodka and the other whiskey. Lauren gave guidance and the benefit of her culinary knowledge, and together we created the starting point for the house made bitters that you will eventually be able to taste at Repeal. When making this recipe or your own adaptation, remember to gently shake the container every day for two weeks, and taste often until your bitters taste the way you want them. Also, for any fresh ingredients, make sure that they are completely submerged in your spirit to prevent composting while your spirits are infusing.

RBV-1

Peels of:
2 x oranges – 40g
2 x grapefruits – 59g
4 x lemons – 37g
4 x limes – 24g
-Stick peels into a 1L container
Spices:
5g cinnamon bark (spicy, aromatic and hard spice creating depth and middle tone)
3g coriander seed toasted (creamy and nutty)
4g mace toasted (citrusy and floral)
1.6g star anise toasted (deep rich hard spice, creates a backbone)
4g black cardamom toasted (smokey)
2g green cardamom toasted (floral, citrus, perfume, best thing for you in bitters)
2g cloves toasted (deep rich hard spice, creates a backbone)
1 large nutmeg toasted (depth & backbone, adds a floral infusion to cocktail)
2g fennel seed toasted (citrusy/light)
3g cumin toasted (similar to fennel – all seeds super floral and citrusy)
2g black mustard seed toasted (add a kick to spices)
2g ajwain seeds toasted (Indian scent – dara masala)
5g bay leaf (indescribable flavor, taste and effect on things)
2g caraway seed toasted (indescribable – contributes what cumin and fennel seed, woody)
.75g white pepper toasted (floral and heat)
3g all spice toasted (hard spice)

- break up big bits in frying pan first before toasting with muddler
- toast on medium heat (by doing this you are releasing the essential oils)
- you will smell when they are ready

34g fresh ginger root peel on & scrubbed (keep peel on to keep it bitter) added to container with fruit peel.
-Add spices to containers with fruit peel
-2 sticks of liquorice root in each container.
-750ml spirits

Seal and shake gently once a day every day for two weeks and ensure all ingredients are submerged. Store at room temperature in a dark place.

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