I just finished a superb book on the subject of bitters and I cannot give it a high-enough recommendation. If you are an avid mixologist and classic cocktail aficionado like me, then the volume Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons, is a must have for your library.
Parsons takes his reader on a exciting journey through the history of bitters, chronicling the heady pre-prohibition days when literally hundreds of varieties of bitters were available to the everyday barman; the dark days of prohibition when bitters almost went the way of the dodo; and the current resurgence of the bitters “cult” as the proverbial wingman to the classic cocktail revolution.
Parson’s style is engaging and his humor is dry and lightly satiric. His story-telling ability keeps what could be a fairly dry topic quite entertaining.
The book also contains three important sections: recipes for your own craft bitters; recipes for an intriguing list of classic cocktails; and recipes for a selection of “new” classics. The book also has a section on bitters as showcased as a culinary enhancement – interesting…
I’m already planning a trip to find a few pints of Everclear, as well as a local herbal center to find cinchona bark and a few other odd roots to begin fabrication of my own craft bitters!