I was SO excited about this class at the Boston Shaker — Your Friendly Neighborhood Cocktail Supply Shop. Such a super cool concept — one cocktail made several different times over with different bitters each time.
We started by tasting each of the bitters straight up (the smaller circles below.) Regan’s had a nice orange tinge, Bittermen’s Boston tasted like chamomile tea, Angostura tasted like … Angostura? (not sure how to describe it except maybe a giant Christmas ball of spices), and Peychaud’s had a distinct anise taste. If you plan to taste them straight, just be prepared. They are considered non-potables for a reason!
We also tasted each one with a little bit of soda water — in some cases it changed the taste completely and definitely softened the bitterness.
Next we had a 1900s Martini, sans bitters, to taste as a baseline.
Then Adam, who knows everything about cocktailing, made the same martini with each of the bitters we had tasted. It was amazing what just a few dashes of bitters did to change the taste. For the record, my favorite was the one with the Angostura.
A little ice cube melting experiment … from left to right, traditional ice cube tray, perfect ice cube tray, and bagged ice.
The class ended with a free-for-all where they put all the bitters on the table so we could taste at will.
I got a little carried away. My favorite bitters will be no surprise. I LOVED the fireside bitters, which … you can’t buy. It was made by one of the store’s customers. I loved the smokiness and would have put it in everything.
And a bonus … we got a discount on any purchases we made that night. I think we all left with bags in hand. My stash is below.
Classes are ongoing. I’m definitely coming back for more. I had the BEST time. Thanks, Boston Shaker!
(And the uber cool back of the business card.)