bitters Feed

What is Fernet?

By far the most famous type of fernet is Fernet-Branca, but there are other fernets on the market. So what is fernet, generally speaking? (Thanks to commenter Scott who wrote in on the "Shhh It's a Secret" seminar at Tales of the Cocktail write-up for asking the question that I never thought to ask.) I asked John Troia, co-founder of Tempus Fugit Spirits. They have a fernet coming out, Angelico Fernet. Here's what he says. I’m sure there may be varying degrees of opinion, but we feel that the following is reasonably consistent with our research and that of others:... Read more →

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Shhh! It's a Secret

These are notes on the Shhh! It's a Secret seminar at the Tales of the Cocktail convention. For alcohol products you have to list your ingredients, method, etc. to the TTB before approval - the whole recipe, in gernal. This isn't the same for non-alcoholic products. Lillet is in a category of tonic wine, rather than vermouth. In 1886 John Pemberton released a syrup with cola nuts and coca- Coca Cola. But one year before that there was John Pemberton's Nerve Wine Coca, a "tonic wine". This was changed based on the coming backlash against alcohol. In 1863 in France,... Read more →

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Luckily on my recent trip to Trinidad we didn't spend the whole time inside the distillery. We took our rum to go and this is what we did. The only bar I was able to visit was Shaker's, on my first night on the island. It was an indoor/outdoor place with lots of Angostura branding and food. One street food in Trinidad is Doubles: taco-sized bread with Indian chic peas. I added hot pepper sauce to mine - and every time after that. So good. The night after our distillery visit, we went to a welcome party at Wayne Yip... Read more →

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In my last post I talked about the history and production of Angostura Bitters. In this one I'll talk about the history and production of Angostura Rums. I visited the distillery on Trinidad in March 2011. History of Angostura Rums The House of Angostura was in the bitters business since 1824, but didn't enter the rum business until after their move to the island of Trinidad in 1875. At first they were dealing with bulk rums rather than distilling their own, but in 1945 they purchased their own distillery. It wasn't until the 1960s that the profits from rum outsold... Read more →

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In March I visited the Angostura distillery in Port of Spain, Trinidad. They make not only Angostura Bitters here but also the line of Angostura rums and rums for several other brands. In this post, I'll focus on the bitters. The History of Angostura Bitters Angostura Bitters were created in 1824 by Dr. Johann Siegert. They were originally called "Dr. Siegert's Aromatic Bitters" and later renamed Angostura Bitters. (The folks from The Bitter Truth Bitters have some interesting information about a lawsuit over the name "Angostura" between these bitters and Abbott's Bitters.) (One of the other Angostura Bitters bottles from... Read more →

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Last week I went to Trinidad to report on the 2011 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge. They flew in bartenders representing North and South America, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe, India, Asia, Nigeria (though he had visa issues and couldn't attend), South Africa, and Trinidad & Tobago. I got a chance to sit down with most of the contestants for a quick interview to learn a bit about their drinks and their countries. Andy Griffiths from Cookie in Melbourne, Australia eventually won the day, and the $10,000 check. He told me that down in Melbourne they're working with barrel aged drinks now... Read more →

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Hello from Trinidad! I'm here with the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge - an international bartender competition. I'll post more about Angostura, the rums made here, and the brand history on another blog entry when I get time. (But if you have any questions put them in the comments below and I'll try to get answers on Sunday.) Yesterday we toured the distillery and went to a party at Angostura's CEO's massive house on the water. (It has excellent parking spaces for one's yacht.) Just a quick note: I spoke with Angostura's new US importer for the bitters and am happy... Read more →

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Actually, that should be Alcademics in Trinidad, where the limbo was invented. Also from Trinidad: steel pan drums, calypso music, and Nobel Prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul. Oh yeah, and that's where they make Angostura bitters. As this message is sent through the internet hopefully I'm on the plane on the way to Trinidad, where I'll be witnessing (read: drinking along to) the Angostura Cocktail Challenge. Stay tuned for updates! Read more →

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