I have this lovely gift of new ingredients from my sister and have been thinking of how best to explore them. I love bitters. Angostura or Peychaud’s are what most of you probably have sitting in your bar cabinets (Fee Bros are also excellent). Angostora bitters are always in my bar-a staple of many classic cocktails. But you may have noticed while perusing the aisles of your local liquor mart that bitters have branched out into a seemingly endless array of flavors. From chocolate to celery, there’s now a bitter for just about any cocktail occasion.
Included in my surprise box was a bottle of blueberry bitters.
Now as a berry goes, the blueberry is not my favorite (blueberry pancakes aside). But I’ve played with bitters enough to know that you often want either a taste that mimics and magnifies your base flavor notes, or something to accent and add a touch of a contrast. Not sure what blueberry bitters would even taste like, and bitters not really being something you take a sip of to taste, I decided to showcase them on the ultimate neutral palate:
The Classic Champagne Cocktail with Blueberry Bitters
Generally a champagne cocktail is a sugar cube dropped into the bottom of a flute, saturated with a few drops of bitters and topped with champagne. Orange peel garnish optional. I learned how to drink these in my first “grown up” job. The Lancome executive from Paris would order them for us at the bar of The Four Seasons Beverly Hills. Where I’d valet park my green 1979 Chrystler Cordoba (fine corinthian leather included). I felt as soignee as a 23 year old driving a crappy car could. Elegance in a glass.
Out of oranges at the moment, I subbed in a lime peel. This is delicious! You get more of a softer bitter taste with just the palest hint of blueberry. Gorgeous with champagne. I’ll have to ponder what type of martinis this bitter could best highlight.
And I can’t wait to try the next one!