When people think of cocktail bitters, they usually imagine a fancy cocktail served at the bar. And truthfully, they play an important part in altering how we taste certain cocktails. You can taste five sensations: salty, sweet, sour, umami, and bitter. Sometimes when one area is a little heavy, you can balance it with a different flavor. That’s what makes the sweet and sour sauce so good.
Although the name would have you believe otherwise, there are various uses for cocktail bitters, and alcohol doesn’t have to be a part of the equation. Cocktail Bitters serve to flavor anything you happen to be drinking or cooking. Continue reading the article below to learn more about the many benefits of adding cocktail bitters to your spice rack.
Not Just Bitter
Cocktail bitters are made in a similar fashion to making vanilla extract. Typically, high-proof alcohol is used as a solvent, but you can get the same effect using vegetable glycerine or vinegar as a nonalcoholic option. The number of flavor notes you can add to bitters is immense, depending on your choice of ingredients. Your selection of bitter roots and herbs, with added spices and botanicals for flavor, gets mixed into a jar with a solvent and steeped for weeks.
Bitters For Health
Cocktail bitters are good for more than just your taste buds. Many bitters have been proven to aid digestive health significantly. Some common examples include Gentian root, burdock root, and dandelion, all naturally growing plants with a bitter taste. The inclusion of bitters in your diet will certainly help to keep your digestive system regular. Additionally, some bitter herbs and botanicals have effects that may reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and aid in liver detoxification. It’s not as sweet as an apple a day, but it will do the trick.
A good dash of orange bitters will take your old-fashioned cocktail to the next level and will help to create a well-rounded drink. Cocktail Bitters can enhance more than the flavor of your alcoholic beverage. It can be added to iced tea, lemonade, or even club soda for an interesting taste. You can also use bitters in your vinaigrette salad dressing or a marinade for some meat on the grill. You can add a dash of bitters to anything that could use the balance of flavor. Although cocktail bitters can taste sharply bitter on their own, they work magic in recipes when used as a subtle undertone.
Give Bitters A Try
Bitters should be a staple in everyone’s pantry. Cocktail bitters rightly deserve their respect behind the bar as a great flavor booster to cocktails, but they also have many other uses that can greatly improve your food and health. Their medicinal uses alone make it worth a try if you’re new to playing with flavors. Whether you’re spicing up your nonalcoholic beverages or adding a little flare to your next sauce recipe, bitters just might be the ingredient you’re missing.