For so many of us, our knowledge of bitters comes from the cocktail world. We know that to make so many classic and well-balanced drinks, bitters are an essential element and a must in a well-stocked home bar. Various styles and flavors of bitters pair with anything from ryes, whiskeys and bourbons to tequilas, mezcals, rum, and gin.
Bitters are blends of specific barks, roots, and herbs that have been infused in alcohol, and then used in dashes or drops to enhance and bring botanical flavors to drinks.
Bitters are essentially herbal tinctures that originated in the apothecaries of old-world Europe for their medicinal benefits. They are called "bitters" because one of the inherent ingredients are bitter herbs. These are also the crucial ingredients that offer us so many of the digestive benefits we enjoy when taken regularly.
There are so many ways that we can use bitters outside of their cocktail applications, however. I take my bitters every day by themselves with some drops in the mouth or I enjoy them in soda water or tea! They bring gorgeous flavor to my water while I try to hydrate throughout the day, and they spice up my morning and evening cups of tea.
I love the Tamer bitters to add ginger and lemon spice to my green tea in the morning, either the Golden or the Riza to my Throat Coat or Bedtime tea, and the Floral in my chamomile or herbal tea in the evening. One of our team members uses the Wildfire bitters as a detox tincture with lemon juice and honey in water every morning.
A lesser known way to use your bitters is to cook or to bake with them! We have so many chefs and customers working and playing with our bitters and shrubs in their kitchens and we've been inspired!
If you think about it, bitters are just like adding spices to your dish or vanilla extract to your desert. The complexities of flavor add gorgeous flavors, whether subtle or forward to whatever you're cooking up. So gather around the table and let's get creative!
- Use the Wildfire bitters in chili for a different kind of pepper spice without having to chop peppers
- When baking cookies or cakes, substitute vanilla extract for the Golden or the Amores bitters for a more complex warm spice blend
- Use the Golden bitters when making waffles or pancakes in the batter or in the syrup for more spice and herbal notes
- Dash or drop any of the bitters on top of ice cream for a simple but very special desert
- Whipping cream? Add some Golden or Amores to the mix
Our shrubs are also incredible for cooking! With the base being apple cider vinegar, I use them all the time as marinades and salad dressings in addition to splashing them in soda water!
Try the Cherry Thyme as a marinade for lamb or pork. I love the Persimmon Lavender and Blueberry Mint for veggies in either a marinade for the grill or in a saute. A little goes such a long way with these and add such beautifully clean, tart, and bright flavor to any dish!
In my travels and emails, I find that so many of our customers are doing the most amazing things with our products in the kitchen I can't keep up with all of the incredible creations so instead of posting food recipes to the site, we've created this blog to create a culinary discussion.
What are some of your recipes with our bitters and shrubs? Share your creative culinary concoctions with us here and let's explore the world of bitters and shrubs in cooking and baking!