This summer I’m making an escape from my rural midwestern hell hole to the beautiful continental Europe. Being a world traveler means having to give up some basic comforts, like having a working knowledge of foreign languages and dialects, also having a working knowledge of strange European toilets. When you travel, there’s so much you just can’t prepare for. Luckily, alcohol is one of those things you can always count on! There’s always an ample supply of booze no matter where you go, but there isn’t always a bartender who knows how to mix a nice cocktail. To ensure a good drink regardless of where I am geographically I started checking out some travel sized cocktail bitters.
Bitters are really the key to a good drink. They’re also a crucial element of building so many of the classical drinks in the world. After doing a bit of research I found The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set to be some really nice and well packaged bitters for flying. Because of all kinds of new flying regulations you can’t just take any large unmarked bottles through security, they have to be the right size. The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set is exactly the right booze for the job!
The set comes with a handful of the most important bitters you’ll need to make your favorite drinks. The set itself comes with five bitters.
Old Time Aromatic Bitters
The aromatic bitters add a bit of spice or cinnamon to a drink. A few dashes really make a difference. Aromatic bitters are good for any cocktails containing Whiskey, rum, brandy or tequila. I tried out the Aromatic Bitters in a Manhattan.
2oz rye whiskey
1/4 oz sweet red vermouth
2-3 dashes of the Aromatic bitters
Stir and strain into a chilled glass
Add a lemon peel if you want to be classy
the orange bitters are probably my favorite addition to a drink, because the bitters themselves are so versatile. In some drinks they come off fruity and in others a little spicy. You can also use them in varieties of cocktails. I used the orange bitters to make a classic dry Martini
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
Stir (or shake it) with ice and pour into a chilled glass
garnish with an olive and pretend your James Bond.
These creole bitters were a first for me. Definitely something a little out of the ordinary. They add some sweet and spicy characteristics to the cocktail. Creole bitters seem to be pretty good in whatever you put them in! Try them in a brandy cocktail.
2 oz cognac
2 dashes of creole bitters
2 dashes absinthe
1/4 oz sugar syrup
stir with ice and strain it into a chilled tumbler
Ok, we all know what these are for: the Bloody Mary. The bitters themselves taste like celery…obviously. Though, you get some hints of lemon as well. Bloody Mary’s aren’t really my thing…but for the sake of all my dear readers I made one. Ok, so I was pleasantly surprised.
2 oz Vodka
4 dashes celery bitters
3 dashes worcestshire sauce
1/4 oz lemon juice
3 1/2 oz tomato juice
tabasco, salt, pepper, pretty much go crazy.
stir with ice, put it in a tall glass with a stalk of celery and go crazy.
Jerry Thomas’ Bitters
The jerry Thomas Bitters are by far my favorite. You can use them in pretty much any cocktail containing gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, et. They add a some richer flavors like dried fruit. They’re the best bitters for my favorite cocktail: the old fashioned
2oz tequila (or whiskey, but I really prefer tequila.)
1/4 simple syrup
3 dashes Jerry Thomas’ bitters
build in tumbler with ice and give it a stir.
I like to garnish it with a whole slice of orange.
Ok, so if you’re a traveler and you’re picky about your cocktails pick up The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler’s set! Also, if you’re building your bar at home and in search of some good bitters, then look no further! Also, check out our post on making your own home bar!