Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC MayJun 2016 Contents Your cocktails should be treated the same
as the beer, wine and spirits on your menu
-- they should taste the same every time.
REÀL Cocktail Ingredients guarantee
customers consistent flavoured cocktails.
Fresh fruit oxidises very quickly, meaning
your venue can be left with high wastage
costs. REÀL Cocktail Ingredients use
the highest quality fruit, and with a shelf
life of up to 90 days, once open, you
get consistency of flavour, as well as
consistency in LUC and consistency in cost
Traditional syrups contain little to no
fruit and are primarily water, sugar and
artificial flavouring. The REÀL Infused
range contains little to no water, and close
to 100% premium fruit puree. That is why
some of the best bartenders around the
world incorporate these products into
For more information on distribution
or how to use, please contact your
local SouthTrade representative or call
BITTERS & SYRUPS
SO WHAT ARE THEY FOR?
Bitters work as both a binding agent and a flavour
enhancer in your drinks, and have always been
part of cocktail anatomy, as it were.
"If you look at one of the earliest references to
the 'cocktail' in an 1806 political paper, Balance and
Columbian Repository, it provided a still relevant
definition of the cocktail that you can use today:
'spirits, bitters, sugar and water'," says Jimmy Irvine,
of the Swillhouse Group. "Bitters are designed to
exemplify ingredients in cocktails, to round off and
Felix Allsop, The Everleigh bar manager, explains
it in a bit more detail, saying that bitters fit in two
"The main one is a binding agent. It's a
background bitters and you don't sort of want
to have the flavour of it as a component in the
final drink -- what it does is bring everything
else together and fill in the gaps between other
ingredients and making a much fuller tasting drink,"
The other camp, sees things like orange bitters
used to make flavours, like fresh fruit, really pop.
"It lifts other flavours so if you're using that in
a drink with fresh juices it's just going to brighten
those things up a lot," says Felix.
While, as Irvine points out, bartenders have
always been creative with bitters -- think Charles
H. Baker's 1939 Angostura Fizz or Giuseppe
Gonzalez's 2009 Trinidad Sour -- simply changing
the way you think about bitters can change a
"Think about a different use of method in
creating a cocktail, such as atomising/garnishing
with bitters, or using bitters as a prep element
by flavouring garnishes and staining materials,"
If that's not possible in your venue, Allsop
suggests starting with substitutions.
"At the Everleigh 99 per cent of our drinks are
classic cocktails so they have classic formulae to
them and we can easily substitute things in and out,
and it works really nicely with bitters," he says.
The differences may be subtle but they'll help
you put your own stamp on a drink.
DON'T OVER COMMUNICATE
Allsop says that the purpose of bitters often gets
lost in translation.
"We use them all the time but we don't talk
about them a lot. Just the name 'bitters' can
sound a little off-putting," he says. "You have to
explain that the drink is just going to taste brighter
"Always mix bitters
-- Jimmy Irvine
This is one of those times that less is more,
according to Irvine.
"I think bartenders can sometimes be
overwhelming when it comes to handing knowledge
over to consumers," he says. "I've always gone with
the school of thought that if you provide information
casually and in basic detail you can always build your
point through conversation and good chat." b&c
SO WHAT ARE OTHER PEOPLE
Allsop: We're currently using Angostura
in a Bobby Burns #3, which is like a twist
on a Manhattan with sweet vermouth and
Drambuie. Peychaud's is fun to play around
with because it's bright pink. So you can
have a big intense, full-flavoured drink and
have it come out bright pink. It always throws
people a bit, which is good. You always want
to challenge those stupid, gender-based
preconceptions people have.
Irvine: Recently I've taken bitters outside
of cocktails and into the kitchen, mainly for
garnishing purposes. Bitters are great additions
to syrups, tinctures, sodas and garnishes.
I've also recently tinkered with a homemade
Angostura Aromatic Bitters BBQ Sauce.
TOM EGERTON IN
ACTION WITH MONIN
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