‘Bitter’ is such a harsh word, isn’t it? If someone calls me that, I would probably, well, become bitter per request. I am joking, of course. By the same token, when bitter is used as a noun, it becomes undeniably charming and a drink or two are in order. That’s more like it.
I usually don’t drink. I get a taste for cocktail only when I see something intriguing on the beverage menu, such as the one-of-a-kind signature drink or my favourite plain old apple martini. But to be able to make my own bitter for my own drink was beyond my imagination until I found this wonderful book.
I first got my hands on ‘Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas’ awhile back. It’s a fantastic book, I might say, filled with all kinds of possibilities to make any drink even more spectacular because, you guess it, it teaches us how to make our very own bitter!!! Stupendous is the word I would use to describe myself when I encountered this book for the first time. I kept flipping page after page undecided which bitter I should try first. Though it’s quite easy to make bitter, including this one on the post, it takes time to wrap up the project. Word of advice, if you want to make the drink from your own bitter to impress friends at your next party, I suggest you read through the recipe and spare the time accordingly.
This pomegranate bitter recipe has undoubtedly been improvised from the master, oh wait, I meant the author of the book’s apple bitter recipe. Same as the fizz, it was inspired from the book as well. It’s quite refreshing with a touch of pride. I felt as if I were part of the movie, Cocktail, when I made this; my hubris was leaking the glass. Why? Because I made my first bitter all by myself. I have grown up, have I not?
Come on, make this drink. Get into the spirit of bitter a little. 🙂
P.S. I just heard that my photo has been shortlisted in the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2016. I am overjoyed and excited just to be part of this group of talented photographers, but to tell you the truth, I am ecstatic to hear more. I will keep you posted once I know more.
- 4 oz. pomegranate seeds
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 oz. allspice
- 1 oz. coriander seeds
- 1 oz. cassia chips
- 1 oz. cinchona bark
- 2-3 cups high-proof bourbon, more if needed
- 3 tablespoons grenadine
- 1 cup water
- Sterilized jar (s)
- To sterilize the jar (s), submerge it in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Let dry on a wire rack.
- Add all ingredients-except bourbon, water and grenadine- in a jar. Pour the bourbon to cover those ingredients. Close the jar with the lid and keep it in a dark place at room temperature for 2 weeks; shake the jar daily. After 2 weeks, strain through a cheesecloth repeatedly until there is no solid, then pour into another cleaned jar.
- Add solids and water in a saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. After that, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Add both, solids and liquid, in another cleaned jar. Close the jar with the lid and keep it in a dark place at room temperature for 1 week; shake the jar daily. After 1 week, strain through a cheesecloth repeatedly until there is no solid, then pour the liquid into the jar with already strained bourbon. Repeat this step until all of the sediment has been filtered out.
- Add grenadine to the jar with all bourbon solution, and shake until well-combined. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days. Strain through a cheesecloth into a new jar. Shake before using if needed.
- The bitter is best using within a year, but can be kept indefinitely.
- 2 lbs. pomegranate seeds
- sugar (see the recipe for detail)
- Sterilized jar (s)
- To sterilize the jar, submerge it in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Let dry on a wire rack.
- Macerate pomegranate seeds with 1/2 cup sugar in a mixing bowl overnight. Puree in a blender, strain and weigh it; this will be the sugar weight to use in the next step. In a saucepan, bring pomegranate juice and sugar over high heat to boil; stir occasionally. Cook for 3-4 minutes then strain. Keep in sterilized jar in refrigerator up to a month (make 4 cups)
- 1 oz. pomegranate bitter
- 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz. grenadine
- 1/2 oz. almond milk
- 1 egg white
- seltzer water
- Add all ingredients, except seltzer, in a cocktail shaker. Shake without ice until well-combined, about 10 seconds. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and top with seltzer.
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