Aromatic cocktail bitters are more than just an ingredient; they are the essence that transforms a good cocktail into a great one. For bourbon enthusiasts, understanding bitters and their role in classic drinks like the Old Fashioned is essential. Let’s explore what bitters are and their pivotal role in bourbon cocktails, especially the iconic Old Fashioned.
What Are Bitters?
Bitters are a concentrated blend of herbs, fruits, spices, and roots steeped in alcohol. They are used in minuscule amounts to add complexity, balance, and depth to cocktails. Think of them as the seasoning of the cocktail world – just as a pinch of salt can elevate a dish, a dash of bitters can transform a cocktail.
The Cornerstone Cocktail: The Old Fashioned
At the heart of bourbon culture lies the Old Fashioned, a cocktail that perfectly encapsulates the essence of bourbon. Comprising bourbon, sugar, water, and bitters, the Old Fashioned is a testament to the idea that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The bitters play a crucial role here, bringing a balance to the sweetness and enhancing the bourbon's rich flavors.