Our pals from the North will appreciate this one. Try the “Alpine Afternoon” cocktail on the winter menu at Amor y Amargo. This drink packs a moderate punch, with a base of Zirbenz stone pine liqueur, Killepitsch, Becherovka (both herbal liqueurs), Angostura bitters, and, wait for it…Boston Bittahs. These bitters, made by Bittermens, is primarily citrus-based, with other light herbal notes to it.
At Marble Lane and PH-D Nightclub in the Dream Hotel Downtown, you can enjoy a preview of what’s to come weather-wise with “Spring Rain.” Combining Mt. Gay Silver rum, maple syrup, fresh lime juice, and Maple bitters, you’ll be reigning in the next season before you know it. The bitters company, Urban Moonshine, makes the maple bitters, using organic grape alcohol, dandelion root, maple syrup, and orange peel, among other ingredients.
Mary Queen of Scots
It’s only fitting that Mary Queen of Scots on Allen St. has several single malt Scotch whisky cocktails on their list. One of them, the Presbyterian Revenge, is a riff on the classic Presbyterian cocktail. Originally rye-based, Mary Queen of Scots subs in Glenrothes single malt Scotch whisky, cynar, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters, and a splash of soda, for a refreshingly tart twist on the sweeter original. Most bitters brands make grapefruit, as, like orange bitters, has become a very popular addition to many modern-day and classic cocktails. Fee Bros. and The Bitter Truth are probably the most popular brands, and they can easily be found across NYC.
The “Little Wheel” cocktail at Huckleberry Bar in Williamsburg uses a type of bitters that has become the norm for today’s mixologists to use, Regans’ Orange Bitters No. 6. In addition to this cocktail flavoring, the bartenders at Huckleberry mix together Ransom Old Tom Gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, allspice dram, and fresh lemon juice. The brain-child of spirits expert Gary Regan, these bitters were conceived in the 1990′s and came to fruition in the form of Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 (source: http://ardentspirits.com/rob.aspx)
The Buddha’s Prayer cocktail at Peel’s combines vodka, white vermouth, and ‘Buddha’s Hand bitters.’ What, might you ask, is Buddha’s hand? It’s an oddly-shaped, hand and finger-like yellow citrus fruit used for various purposes in Asian culture. Here in the states, we use it for flavoring our cuisine, and now our alcoholic beverages. Although you can’t buy these bitters anywhere, you can make them at home.
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Jonathan Pogash, aka The Cocktail Guru, is a beverage consultant, writer, and educator.