Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Bitters of the Month: Cranberry


Cranberry bitters is seriously red.  Color is a fun part of the cocktail hobby and it's good to find a less sweet red alternative to grenadine.  Otherwise, I wouldn't say the bitters bring a whole lot of flavor - sweet smelling but bitter to taste, not unlike actually cranberries, I suppose.  Still, it's not as strong as some of the other fruity bitters we have tried.


Bitters Battles: Angostura vs. Peychaud's

At last, we come to the final ingredient battle in our quest to build the ideal Manhattan.  Both Angostura and Peychaud's are gentian-based, though the former hits me with cinnamon hints, the latter with anise.  Let the testing begin...

Manhattan Battle #1: a tie

My wife couldn't say she disliked either and I had to agree.  This came as a bit of a surprise.  I saw Angostura as the clear favorite going in.  How about some of each?

Manhattan Battle #2: Angostura vs. Half Ang, Half Pey

For this test, I had to up my usual quantity to four dashes rather than three in order to achieve an even split.  This time we both agreed.

Winner: Angostura

Manhattan Battle #3: Peychaud's vs. Half Ang, Half Pey

It seemed only fair to try this one, too.

Winner: Peychaud's

There must be a winner.  None of this "see what you're in the mood for" stuff will do.  So, I argued for a slight edge to the Angostura.  Same consideration as with the orange: the Angostura simply has more flavor and that's a big part of what makes a Manhattan interesting.  My wife agreed.  And so...

Winner and Still Champion: Angostura

It's good to have a winner.  It's also good to know we have acceptable alternatives.

Interesting to note, this is the only one of the three ingredient battles where our original stand-by won out.

Here's our Manhattan all-star line up:

Ezra Brooks Rye
Boissiere Sweet Vermouth
Angostura Bitters
Luxardo Cherries

Someday, we may play around with the cherries but we're thoroughly in love with our current brand.



8 comments:

  1. I love reading about the testing process and the results. Glad you have a winner and some runners up that will work for you too. :)
    ~Jess

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  2. Did you check out my cocktail post from Sunday?

    I have some of those things in your picture!
    The bitters, for one.

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  3. que interesante, a mi me encanta este tipo de bebidas para el fin de semana.

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  4. I've only own Angostura bitters. The red sounds interesting. But I'm more likely to just stick to the rye on the rocks. Lately, I've discovered "Redemption High Rye Bourbon" which I really like and think the name goes with my calling :).

    New blog: www.fromarockyhillside.com

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    1. Oh yes, we get Redemption Rye here, though not that particular product. I hadn't thought about the connection to your line of work. Ha!

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