Posts Tagged ‘orange bitters’


Apricot and Star Anise Bitters Giveaway

May 14, 2013


I’ve been itching to try a new batch of bitters for a while now, particularly after how much I loved my first attempt. I really enjoyed the orange bitters I made a number of months back, with only a few complaints on my end. While the bittering agents did their trick, I never felt the “orange” hit home as much as I was hoping. Which is why I went back and forth for some time on what to make next. I wanted to marry flavors that were bright and interesting, but were also something I could see myself (and ultimately you all) using often. Enter some culinary inspiration…

I’ve been finding ways to incorporate star anise into just about anything I cook these days. I love it to add flavor to a simple broth or sauce and it does amazing things in marinades for meat. And nothing balances the vibrant flavor of star anise like a little sweetness and acidity. Now enter the apricot…


These apricot and star anise bitters are friggin’ awesome. So pumped with how these turned out and thrilled to be able to offer the second Nobler bitters giveaway to let you in on all the enjoyment. You know the drill, simply comment, re-post on Facebook, or re-tweet and you are in the running for one of three free bottles. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow! Good Luck!


Nobler Holiday Gift Guide – Bitters!

December 7, 2012


In last year’s Gift Guide, I called out the perfect stocking stuffer: a bottle of bitters. I stand by the fact that every home-bar needs a bottle of Angostura’s classic recipe. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that across the country, and particularly noticeably in NYC, the world of bitters has exploded. So many brands, so many flavors and I’ll be honest, it’s pretty easy to get swept up in it all. But if you want to gift a bottle of bitters in 2012, the best recommendation I can make is to keep it simple.

This could take on a few different approaches so let me elaborate. Bitters are meant to add that last little bit of complexity or nuance to a cocktail. My experience to date, is that even the most crazy sounded bitters flavors, often get lost or muddled once added to a full strength cocktail if not chosen correctly. That’s why as a gift, I suggest you stick with the flavors that sound most appropriate for a larger number of cocktail flavor profiles. I myself love a good citrus based bitters. Fee Brothers is a brand that is available more widely and I absolutely love their Grapefruit and Orange varieties.

But if your cocktail enthusiast is looking for a little more excitement in their bitters, you have to check out two of our local (Brooklyn of course) brands in Bittermens, Inc. and Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters for your perfect 2012 stocking stuffer. I first tried Bittermens varieties at our visit to NY Distilling. I had brought a bottle of my Nobler Orange Bitters as a little gift, and in return, we spent sometime tasting all of the bar stocked varieties while we waited for the crew to arrive. I remember being blown away by their Hopped Grapefruit bitters which packs an amazing punch of flavor perfect to add some excitement to  even simple cocktails like shandys. And speaking of flavorful, Brooklyn Hemispherical has made a splash with there Sriracha based bitters but I love their Mission Fig variety for the richness and sweetness perfect for whiskey based cocktails during this time of the year.

Happy Friday! And check out Day 2 and Day 1 of the Holiday Gift Guide here and here. Enjoy the weekend! More coming your way all next week…


Looking for an Investment Opportunity?

June 7, 2012

Not much time to write today, so I thought I’d share the final, branded and bottled Nobler Orange Bitters! The glass dropper bottle is the perfect vessel and I keep finding excuses to have another Old Fashioned.  So now that I’ve seen the results, I’m gonna get a new batch going at a much larger quantity and between our bitters and our beer (summer brew production begins next week), we are gladly accepting investor inquiries…

Have your people get in touch with ours because well, we’ll probably be out drinking!


Bitters Winners, Garage Sales, and Alcoholics

June 1, 2012

Using a highly complex algorithm (Microsoft excel random sort function), I am pleased to announce the winners of the very first Nobler Bitters giveaway along with this masterpiece of graphic arts as a logo to go along with it. Mark Alu, Emily Holbrook, and Sean Gilman will be enjoying these bitters in no time sipping away on some delicious cocktails. In the meantime, I’m off to Sea Cliff this weekend for what will surely be an epic Garage Sale day paired with an epic Garage Sale day cocktail. Who knows, maybe I’ll even sell enough stuff to pay for my train home!

As a little weekend reading, you have to check out this article, Nobler Tim sent me last night. I was going to write about it today but thought it wasn’t really “It’s Friday, let’s celebrate” material, so you’ll have to wait til Monday to hear my thoughts on the DSM classification for addiction changing. And trust me I have a lot of them…

Enjoy the weekend!


Why So Bitters?

May 24, 2012

I’m leaving the bitters giveaway drawing open until the end of the week so get your comments in if you want one of the very first bottles of Nobler Experiment Orange Bitters. For those of you somewhat unfamiliar to the world of bitters, you’ve probably seen this iconic bottle (picture below) sitting at almost every bar you frequent and somewhat more bizarrely next to the strawberry daiquiri mix on an end-cap in every supermarket. But as I’ve mentioned before, the availability of uniquely flavored bitters for sale, and even more uniquely flavored bitters in restaurants and bars (pepperoni bitters? really?) has absolutely skyrocketed. So, what the hell are bitters in the first place?

Maybe a more interesting question: where did bitters originate? While modern medicine is great and all, there is something pretty fantastic about a bunch of folks mixing up concoctions and selling them as cure-alls long before Advil and Pepto were in everybody’s medicine cabinets. Herbs and roots were observed to have certain effects as “cures” throughout human history and once distillation became more understood, it was a seemingly natural transition to “bottle” those perceived effects. By infusing the alcoholic distillate with these same herbal essences (mainly cascarilla, quassia, gentian, orange, and quinine) the original apothecaries could create symptom base remedies for the local communities.

But it was in 1824, when a German Physician, Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, fighting alongside Simon Bolivar in Venezuela, took these local cures to a whole new level. His now famous Angostura Bitters, named after the town they originated in, was intended to limit and reduce the effects of sea-sickness. Almost 200 years later, one of my first experiences with Angostura helped prove that Siegert wasn’t simply selling voodoo. Working in a restaurant, your daily caloric intake consists of coffee, crap, more coffee, alcohol, and probably cheese. We always had so much cheese! And that, my friends, is not a recipe for stomach comfort. But with a little seltzer splashed with Angostura (okay, and maybe some more coffee) it was always easy to rally. Good work Doctor!

So that takes care of Angostura, but you better not try to give your friend from Louisiana a bottle of these and call them bitters. Because in Nawlins, there is only brand of bitters you should be putting in your Sazerac and that’s Peychaud’s. Created in 1830 by a Creole apothecary, these bitters are similar in ingredient list to Angostura but are a bit lighter and sweeter as a final product. And if you haven’t had a true Sazerac, you should probably stop reading this and go find one. For this reason, Peychaud’s often gets credited for the bitters transition to cocktail contributor from simple cure-all.

So why all the crazy new flavors and countless available commercial brands in the last few years. What the hell have we been doing for 2 centuries? Well, once again, we can chalk this up to the most recent cocktail craze. Bitters, as a flavoring agent are a tremendous tool for adding strong and/or nuance flavors into a drink without large volumes or dilutions. If you are looking for a few options to add to your liquor collection (besides my orange bitters of course), I’d say definitely start with a bottle of lemon and a bottle of celery. You’ll find yourself adding these two to everything. You’ll even love a few splashes in an ice-cold seltzer. I know, I know, there isn’t booze in seltzer. But sometimes even the Noblers need to hydrate!


Nobler Bitters Giveaway!

May 23, 2012

It was just over two months ago that I promised the very first batch of Nobler Experiment Bitters. And if you had happened to do any research on the matter, you probably know that it doesn’t take two months to produce…I hate when I make blog promises before I actually start the process!

So to make up for the delay, I’m upping the ante. For this Nobler giveaway, I’m making it extra easy on you. All you have to do is leave a comment or like this post through the Facebook tag below and you are in the running for not one, not two, not three…uh oh, I’m starting to sound like Lebron now. Okay, let’s make it three bottles of bitters that I’m giving away! So get in on the action and when this batch gets bottled early next week, be one of the only people with a bottle of Nobler Bitters in your collection. Plus I promise it won’t have that lame, rushed label for those aesthetically appalled…


Bitters, Pilsner, and a Nobler Giveaway

March 16, 2012

Larry working on our Cow Thieves Pilsner

I’ve finally managed to organize myself and get together all the ingredients for my homemade bitters project. 3 weeks from now, I’ll hopefully be reporting back on a wildly successful venture. But to be clear, that’s not really why I’ve been finding myself on a major DIY kick. Having just finished up the brewing of a second large batch of Cow Thieves Ale (with some exciting changes), and having worked on my own blended scotch for Steve, it’s exciting to know that my enthusiasm for the “homemade” stems completely from plain and earnest curiosity.

Is it more economical or more convenient to purchase a bunch of ingredients to make a batch of bitters for cocktail making? I mean probably not. Or is it cocktail crucial for the bitters to be homemade? Of course not. But I’m not looking to be the world’s best bitters maker or convince you that you haven’t lived until you’ve made everything on your own. There’s just simply no better way to learn, than to do it yourself (or by reading about it here). So check back as I write about the process, the results, and even the very first Nobler Experiment giveaway!

On an even more exciting note…you must be wondering what’s more exciting than a giveaway!…The warm weather afternoons of outdoor drinking have arrived and I can’t friggin wait. Enjoy the weekend and hopefully a Bertha Palmer!

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