My wife called from Williams Sonoma to ask if I had any Stirrings® Blood Orange Bitters. I had to admit that I did not have any, and had never had any as far as I knew, so she brought home a bottle. I was surprised to see that the Blood Orange bitters said “refrigerate after opening” while Angostura® bitters do not. I discovered the difference, interestingly enough, is that the Angostura contain 40% alcohol while the Stirrings Blood Orange don’t contain any. Next, I decided to check out the recipes they had on the bottle. The Mighty Manhattan caught my eye, so I decided to give it a try later in the evening. There is also a recipe for a Champagne Cocktail that I will have to experiment with the next time I’m doing champagne. I tasted a few drops (this helps you to understand what an ingredient is contributing to the cocktail) and discovered a complex flavor with the requisite bitter finish, sweeter than other bitters, but with the blood orange flavor coming across well. A bottle of Angostura bitters has a small spout on top, so that a “dash” is a drop or two. Interestingly, the Blood Orange bitters don’t have one, so a dash of Blood Orange will be much larger than a dash of Angostura.
After dinner I was getting ready to watch Apocalypse Now Redux on cable and thinking about a cocktail, so I decided it was time to give The Mighty Manhattan a try. I popped a cocktail glass into the freezer, and started digging around in my bar for the other ingredients, only to discover I was out of
Recipes for the Mighty Manhattan and a classic
½ oz sweet vermouth
dash Stirrings® Blood Orange bitters
Add the ingredients to a mixing glass half full of ice cubes. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
½ oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura® bitters
Add the ingredients to a mixing glass half full of ice cubes and stir. Rub the cut edge of an orange peel around the lip of the chilled cocktail glass. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry. If you would like to try a Dry Manhattan, substitute a dash of dry vermouth, leave out the bitters, and garnish with a lemon twist.