Bourbon, a comfy armchair and a sinfully good book, right? Normally I reserve the sinfully good book descriptor for works of fiction, but I do think this one happens to live up to the moniker in a number of different ways.
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas
Part cookbook. Part bartenders’ manual. Part thorough history of a quirky subject. This book offers sinfully good recipes for alcohol, traditionally the most wicked of ingredients ;) and is truly also a sinfully good read…if, you know, you like lovingly detailed histories of minutiae, which I, for one, absolutely do!
The subject matter also pertains somewhat to Bourbon, so clearly it fits my theme. Because Bourbon neat is truly a lovely thing, but Bourbon used properly in an old school cocktail, heavy on the bitters, or simply Bourbon with bitters, can be even better.
We’re handy do-it-yourselfers in this house. He brews beer. We both cook and bake a lot. I make pickles. He makes jam. So naturally, after pouring over this book, making my own bitters was something I had to try. Bitters require nearly a month of various infusion stages and I am only two weeks in on my first two attempts. But even at this proto bitters stage, both smell absolutely divine. The apple cinnamon is already welcome in my Bourbon any time. Ditto the key lime in my Dark and Stormy. Suffice to say, this book is already a winner and, barring anything unforeseen in the next two weeks, well on its way to becoming a much loved and well used kitchen companion as well.