Regans’ Orange Bitters No.6. Bitters bitters bitters, the table spices of the cocktail world! If you ever walk into a craft liquor store or bar, you’re sure to find a plethora of bitters. Bitters are flavoring agents that are well, intensely bitter and potent, and usually clock in around a whopping 45% ABV. Their flavors are in fact SO strong that they are deemed “non-potable” by US regulators and thus aren’t subject to liquor sale laws (in the same realm as things like vanilla extract, cough medicine, and mouthwash). As such, you can find them on Amazon for delivery.
Bitters can be super fun to play with as ‘accents’ to your cocktails, and you really only need a few for versatile homebar use. Just like how having basic salt&pepper in your kitchen will provide the basics to light up your culinary creations (regardless of how tempting it is to stock things like truffle salt and Jamaican jerk seasoning), there’s also a ‘staples’ analog for cocktail creation
Outside of Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters, I’d next suggest a bottle of orange bitters. Specifically, these Regans’ No.6 orange bitters are an industry standard for good reason! While they don’t have the long heritage of Angostura or Peychauds (both from the 1800s), these light citrusy bitters ooze with the flavors of cardamom, coriander, and orange peel and were created by cocktail legend Gary Regan in the 1990s to fill a market gap for quality orange bitters, perfecting the recipe one batch at a time until he finally settled on batch number 6 with the perfect flavor balance. A few dashes of this is perfect for your lighter gin/vodka-based cocktails, and equally delicious to bring an air of brightness to darker heavier drinks as well.
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