Celery Bitters Tasting

The Bitter Truth Bitters are now available in our fair city, which is a very exciting prospect.  Bitters are a wonderful component not only of cocktails, but of cooking, and the flavors in this new brand are intense and wonderful.  The most unusual flavor in this new batch is Celery Bitters.  I’ve used them more for cooking so far–savory cocktails are not my specialty–but did want to do a tasting with Martinis.

I love a good Martini–I prefer mine with two parts gin to one part Dolin Dry Vermouth.  Hendrick’s is a favorite of mine, though I know many gin purists who seriously disagree with that opinion.  While recommending options for using celery bitters in a Martini to customers, I was surprised by how many recommended using Hendrick’s.  Infused with cucumber and rose, I prefer to play up the floral elements, or contrast it with citrus.  I was more inclined to use a more classically styled gin, like Bombay or Plymouth.

As I had both Plymouth and Hendrick’s on my bar, I decided to give them both a try.  I made two Martinis, identical but for the gin: two parts gin, one part dry vermouth, and 2-3 dashes celery bitters.  While the one using Hendrick’s was still good, the flavors of the celery bitters overwhelmed the milder gin, and many of its subtle flavors were lost.  The strength of the Plymouth was perfectly matched by the bitters, and was kicked up when I added a garnish of sliced baby dill gherkins.

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