For most bar professionals and cocktail fanatics bitter is not a secret, but a requirement. But for most newcomers or casual drinker it might sound like something unappealing or alien. All of us however have seen the tiny bottle with the yellow cap and oversized label on a bar counter, specially on a cocktail bar. It's not surprising however, bitters and cocktails have gone hand in hand throughout the history of bars. In fact the first published entry noting the birth of cocktails which can be found in the May 13, 1806, edition of the Federalist newspaper The Balance, and Columbian Repository of Hudson, New York. The exact text says, “Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.” One can almost hear the whispers of an old fashioned around the statement. That is not the first mention of bitters however. At 1712 England the first bitter recipe was patented under the name Stoughton Bitters. Back then this curious concoction was treated as a medicinal drink. A cure all from stomach ache to gout. It was only when colonial America embraced the cocktail and helped bitters make the leap from patent medicine to flavuoring agent, making bitters a staple of bars all across the world.
So what, exactly, are bitters? Bitters are an aromatic flavouring agent made from infusing roots, barks, fruit peels, seeds, spices, herbs, flowers, and botanicals in high-proof alcohol (or sometimes glycerin). It is rather surprising for someone not familiar with cocktail bitters to understand how something named bitter be useful for preparing delicious, complex cocktails or drinks. Since humans and many animals are hardwired to be averse to bitter flavours, since they’re a warning signal that what you’re about to ingest might be toxic. But us two-legged creatures over time have managed to discover that not all bitterness is that. especially when it’s delivered through coffee, chocolate, eggplant, grapefruit, hops, artichokes, and naturally bitter herbs and lettuces. In fact we have developed an unique likeness to it. Chefs in kitchen have been using the simple technique of using bitter flavours as a cleansing agent, compelling you to have one bite after the other. In the bars however, bitter is not as simple as the taste profile associated with it's namesake. Bitters are the ultimate matchmaker: just a dash or two can bring a perfect balance to two seemingly incompatible spirits. Adding bitters can tamp down an overly sweet drink, help cut through richness, unite ingredients, and add an aromatic spiciness. The secret sauce hidden behind every good cocktail bartender.
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The New Indian Single Malt: Kamet
Let’s start with a brand new whisky from a two-year-old company called Peak Spirits. After Amrut and Paul John, there’s another Indian single malt whisky that’s coming to town, from the makers of Jin Jiji—a newly-released cashew gin from Goa—comes Kamet, an Indian single malt whisky that celebrates its provenance. While it’s inspired by Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, one of the highest peaks in the country, Kamet draws on local motifs and characters such as the Indian parrot, an important part of the culture in the villages surrounding the distillery near Kurukshetra. Lopamudra Ganguly Speaks to Ansh Khanna, the curator of Kamet.
Taking the Bar home
Jimmy’s Cocktails is a unique, ready-to-drink premium cocktail mixer brand that delivers all the complexity and craftsmanship one would find at their favourite bar. Crafted by some of India's top mixologists, Jimmy’s range of cocktail mixers are made with fewer calories, natural flavours and zero artificial sweeteners - achieved by using only the highest quality ingredients with their natural sweetness. Ankur Bhatia talks about how the company Radiohead Brands, makers of Jimmy’s Premium Cocktail mixers, wants to raise the bar for consumers who want to have their cocktails at home
Pour me another tequila, Sheila
So run the lyrics of a famous song. Apt because it is an indicator of the growth of tequila.
The Cocktail Story
India’s first digital platform that builds an ecosystem of the hospitality industry, alcobev brands and spirit enthusiasts. The Cocktail Story has been capturing the bar scenario all across India promoting the beverage culture highlighting bartenders & updates of local & international brand products, explains, Ms. Vidhi Puri, Founder, The Cocktail Story.
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Interview with Vaibhav Jaiswal, Director & Co-Founder of Prakritii Cultivating Green, the first 'Made-in-India' range of organic products in the lifestyle category
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Three cheers for Women Pioneers who are exploring an unchartered career path in India. Lopamudra Ganguly in conversation with Ami Shroff about her career and Flair bartending. Excerpts from the Interview:
Kyndal Group unveils impressive portfolio
Kyndal's portfolio includes the likes of Cutty Sark and The Famous Grouse blended Scotch whisky, The Macallan single malt Scotch whisky, Bols X.O. Excellence brandy, Richton V.S.O.P brandy, Bootz Dark Jamaica Rum and a selection of Bols Liqueurs. Pushpanjali Banerji, Brand Director, Kyndal Group & Founder and Director Taali Media outlines her marketing plans for the company.
Delhi new excise policy lowers drinking age to 21, only 3 dry days
• Bars and pubs to be open till 3 a.m • Steep hike in license fee from ₹8 lakhs to ₹75 lakhs • State excise revenues to increase by nearly ₹2,000 crores
2020 AUSTRIAN WINE MARKET FIGURES RELEASED
Plunging On-Trade & Tourism Sales Not Recovered Through High Sales in Other Channels; Exports High Despite Pandemic
Covid-19 Impact And Recovery To 2030
The "Spirits Global Market Report 2021: Covid-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030" report gives an idea of the shape of things to come in the alcobev industry.