May 31, 2011

By Diego Arnold, co-founder of

Since the days of Simón Bolivar, when the German doctor Siegert invented his own antidote to tropical fever which included extracts of quinine, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, bitter orange peel and Angelica root, Angostura bitters have come a long way. Named for the town in Venezuela where they were originally produced, despite popular misconception they do not actually contain Angostura bark.

This essential cocktail ingredient is so concentrated in flavor and alcohol that only a few drops are required for them to work their magic: adding a subtle balance of flavor into the cocktail mix. While bartenders have always used bitters in classic cocktails like the Manhattan, the time has come for more experimentation, and many of the new generation cocktails now include these little medicinal mixtures.

In Barcelona, we can indulge our taste buds at the Milano Cocktail Bar near Plaça Catalunya or Tahiti in the Raval. Brands like Angostura, The Bitter Truth and Bittermens have a dedicated following in the cocktail world, with Bittermens being produced in that landmark of cocktail-making, New York City. Now other cities, Barcelona included, are reaching dizzy new heights of cocktail-making with the help of these small but powerful potions.

Here’s a recipe to hand over to your favorite bartender or try out yourself at home:

1.7 oz (5 cl) Mare Gin

0.3 oz (1 cl) Dry Vermouth

0.7 oz (2 cl) Philibert Routin Ginger Syrup

4 drops of Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Mix all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and serve in a cocktail glass.

Barcelona is becoming more of a cocktail capital every day, its bars increasingly setting global trends with innovative mixes and expert tasters

MILANO COCKTAIL BAR. Ronda Universitat, 35 (Eixample)

TAHITI. C/ Joaquín Costa, 39 (Raval)


May 31, 2011

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