Monday, September 10, 2007


Today I bought a 3-pack of Underberg bitters. Very interesting...

It's like Ricola flavored very smooth brandy. Definitely something worth trying once. Although, against the directions on the package, I think I will try mixing it into a drink instead of drinking it straight.


Blogger The back of the hill said...

Perfect digestive aid when having eaten rich foods.

But better yet, for such purposes, a shot of Amer Picon - very soothing to an acid-flooded stomach.

September 12, 2007 1:02 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


September 12, 2007 1:14 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

Amer Picon is made from oranges, gentian, and quinine.

I do not know if it has a heksher. And I have not been able to purchase it for a few years now. The bars in SF are running out also.

A good substitute is made by steeping pithy orange peels in 180 proof rum for several weeks, then straining and pressing. Dilute the result with distilled water to a strong sipping strength, and keep in a dark blue or brown bottle.

The gentian and the quinine are present in Amer Picon to make it bitter - but a little of either goes a long way, and if you are making your own, just substitute some grapefruit peel instead - it is better for the stomach in any case. The bitterness should be not as strong as Underberg, and quite a bit less bitter than either Angostura or Peichaud. A little ginger can be added for complexity, though.

Licorice root, in a minor quantity, also adds to the taste, but avoid using too much; glycerrhiza glabra (western Licorice root) is a bit more nervous making and likely to dry one out than glycerrhiza uralensis, and less tonifying. Both are equally good for the digestion.

If you are making it as a liqueur, add sugar or honey. If you are making it as a bitter for adding to cocktails, omit sweetening. If you will use it to settle the stomach, a little sweetening is no bad thing.

September 12, 2007 6:52 PM  
Blogger The back of the hill said...

And that reminds me of both a pink gin and a gin pahit.

A pink gin is made by swirling a few drops of Angostura around the inside of a glass to coat, then adding a shot of gin and some ice.

A gin pahit (pronounced 'pah-it' or 'pah-yit') uses significantly more bitters - but it need not be made with Angostura. Any brand of bitters will do, especially any of the bitters that use quinine.
Take a white wine glass, sherry glass, or champagne flute. Add half an ounce of bitters, two and half ounces of chilled gin, then sit at the bar and get sloshed with other planters. Pahit means bitter in Malay. The gin helped wash the daily dose of quinine down. In the past, a teaspoon of quinine extract every day was recommended to stave off chills, ague, malaria, and the flue. It probably did not work, but did eventually damage the hearing and may have lead to blackwater fever.

September 12, 2007 7:04 PM  

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