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A Toast to Alcoholic Bitters

Written by Posted on 03 09, 2018
Bitters are the best | www.drinks.ng

All that glitters is really not gold and in the same vein, all that is sweet to your taste buds, are really not sweet to your body without the occasional alcoholic bitters.

Bitters are what the body craves periodically to function normally. The past twenty years have seen a sharp rise in the varieties of bitters available in the market, as people are getting more health conscious.

Some brands of bitters available are Yoyo, Alomo, Orijin and so many others. In Nigeria, bitters are seen as a health tonic that treats a wide range of maladies. It is believed to treat infertility in both sexes, treat malaria, increase libido, detoxify the system, and calm an upset tummy.

Nigerians also use bitters as part of their weight loss regime, to regulate sugar level, prevent pregnancies, abort unwanted pregnancies, treat heartburn, support the proper functioning of the liver and other key organs in the body. (Please note the information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment).

There does not seem to be any condition that bitters cannot provide some relief for. In Nigeria, bitters are a part of the daily life, consumed daily, weekly or occasionally as the case may be.

Not every bitter thing is qualified to be called a bitter. Bitters are traditionally an alcoholic preparation that is flavoured with botanical matter such that the end result is characterized by a bitter, sour or bittersweet flavour. Lots of popular bitters were originally developed to be used as medicine. They are usually prepared with aromatic herbs, bark, roots, and/or fruit for their flavour and medicinal properties. Along with the primary bitter agent, bitters usually contain water, alcohol and preservatives. The alcoholic strength of bitters varies widely across different brands and styles.

The earliest origins of bitters can be traced back as far as the ancient Egyptians, who are believed to have infused medicinal herbs in jars of wine. By the 19th century, the British practice of adding herbal bitters (used as preventive medicines) to wine had become immensely popular in the former American colonies. This trend eventually gave rise to Angostura bitters, Peychaud Bitters, Orange bitters and much more followed. Bitters are generally classified under digestive bitters and cocktail bitters.

Digestive bitters are usually drunk neat or alternatively with ice at the end of a meal. Examples of digestive bitters include: Alomo Bitters (Ghana), Campari (Italy), Beerenburg (Netherlands), Calisaya (USA), Gammel Dansk (Denmark), Gran Classico Bitter (Switzerland), Kuemmerling (Germany), Sirop de Picon (France) and Unicum (Hungary)

Cocktail bitters are bitters used for adding extra flavour to cocktails. Examples of cocktail bitters include Angostura bitters, Bittermens, Boker’s bitters and Peychaud’s bitters. Angostura bitters contrary to what the name suggests is not made from the bark of the Angostura tree. It is actually named after the town of Angostura in Venezuela. Peychaud’s bitters were developed by apothecary Antoine Amédée Peychaud in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bitters are here to stay. Order a bottle now from your favourite online drink store.

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