• Rating: 9
  • Value: 9

One of the first modern books on Bitters. While the history is skimpy the recipes and how to are great.

TITLE: Bitters
SUBTITLE: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All With Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas
AUTHOR: Brad Thomas Parsons
PUBLISHER: 10 Speed Press, 226 Pages, Illustrated, Hard Cover
TYPE: Drinks Recipes, Food Recipes and Formulas/How-To
COST: $24.99
REVIEWED BY: Chris Carlsson,



Probably one of the first serious works on bitters in many years, to which we give kudos with some qualifications.

The very first pages of the book are ” A Brief History of Bitters”,  far too brief in my opinion, and starting far too late at the use of bitters in cocktails.
For most people who buy this book this is a small matte , as they are probably familiar with the history of bitters prior to cocktail use- but it
bothers me that he chooses not to explore it in this otherwise exemplary book. This is then followed by a listing of  all known commercial
bitters makers and a list of their products but unfortunately no tasting notes or reviews on the products themselves.

While this is defensible as a nonjudgemental listing of everyones company and products- it is a touch disappointing for trying to make buying decisions
or seeking opinions on the bitters themselves (hard information to find even on the internet – much less in print). These are however minor criticisms
for a otherwise excellently written and organized book with a thoughtful and useful assortment of information, techniques and recipes.

The chapter on bitter recipesof the book is exemplaryand one of the largest collection scurrently in print of bitters recipes and the chapters
(broken down by catagories/types) on cocktails using bitters reflect a well chosen set of drinks to showcase bitters. This is followed by a equally
well done chapter on cooking with bitters and ends with a good resource section to wrap up the book.

Overall we highly reccomend this book as a important cornerstone reference on modern bitters and modern bitters and cocktail culture and heartly
recommend it as a reference for bartenders, chefs, cocktailians and enthusiasts of drinks, food and flavor.

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