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A long time back, I bought some Bacardi Gold while attempting to fashion a dark-rum cocktail, a purchase I immediately regretted because, my goodness, is Bacardi Gold god-awful.
Then not so long ago, I made some orange-infused gin, just because, and decided that while I was at it, I may as well see if I could render the Bacardi Gold palatable by likewise infusing a near-fifth of it with the rind of one rather large-ish orange.
Happy Mardi Gras? This drink is Happy Mar-Winning!
If you drank this drink for five seconds, you’d be like, “Dude! Can’t handle it! Unplug this bastard!” It fucks you up in a way that’s maybe not from, uh… this terrestrial realm.
If gins and whiskies are the big, fat, celestial love gods of the mixology universe, bitters are a bartender’s obsessed-over, oft-hoarded little fetish objects: twee phials packed with alchemistic potions made from unpublished recipes that cocktail nerds like me can wax on about until we belatedly realize everyone else has left the room. Heck, I even arrange my bitters bottles all Sleeping with the Enemy neatnik-like atop my bar like I used to do my Smurf figurines (in their Smurf village, amongst their mushroom houses — not atop a bar, or because I was trying to kill Julia Roberts).
Unfortunately, the current proliferation of small-batch bitters products can diminish the line between cocktail nerd and cocktail snob. It kind of reminds me of the Great Brooklyn Music Scene Paroxysm of ’09, with the name-checking of bitters brands like Bittermen’s, Fee Brothers (the company I keep) and Regans‘ akin to referencing your close, personal relationship with the latest Panda Bear or Japanther album — with the added stress test of feeling like a total uncool dweebheel if (*gasp*) you don’t make your own bitters???
A good remedy for a cocktail rut is How’s Your Drink? Cocktails, Culture, and the Art of Drinking Well, by Eric Felten, an impresario equal parts food/drink/culture critic and jazz trombonist/crooner/bandleader. The book is a sort of loosely chaptered collection of drinking vignettes throughout history, with recipes here and there. It’s a great read to keep on the shelf and just flip through. Today, I flipped to the Clipper Cocktail.