A.D. Sarwate’s Own Tangelo Bitters

A couple of weeks ago I started a batch of Tangelo bitters, using a couple of recipes I cobbled together from the web as guidelines. To be honest, I can’t even remember which recipes I used, but the closest one is the Serious Eats version. I had not yet obtained the book Bitters, but I figured it would be a fun experiment and I could always foist off the resulting stuff on my friends. The recipe uses two infusions — spices and peel into clear liquor and bittering agents into rye.

Spice mix for tangelo bitters

Spice mix for tangelo bitters

Peels from 7 tangelos
750ml Everclear or other high-proof grain spirit
4 star anise pods
5 sticks long pepper
2 tsp green cardamom pods
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp caraway
2 tsp grains of paradise

Bittering Mix

Bittering Mix

2 cups rye
1.5 tsp quassia chips
1.5 tsp gentian root

As you can see from the photo, I used a Polish “rectified spirit,” which sounds very religious. The version I used is lower proof than is probably ideal.

  1. Peel tangelos and cut up into equal size chunks, maybe 1/2″ square, then bake on low until they dry out.
    Tangelo peels

    Tangelo peels

  2. Put all the spices and peels into a jar, pour the grain spirit over, and seal.
  3. Put the bittering mix and rye into another jar and seal.
    Bottled mixes

    Bottled mixes

  4. Shake the spice jar every few days to mix it up if you like.
  5. After 2-3 weeks, strain out the buttering mix and add the liquid to the first jar.
    Merged mixes

    Merged mixes

  6. After another week, strain out all the solid ingredients. Decant into bottles.
    Rebottled bitters

    Rebottled bitters

This mix produced a cardamom-forward and spicy flavor. I’ve tried using them in an Old Fashioned and it turned out pretty well. However at the moment I’m sick so I won’t be doing any more tests until I’m better. Recipes may follow later. I went and bought dropper bottles so make little bottled versions of them:

Final bottling

Final bottling

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