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.
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
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.
- Peel tangelos and cut up into equal size chunks, maybe 1/2″ square, then bake on low until they dry out.
- Put all the spices and peels into a jar, pour the grain spirit over, and seal.
- Put the bittering mix and rye into another jar and seal.
- Shake the spice jar every few days to mix it up if you like.
- After 2-3 weeks, strain out the buttering mix and add the liquid to the first jar.
- After another week, strain out all the solid ingredients. Decant into bottles.
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: