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Drop by Drop

Bitters edge in on spirits' territory

Photo: Andrew Fawcett

First, it was the bar and tabletops. Now, Canon bartender Jamie Boudreau's love of bitters has spread to the shaker.

The Seattle bar is the latest to cement the category of bitters-based drinks--that is, cocktails that use ounces instead of drops of the potent flavored brews, often in larger quantities than (or in replacement of) hard spirits.

While at Clover Club in Brooklyn in 2008, Giuseppe Gonzalez developed the Angostura-heavy Trinidad Sour; in 2009, bartenders at Cure in New Orleans created the Gunshop Fizz using a base of Peychaud's Bitters.

Canon features the Angostura Collins (see the recipe), a drink that's surprisingly friendly, even for bitters novices. "A lot of bitters-heavy drinks are for cocktail geeks; we wanted something more approachable," says Jamie Boudreau, co-owner of Canon.

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