I was looking to make another batch of bitters, this time using my 95% alcohol, which I found in an Italian supermarket during the summer. Inspiration came when I discovered a fantastic recipe from Tony Conigliaro for the Death in Venice cocktail – a combination of Campari, prosecco, and a hit of grapefruit bitters; this is a cocktail that features at both 69 Colebrook Row & the Grain Store, so it comes highly recommended.
As this seemed like the perfect Christmas drink, and indeed was featured in an article about Christmas drinks, I went off to find a suitable recipe for this variety of bitters.
I soon found one on the Serious Eats website, written by Marcia Simmons: the mix of grapefruit, juniper, lavender, coriander & a battering agent, seemed to have the right sort of flavour profile to make this cocktail really sing, so I have been making a version at home. Marcia used 100˚ proof vodka, rather than over-proof alcohol, as she described trying to get a mellower flavour with her bitters. I have opted for the Italian 95% alcohol, as I would like my bitters to have little more attack. I will describe the results in two or three weeks.