Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bitters and Soda for a Rainy Day

Ever felt a little bloated, over stuffed with indigestion, regretting sopping up the last bit of sauce with the crusty ciabatta bread?
While finishing off the bottle of wine before the desert comes to finish the grande meal?

Eating and drinking like a King and Queen in the midst of good lighting, fascinating company and the murmurs of the outside world far from your table is not a sin, for it is a blessing to anyone who can enjoy moments like those!

But did you know that it could all be aided with one more thing to digest? A Digestive!

The ancients have been brewing tonics and elixers to purify the belly from the woefull night of excess for centuries, and sometimes, in our modern world, we forget the secrets that have seemed to work for centuries.

Next time you feel the burps coming, along with the internal dialogue of "oh WHY did I eat all that?" Sit back, take a deep breath, ask for the drink list and keep your eye out for these options...

The French have Chartreuse, an infused herbal liqueur that has curative powers.
Central Europe has Eaux de vie, that can wake up any cranky belly.
Germany has herbal schnapps like Underberg (this is actually sold in drugstores)
Italy has Amari: bitter liquides derrived from quinine that are filled with herbs, roots, flowers, spices and alchohol, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter as hell.
Cynar is made from artichokes, others use fermented green walnuts and black truffles.
Fernet Branca is the most popular and also the most bitter of the amaris.
Campari, better known as an aperitif (before the meal) is best mixed with a little soda, lemon peel and oj if desired.
If none of these options are available at the bar you seem to be at, ask for the common, Bitters and Soda and all will be well!

Today, many new styles of drinks are being mixed with these bitter digestives, to add a bit of digestion, hearty taste, structure to the drink and fancy artistry- that the "Mixologists" are thoroughly getting off on.

So next time you are wining and dining, try a little digestif apres the meal and feel the difference!

1 comment:

Boomka said...

I've been tending bar for a while and an old career bartender taught me this trick. A girl was feeling nauseous in the bar and we didn't have any ginger ale. So he did a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters in a glass and squirted a bit of club soda, boom, instant stomach settler. And it worked! You are on to something Gypsy woman!