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Mixers, Syrups, & Bitters
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All about mixers, syrups, & bitters
Bitters and syrups are common constituents of cocktails. Bitters offer botanical aromas of spices and herbs, fruit peels, plant barks and roots, and were originally used to alleviate stomach pains. Add bitters to cocktails like margarita mixers to enrich their flavor profile. Alcoholic beverages are sweetened with syrups — a combination of water and sugar. Bartenders combine fruity or herb-infused syrups to drinks to add sweetness to them. In addition to the frequently occurring essences, barmen often create their own flavors of these additives to impart unique tastes and richness to cocktails.
To produce bitters of even consistency, base alcohol is infused with plant-based extracts. They lend acidity and tartness to cocktails. Digestive bitters, as the name suggests, are taken before or after a meal to support digestion. Cocktail bitters serve the sole purpose of accentuating flavors. Aromatic bitters impart spicy or herbal scents to cocktails. For example, Angostura orange bitters are indispensable for popular cocktails like the Manhattan.
Mixers and syrups
While bitters add tartness to cocktails, syrups add sweetness to them. If you're looking for a sugar-rich beverage, use simple syrups for that. There are also some different types of syrups and sweeteners, such as sugarcane syrup, orgeat and grenadine, that lend specific flavors to drinks. Mixers are the ideal solution for impatient party hosts who want amazing cocktails but don't have time to make them. You can mix most of them with the right liquor and serve with ice. It's easy to get the right cocktail when all the ingredients are already blended for you.
Which one to choose
Depending on your mixology skills and the resources available, you can go for bitters, syrups or mixers. If you have all of the ingredients and just need some sweetness or tartness, get a bottle of syrup or bitters. If you don't have the ingredients but have the booze, get the right mixer.