By Iron Chef Leftovers
Photos By AJ Coltrane
I am finally getting around to posting the recipes from the Odd Bits dinner. I will be doing this in reverse order of how they were served, because the end of the meal is much less involved to write than the beginning was.
Honestly, I have no idea what to call this drink. The idea came from a wonderful book, Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas, by Brad Thomas Parsons. Bitters have intrigued me since I read an article about a year ago on how to make your own (which I still haven’t done). Bitters are basically an infusion of herbs and other flavors in alcohol and are generally used to enhance the flavors of drinks. They were originally sold as a restorative.
Early in the Bitters book, there is a recipe for a “restorative tonic” which I decided to play off of. Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that is usually served at the end of the meal, so why not use a bitters drink to do the same. It also helped that blood oranges were just coming into season, so I got a little creative.
Juice of half a blood orange
4 dashes Orange Bitters
4 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
4 oz sparkling water or club soda
2 ice cubes
It is easy – in a highball glass, juice the orange, add the bitters and water or soda and give a quick stir. Add the ice cubes and serve.
I was going for a “chocolate orange flavor on this drink without it being oppressive. It is a light and refreshing and slightly fizzy drink with a hint of bitterness and chocolate notes at the end of the sip. A twist of orange peel would be a nice touch, but I wouldn’t really increase the amount of bitters in the drink without increasing the other liquids, otherwise they will overpower everything.