BBQ Bitters

In the recent issue of Garden & Gun there's a recipe for BBQ Bitters. They recommend adding some drops to spice up a Bloody Mary, but it was the suggestion of using them in a Manhattan that made me head to Kalustyan's to pick up gentian root. Well, actually, it also was the thought of making something with gentian root that inspired me.


- 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
- 0.5 tablespoon cumin seed
- 0.5 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
- 0.5 tablespoon black mustard seed
- 1 tablespoon espresso beans
- 1 dried chipotle peppers
- 2 sun-dried tomato halves
- 6 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 fistful thyme (stems and all)
- Zest of 1.5 oranges
- Zest of 1.5 grapefruits
- 1.5 tablespoons gentian root
- 2 bay leaves
- 375 ml grain alcohol

1) Toast peppercorns and cumin seeds in a saucepan and when they start become aromatic, quickly add the two mustard seeds.
2) In a spice grinder, crush the peppercorn, cumin, mustards, and espresso beans.
3) Add all the ingredients into a glass mason jar.
4) Shake well and let it all macerate for 10 days.
5) Remember to shake up the mason jar each day.
6) After the 10 days, strain thoroughly through cheesecloth and strainer a couple of times.
7) Store in an eye-dropper bottle and give some to your friends.

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