Over the past few days, I’ve motored around LA collecting the ingredients and materials needed to make a couple of these recipes. I also cut and dried some orange peels (they're downstage center in the photo). Here’s everything, nicely laid out and ready to get made:
|Bet you can't identify everything!|
I chose two recipes to start with: Charred Cedar Bitters and Coffee and Pecan Bitters. The basic process to make each is basically the same: combine ingredients and booze, let sit, shake daily, filter, boil, refilter, skim. Today, we combine ingredients.
This morning, I got up early to fire up the grill and char the cedar planks. Once those were cooled, I scraped off the ash and broke them into pieces. Into the jars went spices, herbs, peels, wood, beans, nibs, and nuts. Then, the bourbon! You need to add a high-proof bourbon so that it can soak up the flavor without losing too much potency.
Here are the jars, ready to go:
So, moving forward, I have two concerns. The first is that the cedar chips are not fully immersed in the whiskey. In fact, I've had to triple the suggested amount of whiskey in the cedar chips jar, and there's still a lot of wood sticking up. I may go back after a few days and cut the wood smaller so that it can be fully immersed in the boozy boozy goodness. The second is whether the bitters will be useful without the wild cherry bark (my guess is it will). Stay tuned!