Home Entertaining Festive Season Pairings with Angostura aromatic bitters

Aromatic bitters have been considered an essential ingredient behind the bar as far back as the first recorded cocktail recipes of the 1800’s. However, more and more, bitters are being used as a key ingredient in the kitchen; and none more so than Angostura aromatic bitters.

For years, Angostura aromatic bitters have been utilised to add layers of flavour and complexity to food and drink recipes, creating a more balanced end product in just a few dashes. Impressively versatile, Angostura’s aromatic bitters is a must-have ingredient that no bar or kitchen should be without!

This holiday season we’re sharing perfectly paired and delicious Angostura food and drink recipes that will impress your guests this festive season:

The Welcome

Serve a light SA original summer refreshment – the Angostura Rock Shandy:

Build ½ a can of soda water and ½ a can of lemonade over ice, add 4 – 6 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters on top, stir, garnish with a lemon or lime wedge and serve.

Pair this welcome drink with snacks like Angostura’s Bittered Crunch Mix available as a healthier alternative to crisps and crackers:

Preheat oven to 120° Celsius. Mix 3 cups cereal mix, 1½ cups pretzels and 2 tablespoons of raw nuts on a large, ungreased rimmed sheet tray. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons Angostura aromatic bitters in a small glass measuring cup in the microwave. Stir in 2 tablespoons onion powder, 2 tablespoons garlic powder and 1 teaspoon chilli powder until all is dissolved. Drizzle over cereals, gently stirring to coat as much as possible. Then bake for about 40 minutes or until mixture is crunchy.

The Starter

Start your festive season toasts with a Champagne Cocktail:

Drop a sugar cube into a champagne flute and saturate with Angostura aromatic bitters. Then top up the glass with bubbles and garnish with lemon peel… it’s that easy.

And top your table with a canape starter, Fiesta Meatballs:

Preheat oven to 200° Celsius. Place ±500g lean ground beef in a medium bowl. In a small bowl stir together ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon chilli powder, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon oreganum and ½ teaspoon salt. Then stir in ½ cup finely chopped onion and 3 cloves minced garlic. Sprinkle over meat in two batches, cutting into meat with the side of a large spoon.

Whisk together 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon Angostura aromatic bitters. Drizzle over meat, cutting in with spoon. Form into balls and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Serve both with toothpicks and your preferred dipping sauce.

The Main

How about a jovial Old Fashioned cocktail?

Place a sugar cube or demerara syrup at the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass, add 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters and 2 shots of bourbon or rye whiskey. Add ice to the glass and stir, garnish with a long, twisted orange or grapefruit peel.

You can also change it up slightly by using a different spirit, like brandy, rum or tequila.

Paired with Bitter Honey Ham Glaze and your choice of vegetable accompaniments:

Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Stir together ½ cup honey, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon Angostura aromatic bitters. Score the top of your 1.3 – 1.8 kg boneless, fully-cooked smoked ham with a sharp knife; place in a small, shallow baking pan. Add a few tablespoons water to cover the bottom of the pan, then brush glaze over the ham. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes, brushing with glaze often, until internal temperature is 63° Celsius. Serve sliced, drizzled with remaining glaze.

The Dessert

Coffee with a twist:

Add a few drops of Angostura aromatic bitters to your everyday coffee, cappuccino or iced coffee for something deliciously different.

Served with Apple Crumble:

For the topping, stir together 6 tablespoons melted butter and 1 tablespoon Angostura aromatic bitters. In a medium bowl stir together 3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup rolled oats and a compact 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Drizzle butter over flour mixture as evenly as possible and stir well, then refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes. When ready to assemble crisp, remove topping from refrigerator and crumble with your fingers.

For the tart, preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Core 5 unpeeled apples; quarter and slice about 1cm thick. In a 20 – 23 cm deep dish toss together apples and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and toss again. Scatter topping over apples. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool for 1 hour. Serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

Did you know that the human tongue has 10,000 taste buds? And that the nose has 10,000 more smell receptors than that? In terms of taste ‘bitter’ is the most complex taste sensory humans have and, of course, we know that smell enhances taste. In fact, bitter and sweet taste receptors have such a similar structure that often bitter and sweet tastes will complement each other. Why not put this theory to the test next time you’re having your favourite people over for a bite?

For more bittered food and drink recipes visit www.angosturabitters.com.

Follow Angostura South Africa on Facebook /Angostura South Africa and Instagram @AngosturaZA for fun facts, recipes and brand updates.

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