As my teenagers spend less and less time at home, the quiet vacillates between feeling peaceful and piercing my heart with loneliness. Music helps but also takes my mind down roads that sometimes compound unwanted dark thoughts. I choose instead spoken words, which softens the quiet and gives feeling that there is someone talking to me. Podcasts provide endless stories, interviews, education, and verbal companionship. My current obsession is the Heritage Radio Network with thousands of podcasts related to food, my passion.
While listening to an interview with a bartender/mixologist/author on the history of classic cocktails, all of a sudden my herbal world collided with hers. Bitters!
One of the absolute first principles I learned related to herbalism was that almost anyone can benefit from a few drops of bitters before meals to support their digestion. A well-made bitters formula is a vital tool of the trade. Equally so in the cocktail world where bartenders refer to bitters as their salt and pepper.
It turns out that cocktail bitters originated from medicinal bitters formulas added to spirits to make them more palatable. Even better, adding a dash of cocktail bitters in cooking enhances flavor and complexity just like it does with mixed drinks. I think this opens a world of possibility for a bit of good medicine and taste.