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It is bitter, and yet…

angostura bittersWhere do you go for the latest in cutting edge medical information? Yes, me too: the trans-Atlantic in-flight magazine. There, snuggled between the barf bag and the instructions for using your seat cushion as a flotation device (I wonder, has anyone ever survived using a seat cushion as a flotation device? I think not), I found an article on Angostura bitters.

They were invented in the 1820s by a German doctor serving in Simón Bolivar’s army. He intended them as a general health tonic, but they quickly passed into folklore in Venezuela and the Carribean as a sort of cure-all. I mean, raising people from the dead is pretty good going for a cocktail. No-one outside the firm knows what’s in them, apart from sugar, alcohol and gentian.

The author of the article I read swears that a few drops in a small amount of soda water will settle an upset stomach and crank up appetite (and I’m sure we’re all searching for an easy way to increase appetite!)

The British Royal Navy latched onto them as a seasickness cure, which is why pink gin is the official drink of the Navy. A shiny new sixpence to the lad or lass who manages to think up the “pink gin/homosexuality in the Royal Navy” crack that eludes me here. Feel free to work Hornblower in somehow. Anyhow, you make a pink gin by swirling Angostura bitters around the glass and then filling it with gin. Mmmmm! Pink!

I really like bitter, ouchie beverages, so I made a mental note to order some of this stuff. Then I saw it in the booze section of the grocery store here. I’ve been a-drinkin’ pink vodkas ever since: vodka, tonic and a splash of bitters.

It’s…nice. It’s not reallly bitter, though. It tastes like this professional dentifrice my dentoid used when I was a teenager. Why I should find that appealing, I…point you to the observation above about my love of things bitter and ouchie.

I give it …

  three and a half drunken weasels.

December 11, 2008 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 38