Unfortunately I really wasn't blogging much while in Beijing this last year. Things were very busy with setting up the nano brewery and helping Li Lei over at True North Cabin. There was just a lot learned and I wish I would have posted more. But now - I am taking a lot of that experience and polishing it up back home in the U.S.
We developed a really fantastic cocktail menu at True North Cabin while learning some of the hard lessons that come in the F&B industry in China. One of the things we were developing was a whole series of infusions. I never got the time to explore bitters while I was there, and I decided it would be best to wait until coming back home anyway. Mainly because of the access and guaranteed quality of the ingredients necessary to really work with bitters. But now I am finally getting some things put together, taking some pictures and really ironing out the recipes.
I wanted to build a strong line of traditional bitters, but also try some things using China's own special version of firewater. Some of their baijou
is incredibly high proof. For example the product I am using to create the grapefruit bitters is Heng Shui Lao Bai Gan
and clocks in at 67% alcohol... or approximately 130 proof. The key is to find something that will play off the flavor, and I am trying a couple of things with this run. One is the coffee/hazelnut/orange bitters, and the other is this grapefruit bitters.
All of these will sit for two weeks or more, and then processed through a second phase to concentrate the flavor. One I have some results I will post both the English and Chinese versions of my recipes on the site.