Friday, 11 April 2014

Friday Cocktail: A 'The Bitter Truth' Cocktail Party!

It's Friday, the sun is out, and I want to invite everyone I know around for a party.

Not just because of the weather, mind - I also want to show off my new toys: last week, I was lucky enough to be sent a range of treats from The Bitter Truth - a selection of bitters and liqueurs that are very exciting indeed.

They do several liqueurs - apricot, elderflower, pimento, violet - all of which taste delicious. The apricot and elderflower in particular were very moreish - the violet was much less potent than I was expecting (personally, I thought that was a good thing) and the pimento was a firecracker of spicy cloves and orange - I basically wanted to baste a ham with it.

The bitters come in a range of creations too - from great quality celery, aromatic and orange, to more weird and wonderful stuff like chocolate, peach and Jerry Thomas! They all add tons of flavour to cocktails and are surprisingly versatile - I tested a good dozen and there was something there for everybody.

You can buy the entire The Bitter Truth selection from The Whisky Exchange - they start at £14.65 per bottle. The Bitters come individually, but they also come as part of this gorgeous, vintage-inspire The Bitter Truth Traveller's Set, which absolutely makes my day. It's £18.95 from The Whisky Exchange.

So I got shaking, and these were the four tastiest cocktails, in my opinion. All perfect for spring evenings in the garden, which is where I shall be tonight...

The Sapphire Heir

We started with something simple and not too boozy - perfect for someone who doesn't want to get tipsy.

GLASS: Collins/tall glass
ICE: None
GARNISH: A squeeze of lime

METHOD: Add ice to a tall glass, add the liqueur and juice, stir, top up with light tonic and stir again.


  • 45ml The Bitter Truth Violet liqueur
  • 5ml fresh lime juice
  • Topped with light tonic water
  • Garnish with a lime wedge

Garden and Tonic

This really is heaven in a glass - refreshing, fruity, and deceptively boozy.

GLASS: Collins or Sling
ICE: Cubed or Cracked
GARNISH: Mint Sprig and a lime wedge
METHOD: Build in long drinking glass over ice.

  • 40 ml Hayman's London Dry Gin
  • 10 ml The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2-3 dashes The Bitter Truth Original Celery Bitters
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • 3-4 mint leaves
  • Lime wedge
  • Tonic water

Pendennis Cocktail

Suave, sexy and oh so boozy. The faint hearted might want to top this up with a little soda water.

GLASS: Martini or Coupette Glass
ICE: Straight up
GARNISH: Lemon peel

METHOD : Shake with ice and strain into cocktail glass


  • 50 ml Hayman's London Dry Gin
  • 20 ml The Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur
  • 2-3 dashes The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
  • 10 ml lime juice

Jamai Tai

Oh so spicy, oh so flavoursome, oh so exotic. Believe me, you won't need more than one, though...

GLASS: Rocks Glass
ICE: Crushed or cracked
GARNISH: Mint Sprig

METHOD: Shake with ice and strain into tumbler filled with crushed ice.


  • 50 ml El Dorado 8 year old rum
  • 10 ml The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram
  • 3-4 dashes The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters
  • 25 ml lime juice
  • 15 ml almond syrup (I actually used amaretto...)

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