Americans—and especially Utahns—are famous for their sweet tooth. But we’re learning to love sweet’s opposite: bitter as in the astringent taste that comes in bitters. Maybe it started with the radicchio and arugula craze of the ’80s. That has settled into a permanent relationship but perhaps it broadened our palate to include bitterness.
The popularity of Amaro, Campari, Aperol and Fernet Branca have all increased. In San Francisco, a favorite drink is Fernet and ginger beer and I have a friend whose regular drink is a Coors Banquet with a shot of Fernet. (Yes, odd. We all think so.) This category has exploded. No longer do we have to choose between Angostura and Peychaud’s. In Utah alone there are several bitters-makers—Bitters Lab (bitterslab.com), Crybaby Bitters (crybabybitters.com) and Beehive Bitters (beehivebitters.com) that make dozens of flavored bitters.
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