Crybaby - Bay Leaf Bitters
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Is it an aromatic bitter or is it an orange bitter? Yes. Orangey, herbal, spicy. Classic enough to be versatile, weird enough to be mysterious. Bay Leaf Bitters plays well with aged spirits in drinks like a Manhattan or martini or rum old fashioned, and loves to be splashed into sauces and icings and marinades.
The original baby, two years in the making. The first batch was an attempt at a more herbal version of a classic, Boker’s-style aromatic bitters but it was too boring and was too heavy on the cardamom and black pepper flavors. Version 2 was too bitter and too lemony, and versions 3 and 4 were getting close but not quite right. Version 5 scrapped the previous recipes altogether and started fresh. The lemon was scrapped, the black peppercorn was removed almost entirely, and more orange peel and cinnamon were added. The baby was getting close, but not quite ready. Version 6 went crazy and doubled the cinnamon, tripled the orange peel, and tripled the bay leaf. The result is what you see right here: a much more orangey, herbal version of a basic aromatic bitters, which was what it secretly wanted to be in the first place.