Happy 2021 readers! Let’s hope this is a better year for everyone and especially the beleaguered hospitality industry who have been particularly battered by 2020.
Maybe after the festive season – or what passed for it this year – it might be time to dial back the alcohol consumption a little? I created the 11 Dashes to be the perfect drink for when you don’t want a drink. It’s a tricky thing to make a satisfying and flavourful cocktail with a tiny alcohol count but there’s an equally tricky way to pull it off: use bitters as a base. Bitters might be strong in alcohol (usually in the 30-45% zone) but they’re even stronger in flavour so we can still dial the flavour up to 11. Those 11 dashes equate to barely 2 teaspoons which is certainly not going to impede you from driving or operating any heavy machinery. While I insist that 11 dashes is precisely the right amount* I’m gonna give you the leeway to use whatever bitters you happen to have – indeed tinkering with the bitters combo is all part of the fun. As a guide I’m pretty keen on the mixture of aromatic, orange and Peychaud’s listed below but feel free to diverge from that depending on what you have in stock. I find that the amount of syrup needs to be adjusted depending on the bitterness of the bitters you’ve chosen so I’ve just included a range in the recipe. I suggest using the lower amount the first time you make this and adding little more (if necessary) until you find the perfect equilibrium: the 11 Dashes should be neither sweet nor bitter but right on that perfect fulcrum between the two. Proost!
(11 generous dashes of bitters such as:)
4 dashes of Regan’s orange bitters.
4 dashes of Bogart’s bitters.
3 dashes of Peychaud’s bitters.
0.75oz / 22ml fresh lemon juice
0.75oz – 1oz / 22ml-30ml simple syrup (I quite like vanilla syrup in this).
Pour ingredients into an iced Collin’s glass, top up with chilled soda water, stir gently and garnish with a lemon twist or slice.
Toast Spinal Tap.
*I mean the drink is called the 11 dashes so you know…