An improved cocktail, for an improved day

Improved Tequila Cocktail
2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 dashes bitters

Stir ingredients in a stirring pitcher and then strain into a glass.

Garnish with a wist of lemon peel. I served mine in a rocks glass with a couple cubes. Twist the lemon peel over the drink, rub the rim of the glass, then drop it in as a garnish.

For more on improved cocktails, read Wonderich’s piece for Esquire. Basically, a cocktail is base, with bitters and simple syrup. A fancy cocktail is the same, with a lemon twist, an improved cocktail has Cointreau or Maraschino added in. I enjoy working with Maraschino, it adds a nutty dryness that I love.

For the bitters, I used Dr. Adams Dandelion & Burdock Bitters.

Occasionally I’ll purchase an odd bottling of bitters, such as this one from Dr. Adam. When I do this, I’ll research recipes for these bitters, and see what base spirits they work best with. The manufacture is often the best place to start.

Dr. Adam macerates, bottles, labels, and markets his own bitters out in Scotland. My kind of producer. The Dandelion & Burdock are wonderful with tequila. His Spanish Bitters are nice with rum or gin. Look for them at cocktailkingdom.

Often times I’ll see a new bitters at a bar and will ask the man or woman behind the stick how they incorporate the bitters. In St. Louis there’s been an influx of Bittermen’s Bitters. You’ll see the Tiki and Burlesque, which I have, as well as a chocolate bitters and several shrubs. They’re all damn good as well. Boston Bittahs in a G&T for one interesting usage.

I’ll use Bittermen’s Hopped Grapefruit bitters for a tasty twist on the improved tequila cocktail. Grapefruit has always paired well with tequila.

Look around and find a bottling to try for yourself. As I’ve said before, bitters are a wonderful way to change things up with your favorite cocktail. Enjoy.

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