Bitter Sweet

22nd January 2010

The Bitter Truth

The Bitter Truth boys are part of a cocktail ‘renaissance’, looking back to when drinks were made with skill and balanced for you as an individual… back to the days before soda guns and mass production, when bartenders all made their own unique signature drinks and where the classics as we know them now originated.

Sweet liqueurs were in abundance in 1920s and in the Tiki lounges of the 1950s, but mass production after the Second World War saw many liqueur makers abandon traditional methods. Emulsifiers and flavourings took the place of tried and tested natural ingredients.

German company The Bitter Truth started making their cocktail liqueurs to offer an alternative to the discerning drinker – to bring back, in their own words, ‘beautifully crafted liqueurs from wild fruits and berries’. They produce an Apricot Liqueur on a fruit schnapps base, made with the same fruit they press to add fresh juice for flavouring. Their Violette Liqueur – Crème de Violette – uses a grain base that’s steeped with wild violette flowers picked from the alps, and their Pimento Dram uses Jamaican rum flavoured with the distinctive allspice berry.

How best to enjoy these? Suggestions include mellowing your usual martini and making an Eddie Brown. Take 30ml Lillet Blanc vermouth (or a sweet Italian vermouth), 30ml Hayman’s London Dry Gin,10ml The Bitter Truth Apricot Brandy; stir and add to a chilled martini glass.
For something punchier, try a Jamaican Kingston cocktail: 45ml Jamaican rum, 15ml The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram, 15ml Kummel, 15ml orange juice (‘not from concentrate’); shake and add to a chilled martini glass.

Or try the liqueurs as a way to soften neater spirits. Add a dash of Pimento Dram to rum and Coke for added spice, or a dribble of Crème de Violette to a gin and tonic with fresh lime, or have a glass of young cognac with a good helping of apricot brandy. Build in a glass and serve over ice – no fancy equipment necessary but impressive, fresh and tasty…

See www.the-bitter-truth.com for more info and UK stockists

Sweet Freedom

Sweet tooth? Want to reduce your sugar intake without resorting to a controversial artificial sweetener?…

Sweet Freedom is an award-winning natural sweetener, the first of its kind to be made 100% from fruit: just apples, grapes and carob… no colourings; no flavourings; no preservatives. It tastes like sugar but it has 25% fewer calories and you can use 25-50% less, gram for gram. It also has a lower GL (Glycaemic Load) than sugar, honey and maple syrup, making it a better choice for diabetics. And it’s an ideal vegan alternative to honey (tastes great on toast!).

Unlike artificial sweeteners, Sweet Freedom is receiving accolades for its taste; it’s been awarded Gold Stars in the prestigious Great Taste Awards, in both the Sweet Ingredients and Diabetic categories, and even Raymond Blanc approves, offering it with coffee and tea at Le Manoir, and ordering it for kitchen use.

Sweet Freedom comes in mild or rich versions, each in a squeezable bottle with a drip free cap, so there’s no mess or stickiness. Use it for sweetening tea, coffee, cocoa; swirl it on porridge and unsweetened cereal; substitute it for sugar to make healthier cakes, cookies and desserts.

See www.sweetfreedom.co.uk for info and recipes. Available nationwide at around £2.99 for a 300ml bottle.

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