Many moons ago I ate something at a conference that did not agree with me. I went to the hotel bar and asked the barman what he recommended to stop a tummy from going flippy floppy. He fixed me soda & bitters with a twist and charged me not a single dime. I tipped him and wobbled back upstairs with my beverage. It did the trick.
I remembered this recently while attending a friend’s natal day celebration and needing something that looked convivial while keeping me sober (I had arrived and was leaving again on two wheels, and while I enjoy both bikes and adult beverages, they don’t mix well.) After I got home, I was wondering what in the world bitters are, and so Lizzie & I ended up reading the relevant entry in the wikipedia. Woo hoo! Patent medicines!
A small bottle of the stuff runs ~$3 at the local purveyor of adult beverages, so I picked one up. And then I remembered where else I’d seen bitters referenced recently: in a blog pointed out to me by a colleague.
I teach Latin at one of the larger private schools in town. There’s a guy doing a similar job over at our arch-rivals. He has a friend who writes mysteries, and that friend has a blog to which my fellow Latinist directed me one day. And what should I see on that blog but a picture of a bookstore a scant half mile down the street from where the O’Cayces used to live. It’s a good bookstore, the Regulator is. So I kept poking around the site and ran into this post, which contains the wondrous sentiment, “a couple of Old Fashioneds, taken around noon on Thanksgiving, will help the rest of the day unfold in a splendid manner.”
If I ever take a turn for the autobiographical, I’ll have to post a few Thanksgiving Day memories and explain why that sentence resonates so. For now, I will restrict myself to shamelessly stealing the recipe.
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 dashes of bitters
- 2 oz bourbon
- 2 oz club soda
- slice of orange