Bitters are the Rodney Dangerfield of the cocktail world.
Most old cocktail recipes will specify use of one type of bitters or other -- orange, angostura, etc. Modern recipes tend to neglect this intriguing ingredient. More's the pity. They add depth and nuance to virtually any sort of alcoholic drink, as well as to soups and stews.
The New York Times has an excellent update on bitters and their small resurgence across the country. Recommended reading.
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