The well-known and widely celebrated Ginifer Gin brand has extended its offering with the introduction of a new range of artisanal bitters quite unlike any other on the local cocktail circuit. Every ingredient in these tinctures is natural and in its raw form and the intense infusions add depth and vigour to cocktails and culinary creations alike.
A heady concentration of eclectic flavours; you need just four drops to completely enhance the flavour profile of your drink and, in the words of Jacqueline Grobler, the artist behind their development, make your cocktail sing.
“By incorporating small amounts of our Ginifer bitters to a cocktail, you’re effectively making it more complex. The tinctures provide balance and give the cocktail a more complete flavour profile,” says Grobler.
Handcrafted in small batches, the process is complicated and takes some two-and-a-half months to complete. There’s no added sugar and with an alcohol content of 48% – refrigeration is unnecessary. There are enough potent compounds to keep it tasting good without needing to keep it cold.
Bitters add extra dimension and flavour and are considered an essential ingredient in any well-crafted cocktail; the salt and pepper of the cocktail world. Catering to a wide range of preferences, there are seven unique bitters in the Ginifer range – all of which are sold in 100ml bottles. The current range which already looks set to expand includes: Grapefruit; Orange-Vanilla; Chocolate (bitter); Cinnamon; Star-Anise; Chilli; and Strawberry-black pepper.
Made with 11 different ingredients, this fresh, yet spicy bitters, is best served with Ginifer Barrel aged chilli and Indian Tonic water. Grapefruit peel, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and bittering agents are skilfully combined and deliver a friendly and fruity balance. As the name suggests, the dominant ingredient is grapefruit and only the finest quality fruit – sourced from the Joburg fresh market – is used in the making of this bitters. All the ingredients are processed at the Angel Heart Beverages distillery.
Of all the bitters in the range, the Orange-Vanilla infusion is the longest in the making. But nothing prized can be rushed, and the enviable blend is worth the wait. As bitters go it’s rich and loaded with orange at the top of the palate – balanced with a vanilla bouquet. The interesting ingredient line-up includes orange peel from locally grown fruit, witch hazel, all spice and vanilla pods. It is delicious served with Ginifer and tonic and a slice of orange, but the citrusy hit can be equally wonderful in non-alcoholic cocktails like a steelworks – brightening up the drink in unexpected ways.
This is a truly magical bitters. Surprising, adaptable and full of contrasts – it’s rich and warm yet bitter and a definitively more adventurous alternative in the Ginifer line-up. Organic raw chocolate nibs, cardamom, vanilla and cherry bark make up this gem which is delicious served in coffee, hot chocolate, coffee martini and G&T. It’s also truly inspiring to cook with. More than that, the inclusion of chocolate helps open the heart chakra and in so doing – eases heartache. On reflection – no pantry or bar should be without the engaging Ginifer Chocolate bitters.
This is an incredibly versatile product and perfect in an apple and cinnamon G&T but as outrageously good in coffee or hot chocolate. Steeped in cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom – these ingredients are the stars in this line up and come together to deliver a perfectly smooth finish. Surprisingly easy to incorporate into food dishes and confectionary, just a few drops go a long way. The Cinnamon bitters will transform the humble pancake into something quite inspired – simply incorporate a few drops into the batter; decadent and quite delicious.
A more unusual formulation – the star anise gives this bitters an interesting liquorice taste and a uniquely elegant taste profile. It’s best described as a sweeter, spiced, but soft bitters with gentle notes and there’s no denying it performs as well in a bar setting as it does in the kitchen. It is particularly good when incorporated into Moroccan cooking and a flavoursome Breyani. Those preferring it in a glass should add it to a Ginifer Chilli and dress the cocktail with fresh grapefruit and star anise.
This 18-month old oak barrel aged chilli essence is bold, with a big kick, intense in colour, flavour and smell. Everything about the flavour profile is audacious. This product can be used to cook with or to add to your favourite drinks. Dole it out in drops or dashes but use cautiously. It measures 8.5 on the Scoville unit and has a big kick so just two to three drops will be enough to satiate the palate. Fiery in the mouth – there’s a passion in this bitters that can be quite alluring and addictive.
Strawberry and Black-Pepper:
This bitters is infused with real strawberries, black-pepper and honey bush tea and has a beautiful sweet strawberry tone, but balanced with plenty of hits of pepper. This is the perfect complement to most drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. The ingredient combination accentuates flavours but also introduces its own taste profile. This is a standout option and the bitter-sweet notes are rhythmic in their magnetism.
Grobler, who believes there’s been a revival in the popularity of bitters, says that their inclusion in a cocktail is best compared to the violin in the orchestra; it completes the symphony.
The bitters range is available from leading liquor outlets or directly from Angel Heart Beverages: http://www.ahbev.com/
For additional information or recipes – follow Ginifer on Facebook: ginifergin.
- While cocktail aficionados will agree bitters are an essential ingredient, remember as a bonus, they can also soothe digestive issues.