Bitter liqueurs are all the rage behind the bar. Mixologists reach for them to moderate sweet elements in a cocktail, while diners enjoy them as a shot or on the rocks after indulging in a large meal. German-based company The Bitter Truth recently released E**X**R, an all-natural digestivo crafted with Alpine bitters. The liqueur’s herbal flavors hint at Italian amaro, with a more approachable finish reminiscent of Port’s caramel sweetness. E**X**R’s complex aromas and flavors—think mint, myrrh, sage and gentian along with hints of rhubarb and lemon—make it sublimely sippable neat, or used in classic or contemporary libations. “In mixing, think of it as a zesty replacement for sweet vermouth in a Negroni or a Manhattan,” suggests Brand Ambassador Abigail Gullo. “Or a richer replacement for Benedictine or Chartreuse in a Vieux Carré.” $32/750ml.
Try these E**X**R recipes:
1½ ounces gin
1½ ounces sweet Vermouth
½ ounce The Bitter Truth E**X**R
Orange peel, for garnish
Add all ingredients except orange peel to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.
Wild Mountain Thyme Julep
Courtesy of Abigail Gullo, brand ambassador, The Bitter Truth
Large bunch of fresh thyme, plus 1 sprig for garnish
1 ounce maple syrup
2 ounces Irish Whiskey
1 ounce The Bitter Truth E**X**R
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
Muddle thyme and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add other ingredients and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Julep cup filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.