JOST A MON

The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Evelyn Waugh travelled about, casting an acerbic eye at one moment, a sardonic look at another, except where alcohol was concerned, and came up with a rather peculiar exotic drink, involving, among other things, champagne and Angostura Bitters. (What the devil is an Angostura Bitter?) Here is an excerpt from When the Going Was Good:
I told him that I had had a late night, drinking after the ball with some charming Norwegians, and felt a little shaken. He then made me this drink, which I commend to anyone in need of a wholesome and easily accessibly pick-me-up. he took a large tablet of beet sugar (an equivalent quantity of ordinary lump sugar does equally well) and soaked it in Angostura Bitters and then rolled it in Cayenne pepper. This he put into a large glass which he filled up with champagne. The excellences of this drink defy description. The sugar and Angostura enrich the wine and take away that slight acidity which renders even the best champagne slightly repugnant in the early morning. Each bubble as it rises to the surface carries with it a red grain of pepper, so that as one drinks one’s appetite is at once stimulated and gratified, heat and cold, fire and liquid, contending on one’s palate and alternating in the mastery of one’s sensations. I sipped this almost unendurably desirable drink and played with the artificial birds and musical boxes until Alastair was ready to come out.

3 comments:

random.thoughts said...

angostura is the brand - they are one of the leading makers of bitters - i have a tiny bottle of angostura orange bitters which i have used in manhattans.

chasingbawa said...

One of my favourites too, although I've heard that if you have too much of the bitters it's actually poisonous. I guess everything in moderation then.

Fëanor said...

ha! if it's bitter, i stay well away. cue, among other things, the bitter gourd that punjabis so love to cook...

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