1939 The Gentleman's Companion volume II Beeing an Exotic Drinking Book


crept out into light of day, in spite of the 7 people-all members of the Siegert family-who have courted insomnia and shattered nervous tone guarding it from profane eyes of a mercenary and covetous world all those n5 years since 1824! According to the book of Angostura, 3 of .these are still alive and active, and we hope our favourite male actor Frank Morgan is one of them-as the rumour goes. Angostura was originated as a tonic, a simple to ward off fevers, miasmas, tropical swamp mists, and the general assortment of mauve willies that beset Nordics under the equator-and the content of quinine or cinchona definitely had virtue along this line. However, as is so often the case with truly worth-while ventures, fate stuck her tongue in cheek, and decreed that the bitters invented for health should prove not only to be one of the best titillaters of the jaded appetite, but by far the best priceless ingredient in all sorts of cocktails and mixed drinks; as well as in many of the tastiest exotic food receipts we have sampled around the world. Actually there are 6 main kinds of bitters sold on the open market: Angostura, orange, Peychaud's, Calisaya; Amer Picon, and Boker's. Hell-Fire Bitters or Cayenne Wine, are local semi-amateur tropical creations. Peach bitters, Boonekamp's and others may be found in first flight provision houses catering in hard-to-find, and usually im– ported oddments of drink and good food. Of all these Angostura is by far the most important. We now append a formula for Trinidad bitters we had given us by a friend who lived in Port of Spain, and which dated many years back into an old publication he had dis– covered among some family accumulations in settling an estate. The old text claimed this to be the leaked-out secret formula for Angostura, but of course we cannot confirm this as being true without verifica– tion from the Siegert clan-which is about as likely as we would tee up our right eyeball fur a shot over the water hole at Del Monte! We will say this though: our own pharmacy supplied us with all the ingredients over 2 years ago: Those that weren't ground or pounded fine we reduced to that state in a small kitchen mortar we own. the rest, the blending with spirits, was easy; the result was an inconceiv-

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