Trying not to be so bitter about bitters

When I was right out of college, I decided I was going to try really hard to like sushi.  I went to sushi restaurants with people who swore they could find the right roll for me – the one that had the perfect combo of flavors, the one that didn't look so... fishy, and most importantly, the one that didn't trigger my texture-sensitive gag reflex.

Fast-forward 15 years later – I'm still ordering rolls filled with vegetables and/or tempura.  Because, despite being a total cop-out, those are the shit.

Why am I talking about my raw fish aversion on a drinking blog, you ask?

Because I've gone through a similar quest to love bitters.

This awesome pic of Rachel Maddow has been lovingly borrowed from

Anybody who knows me IRL knows I luuurrrrrvvveeee me some Rachel.  As if I needed another reason to want to be just like her, she's a GIANT cocktail nerd.  

And Rachel luuuurrrvvveessss her some bitters.  

Says she, "You can't actually have a cocktail without bitters.  In fact, the word cocktail at its core means booze, sugar, water, and bitters.  That's what a cocktail was.  And this cocktail could become a million other things, but really bitters is core."

When she lamented on-air about the Agnostura shortage, the company sent her a lifetime supply when production ramped back up.  How could something so beloved by my beloved Rachel be bad, I ask you?

So.  Because Rachel is the knower of all things, it became clear to me that I couldn't simultaneously dislike bitters and like cocktails.  Because a square is, by definition, a rectangle.

(That made more sense in my head.)

What I mean is... I'll take you through the various phases of my quest so that you, young buck, may discover your love of bitters, too.