I am bitter over the loss of Bitter Lemon.
Years ago I used to be able to buy Schweppes Bitter Lemon. It was sold in most stores alongside the mixers like Tonic Water or Club Soda, but a lot of people drank it straight as a less sweet, decidedly bitter adult lemonade. For some obscure reason Schweppes no longer makes or distributes their Bitter Lemon in the U.S. Apparently it is available in the U.K. and some other markets but not here except as an imported item.
I bemoan the loss of Schweppes Bitter Lemon. It was a refreshing, pleasantly tart (but not diet) summer beverage.
At some point it occurred to me that I might be able to “hack” an ersatz bitter lemon. Most carbonated drinks are mostly carbonated water – seltzer or club soda. The basis for the Schweppes Bitter Lemon is, in fact, tonic water which contains quinine where the bitter component comes from. The lemon flavor comes from lemon, of course, which contributes tartness. I like the bitter edge of Bitter Lemon and would welcome a little more (like I said, I’m a bitter man) So why not add some real bitters, like Angostura – that’s its announced role. So the juice of a fresh lemon, a half-dozen good shakes of bitters, some ice and top it up with tonic water (yes, Schweppes). No chance of displacing the original but a pretty easy and quite refreshing hack for a bitter man
Note: After making this the first time I was a bit disappointed with the color the bitters gave the drink. But then I remembered that I had once bought a bottle of Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters. It’s in the citrus family and all but colorless so in subsequent iterations I used Orange Bitters instead.