$99 for Four Hours of Bartending from Absolute Bartending and Staffing ($200 Value)

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  • $99 for four hours of mobile bartending ($200 value)

Bitters: Old-Fashioned Medicine

A cocktail is often a simple thing, but its ingredients can be surprisingly complex. Check out Groupon’s guide to bitters to know your drink of choice like never before.

Although the diverse family of elixirs known as bitters is used to inject flavor into mixed drinks of all stripes, cocktail aficionados shouldn’t feel too bad if they can’t rattle off the ingredients actually found in bitters. In 2010, a pair of Angostura executives told Rachel Maddow that only five people in the world are privy to their recipe. This much can be said: every batch begins with alcohol and botanical ingredients, which commonly include gentian root or quinine. On the rocks, the astringent taste of cocktail bitters would be overpowering, but a few drops can unite different liquors and draw out hints of orange peel, cinnamon, celery, or nutmeg. Other varieties—known as digestive bitters, a class that includes Campari—can be served neat as an apéritif.

Doctors, not bartenders, were behind the first varieties of bitters. The labels of antique bottles invite the ailing to “ward off rheumatism,” “tone up the system,” and “cure nervousness” with the mysterious potions inside. Some modern brands also originated as patent medicines: the inventor of Angostura bitters hoped it would revive troops in Simon Bolivar’s army in the 1800s.

In a Nutshell

Pro bartenders turn social gatherings into slick, swakny parties with four hours of drink-mixing

The Fine Print

Expires 120 days after purchase. Valid only within 15 miles of zip code 21216. Reservation required, 48 hour advance notice required. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Limit 1 per visit. Only available for customers who have not used service within 6 months. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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