Give Your Whipped Cream a Sophisticated Edge With Cocktail Bitters

Give Your Whipped Cream a Sophisticated Edge With Cocktail Bitters
Photo: MaraZe, Shutterstock

Whipped cream is the fluffy final touch to so many desserts and drinks, and for good reason. It tastes good (like cream), and it looks good (like a cloud), and it never fails to make things feel fun.

Historically, I am a whipped cream purist — I rarely sweeten it, mostly because it is usually destined for something that is quite sweet, like cake or pie. (The exception to this rule of mine is fresh, un-sugared berries. Fresh, un-sugared berries with sweetened whipped cream — or un-whipped cream — is delightful.) But even if you aren’t in the habit of sweetening whipped cream, that doesn’t mean you can’t flavour whipped cream, and you should flavour it with cocktail bitters.

Bitters — as you probably know — are nothing more than intensely-flavoured extracts, much like vanilla, or any other extract. Think of them like a liquid spice rack. You only need a few drops per cup of un-whipped cream (four at the most), so you don’t have to worry about the extra liquid affecting the integrity of your whipped dairy.

Flavour-wise, adding bitters to your cream won’t make it taste strongly of something else, but it will make it taste better, more nuanced, and more sophisticated. Plain Angostura will serve you fine, but I think orange bitters would be particularly nice, and this could be a good use for any “artisanal” flavoured bitters sets you were gifted at a work gift exchange.

If you, after whipping, you don’t feel like your finished product is flavoured enough, you can always add a couple more dashes and gently fold them in. If you do this, err on the side of under incorporating, rather than over. You don’t want to deflate your expertly-whipped cream, and a few dark pink streaks would look quite pretty anyway.

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