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A Special BLEG For a Soldier

A Special BLEG For a Soldier

Rick, over at Kaiser Penguin, recently got a message from an American serviceman currently stationed in Afghanistan. Alcohol is strictly forbidden to our troops over there, and this leads to a special problem. He likes to add bitters to his juice or soda for flavor. Since his favorites (and ours), Angostura and Peychauds, along with virtually every other cocktail-quality bitters, come in at about 45% abv, they are against regulations over there.

He’s done what long-distance looking he can and found a few non-alcoholic bitters, but is unsure which are hippie-trippy detoxification blends and which are proper cocktail bitters. Since I guess shipping a bottle of bitters will cost a bajillion times the bottle itself, he needs to be sure what he is getting.

Can any reader out there help out with a good, cocktail/cullinary quality bitters that is made without an alcoholic base? After all, if our fighting men and women can’t properly bitter their juice and sparkling water while on deployment, then the terrorists have already won….

Update: Welcome ONT readers! If anybody can help us our with a really good option here, you will have done a real service!


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  1. DirtyBlueshirt

    23 February

    Well I can only suggest the Navy solution: Buy a bottle of non-alcoholic bitters and a bottle of your favorite brand. Empty the bottle of crap (aka the non-alcoholic stuff), fill with the preferred brand. Ship to the sandbox.

    Are you violating the letter of the regulations? Yes, but as long as you’re not chugging a bottle a night to take the edge off (and if you were I wouldn’t blame you, and I’d salute your constitution) you’re not violating the spirit. If you’re just using them to flavor alcohol-free bug juice you’ll have a lower proof than if you let the stuff sit out overnight.

    Regardless, if your correspondent ever finds himself in Colorado Springs I’d be proud to buy him the drink of his choice.

    P.S. The Sea Service has a tradition where, if you spend >45 days out to sea you get 2 (crappy) beers. Any analogue among the ground-pounders?

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  2. Jason

    23 February

    I am not sure if Collins’ offerings of bitters are non-alcoholic, but even if they are, I would not recommend them. Well, unless you prefer the taste of Acetone.

    Fee Bros. have a very good reputation, but their website doesn’t say one way or the other if their bitters are NA. Looking at the labels online, it doesn’t look like they list an alcohol content.
    http://www.feebrothers.com

    Regan’s also has a good repuration, but I have no personal knowledge of them.

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  3. JasonK

    27 February

    Best one I know of is Blood Orange Bitters from Stirrings – I bit sweet but its good.

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