These ballerina beauties took a good two weeks to procure. They are the longest cooking patience experiment of my life. Observe them well. It is well worth it.
Questions I had at the outset of this project: Why does this Angostura brand look like it is from the seventies? Something about that font. But I love the way it plays off the…Helvetica? There are like 16 fonts on this label. And why does the paper come halfway off the bottle?
I may never know, but what I do know is that I can make rock candy of my very own flavored with bitters and used for all sorts of nefarious and delightful purpose such as, I don’t know, a twist on the classic champagne cocktail?? Imagine rock candy in a champagne coupe!
Imma skip the technical instructions on this one, the link above was the best method I found in my research. I added in a tablespoon of bitters at the end and really did use a whole three cups of sugar instead of two.
The growth process was somewhat MacGyver-ed. I used these tiny plastic cups as the greenhouse growth place for the sticks because I wanted to not have to make gallons of the sugar solution, but I left the sticks a little too close to the bottom of the glasses, and they sort of grew crystals into the bottom of the glass. So when you go for it, I recommend using larger glasses and keeping your sticks about an inch from the bottom.
You can also dangle strings into the glasses. My major MAJOR happy idea was to grow rock candy on the ends of sparklers and stick THAT in a champagne glass. IMAGINE.
I let these grow for two weeks? I think? Maybe a little less.
You can save the extra sugar that crystallizes on the glasses for decor, and save the extra simple syrup for drinks/recipes. It’s interchangeable like maple syrup or honey and will last at least a few weeks in the fridge.
To use up the bitters syrup, I decided to try a floral chocolate cupcake, replacing the sugar in the normal recipe with the syrup. The end flavor result was real subtle, kind of like bitters in drinks, but the idea is worth fleshing out in future. And the rock candy leftovers made decorating a no-brainer.