Whether making a champagne cocktail or spiced wine, these aromatic bitters turn the enthusiastic home bartender into a professional mixologist. Bittermens Bitters, $18.95 each; Kegworks.
A classic Swedish-style bitter schnapps created by Avery Glasser, co-founder of Bittermens!
Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate, $18
The bespoke bitters-maker boom is one of the more ridiculous outcroppings of the handcrafted-everything movement. (Has Portlandia taught us nothing?) But it’s also helped bring erstwhile products like orange bitters — an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails, including the original martini — back to our shelves. This take on the pre-Prohibition staple, from Brooklyn-based producer Bittermens, favors the fresh, juicy flavors of a glass of O.J. to the baking-spice profile of a classic orange bitter. Their Orange Cream Citrate, a tart and sweetish tincture of orange cream and citric acid, is based on a soda fountain syrup. And because it isn’t actually bitter, it plays well with amari and other dry spirits. Counting Room bartender Maksym Pazuniak pairs it with Campari, Cynar, citrus, and smoked grenadine in his 8 1/2 cocktail. At home, use the Citrate to bring a dose of day-glo brightness to deep, rich spirits like scotch, or add a drop to any cocktail that calls for an orange garnish (negronis, sherry cobblers, any kind of collins).
In 2007, Janet and Avery Glasser launched the Bittermens bitters company. In 2011, they leased a space in Brooklyn, where the two of them made and bottled cocktail ingredients like Boston Bittahs, Hopped Grapefruit Bitters and Xocolatl Mole Bitters. The business was growing. But they figured it would be at least three years before they’d need a larger space. But now they’ve already outgrown the Brooklyn facility. So at the end of the month they’ll pack up their equipment, and by early February Bittermens will be a New Orleans product.
A couple dashes of the right bitters can elevate a mere mixed drink into a true cocktail. The Xocolatl Mole bitters from Bittermens are made in small batches from cocoa, cinnamon and spices, and go especially well with dark rum-based drinks, like bartender Benjamin Deacon’s Kraken old-fashioned (try them with bourbon and rye, too). What’s more, the little glass bottle comes with an eye-dropper lid—a fun detail that ensures precise dosing while slyly nodding to bitters’ old-timey medicinal past. $23.
A swirl of three equal parts Hakushu 12-year-old single malt Japanese whisky (“light, smoky and well-balanced,” according to Polsky); wild cherry- and quinine-infused Maurin Quina white wine; and Gran Classico Bitter liqueur, topped off with spicy-tart Bittermens Burlesque bitters and a dried cherry garnish, the amber-colored Shibui is “essentially a sixth cousin of the Negroni,” as Polsky points out.
1 oz. Maurin Quina
I often get the job of bartender when we have a party and I love creating a signature drink. It’s a great way to kick start the night. “The Lime-el Hampton” and the “Sagaponack Chronic” are two of my more infamous libations. With pride and a little bit of warning, I can say both cocktails actually led to pregnancies and engagements. This drink recipe brings a little twist of the islands to a classic holiday combo of spiced rum and apple cider. A couple dashes of ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters from Brooklyn’s own Bittermens adds some warm and cheery tropical flavor. Allspice and cinnamon are prominent in these bitters and work deliciously well with apple and rum. It’s quick, fast and easy, so if you end up having to make a bunch of them, you can still keep it together. I think I’ll call this one “The Island Hopper.” So crank up the Hawaiian Christmas music and enjoy. I recommend the Makaha Sons. Mele Kalikimaka!
via The Island Hopper.
The newbie in my house now is Bittermens Citron Sauvage liqueur. I’ve long been a fan of the products from Avery & Janet Glasser – I was evangelizing about their bitters long before they were commercially available, and continue to be impressed by everything of theirs I’ve tasted – and, as someone who thinks the bitter complexity of grapefruit is one of the cocktail world’s less-explored avenues of wonder, I made sure Bittermens’ grapefruit liqueur made it into my order.
This week we highlight one of EO’s prize-winning cocktails, the “Ready, Fire, Aim”. Named after a military term meaning ‘Act Before Thinking’. It may look sweet and pink and served in a glass called a coupe which was modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast, this appetizing spring cocktail packs a spicy fragrant punch.
From GQ Magazine:
Leah Koenig reminisces about Dr. Browns Cel-Ray soda in the Daily Forward and showcases a pair of new products inspired by the classic beverage – including our Orchard Street Celery Shrub.