Drop It Like It’s Hot
Artisan bitters all the rage with cocktail craze
1 - The Bitter Housewife
Catching the “cocktail” bug while managing a bar in San Francisco in 2007, Genevieve Brazelton eventually transformed her tinkering into her own tinctures branded as The Bitter Housewife. Each flavor (Aromatic, Cardamom, Grapefruit, Bull Run Barrel-Aged, Orange, Lime Corriander) is made “amicably” in Portland with strictly real ingredients. www.thebitterhousewife.com
2 - Portland Bitters Project
Embracing the city’s cocktail craze, Cindy Capparelli founded the Portland Bitters Project in 2013 with a passion for botanically enhanced booze — or soda water — and a love of experimentation — common theme in this article. Packaged in light-protecting amber bottles, these concoctions should stay fresh until the last drop. Flavors: Aromatic, Woodland, Aviation Lavender, Super Spice, Pitch Dark Cacao. www.portlandbittersproject.com
3 - Carlton Cocktail Company
Concocted by the founders of Republic of Jam, Carlton Cocktail Company’s bitters are complex formulas of herbs, botanicals, fruits, spices, roots, barks and bittering agents distilled in a liquor base. Experimentation encouraged; good times guaranteed. Flavors include: Coffee Pecan, Douglas Fir, Woodland Cherry, Ginny D Aromatic, Kumquat and more. www.republicofjam.com
4 - Addition Cocktail Spices
Just as no chef would dream of preparing a dish without reaching into the spice rack, Addition founders Matt Hemeyer and Eric Salenski believe no serious bartender should create a cocktail without access to an arsenal of flavors either. Crafted in Seattle’s Georgetown, the company’s “cocktail spices” represent more than 25 flavors, including Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Curry, Fenugreek, Horseradish, Rosemary and many more. www.drinkaddition.com
5 - Scrappy’s Bitters
Searching for better bitters, Seattle bartender Miles Thomas began researching and immersing himself in the world of herbs and methods of extraction. His journey proved fruitful. After years of perfecting his recipes, Thomas launched Scrappy’s Bitters in 2008. Flavors: Lavender, Grapefruit, Orange, Cardamom, Chocolate, Celery, Lime, Aromatic, Black Lemon, Firewater and Orleans, plus seasonal/experimental offerings. www.scrappysbitters.com
Classic Sparkling Cocktail
1 sugar cube
* aromatic bitters (or flavor of choice)
* Oregon sparkling wine
Soak sugar cube in bitters and drop into Champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine.
Recipe from Genevieve Brazelton, The Bitter Housewife
* Lillet (French wine aperitif)
* soda water
6 dashes Bitter Housewife grapefruit bitters
Mix equal parts Lillet and soda water with six dashes grapefruit bitters. Stir and serve.
Recipe from Lynnette Shaw, Carlton Cocktail Co.
1 ounce bourbon
½ ounce Cointreau
7 dashes Angostura bitters (or Carlton Cocktail Co. Aromatica bitters)
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
5 ounces chilled dry Champagne
Mix together first four ingredients in Champagne flute. Stir and top with sparkling wine.
Recipe from Cindy Capparelli, Portland Bitters Project
4 ounces sparkling wine
¼ ounce fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Demerara syrup (see recipe below)
¼ dropper of Portland Bitters Project Lavender Bitters
* thin lime twist
Combine lime juice and syrup in white wine glass. Stir well. Top with sparkling wine and finish with bitters. Garnish with twist. Demerara syrup: Combine 1 cup demerara or turbinado sugar with 1 cup water in small saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature and transfer to clean glass jar. Cover and keep refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Best place for bitters?
The Meadow in Portland — and New York City — where owner Mark Bitterman can do more than suggest a brand or flavor; he’s become an expert on the subject, publishing “Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari” in October 2015. Learn more about The Meadow at www.themeadow.com.