Small batch bitters are making their mark on the cocktail scene. In cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco, cocktail enthusiasts and bartenders are rediscovering long lost recipes and coming up with new signature flavors which help create the palate of the New American Cocktail. While living in San Francisco in early 2007, Avery and Janet Glasser used high proof spirit and a variety of herbs, peels and spices to create an extract of a traditional Mexican cooking sauce. This extract became the prototype recipe for the Xocolatl Mole Bitters. The summer of 2010 marked a dramatic rebirth for Bittermens: winding down previous licensing agreements, striking new partnerships, developing new products and most importantly, leasing a commercial kitchen. All Bittermens products are now being made by hand at our Brooklyn facility using primarily organic ingredients. Bittermens also consults with bars and restaurants looking to develop signature in-house formulations.
When a bar in Brooklyn told us that their source for cranberry bitters had dried up and that the alternatives didn’t work for the bar’s most successful punch, we thought we’d see if we could help them out. We tried the punch without any bitters at all and tried to figure out what the profile would need to be. In the end, it did need some spice, vanilla and acidity as well as some sour berries, but it didn’t really need any more bitterness. We initially thought that we would make one batch for the bar as a bespoke formulation, but when we started to pass it around our sample bars, bartenders immediately took interest in the flavor. So, in 2011 we decided to put it into circulation through the experimental series as the Spiced Cranberry Cream Citrate. When we decided to launch the new Regional Series, we reformulated the citrate – exchanging the citric acid for malic acid… substituting citrus notes for nice green apple tartness. By the way, it works particularly well with cognac and bourbon and teams up nicely with both our Xocolatl Mole Bitters as well as other aromatic bitters.