Nothing soothes the soul in the frigid winter months like a properly composed cocktail. Even if you are lucky enough to reside in a warmer climate it is essential to have the right ingredients on hand when mixing your elixir. The strategic use of a good bitter can make a delicious spirit really sing, and, after scouting the scene for the past few months, we have turned up two outstanding bitters brands that are sure to enhance any booze-based concoction.
Scrappy's Bitters out of Seattle, WA provide a delightful addition when mixing it up. Handcrafted in small batches by bitters enthusiast and bartender Miles Thomas, the old-fashioned compositions pack extraordinary flavor and depth. With flavors ranging from celery to lime, Thomas' line is sure to offer an iteration to match any profile. Each ingredient is hand-processed by Thomas and mixed with a blend of herbs and spices that gives his bitters an edge a true cocktail craftsman can appreciate.
We discovered this second outstanding small-batch bitters company during a recent visit to Chicago's Dose Market. Bittercube slow-crafts their bitters in a two-month process to deliver fantastic flavor profiles with a huge variety of options. Founded by bartenders Nicholas Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz, the brand has evolved since 2009, with the two combining their knowledge and skills to perfect the formulas behind their macerated delicacies. From the Bolivar, which contains cassis chamomile, to the Blackstrap's mix of molasses and sarsparilla, Bittercube flavors add great texture and complexity to a drink.