May 2014

Who's Serving What: Housemade Bitters

By: The Tasting Panel Editorial Team

Housemade Bitters Across the Country!



From Manhattans to Old Fashioneds, bitters have long been a staple in cocktail culture, but rather than relying on Angostura or Peychaud's, mixologists are making their own traditional and flavored bitters from scratch. Embodying the "craft" philosophy by making bitters in-house gives mixologists creative possibilities to deepen the flavor profile of their drinks, and lends an authentic quality to any cocktail. Below are a few standout examples from bars and restaurants nationwide.


Los Angeles:

   
    The Angry Angelino  


Restaurant: Providence

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Mixologist: Katie Provenza

Description: At Michelin-starred Providence, mixologist Katie Provenza mixes up a cocktail with a little kick to contrast the delicacy of renowned Chef Michael Cimarusti's seafood dishes. The Angry Angelino combines blanco tequila, Fernet Branca, ginger, lime, and jalapeño bitters for a drink that stands on its own, yet pairs well with even the most subtle flavors.

 

   
     Mixologist Derrick Bass at Willie Jane


Restaurant:
Willie Jane

Location: Venice, CA

Mixologist: Derrick Bass

Description: Mixologist Derrick Bass creates new cocktails weekly featuring various housemade bitters, including vanilla bean espresso bitters for the Redneck Russian, mixed with espresso infused bourbon, cynar, and cream, as well as wasabi bitters for the Wah Sah Bee?, mixed with vodka and Averna amaro.



Midwest:


Restaurant:
Taste by Niche

Location: St. Louis, MO

Mixologist: Kyle Mathis

Description: Lead mixologist Kyle Mathis incorporates his housemade pineapple bitters into the tiki-inspired cocktail, Tai One On, with Rittenhouse Rye, Black Bottle scotch, Orgeat, Dry Curaçao, and lime. In the Pushing Forward Back, Kyle mixes his housemade peach bitters with North Shore #11 gin, Big O Ginger, maple, lemon, and Gruet Brut, for a flavorful and refreshing cocktail.


   
   Cat's Pajamas at Sepia in Chicago  


Restaurant: Sepia

Location: Chicago, IL

Mixologist: Griffin Elliott

Description: Head Bartender Griffin Elliott makes several bitters to enhance his vintage-meets-modern cocktails at Michelin-starred Sepia, including the Cat's Pajamas, made with Old Weller Antique, Averna, Carpano Antica, and maraschino cherry-vanilla bitters.


Restaurant: TWO

Location: Chicago, IL

Mixologist: Graham Crowe     

Description: Mixologist Graham Crowe adds his hopped grapefruit bitters to the Neon Balaclava, which is his take on a Moscow Mule.












South:


   
   The Swine Old-Fashioned  


Restaurant: Swine Southern Table & Bar

Location: Miami, FL

Mixologist: Josh Holliday

Description: Josh Holliday's innovative cocktails complement the elevated southern cuisine at Swine Southern Table & Bar. The Swine Old-Fashioned is made with bacon-washed Old Overholt Rye, maple syrup, and ' Swine' bitters.


Restaurant: Brennan's of Houston

Location: Houston, TX

Mixologist: Richard Middleton

Description: Mixologist Richard Middleton punches up a classic with the Devil's Cut Manhattan. Devil's Cut bourbon whiskey and Vya sweet vermouth get a subtle burst of sweetness from Brennan's vanilla bitters.

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