Scrappy's Bitters

Martinez Cocktail- Recipe Below

Martinez Cocktail- Recipe Below

Scrappy's Bitters first hit the bitters scene in 2008 when it wasn't the crowded market it's become today, and they have only grown more successful since that time. Part of their success can be attributed to their commitment to organic ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors. Scrappy's "craft" bitters are perfect representations of the ingredients they contain along with a balance of carefully selected herbs and spices. We mixed up a few of their recommendations, one classic cocktail and two original cocktails from influential West Coast bartenders. 

Dr. Girlfriend Cocktail

Dr. Girlfriend Cocktail

Dr. Girlfriend

(recipe from Phil Thompson, of Tavern Law

1.25 oz Gin

.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

.5 oz Aperol

.75 oz Grapefruit Juice

.5 oz Lemon Juice

Float Scrappy's Lavender Bitters

Add all ingredients to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-30 seconds. Double-strain into chilled cocktail glass. 

Better Part of Valor

Better Part of Valor

Better Part of Valor

(recipe from Allison Weber) 

1.5 oz Weste Bourne Navy Strength Gin

1 oz Cocchi Americano

.75 oz Amaro Nonino

1/8 oz Fernet

2 dashes of Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters

Add all ingredients to cocktail mixing glass filled with ice. Stir for 30-45 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. 

 

Martinez

1 oz Old Tom Gin

2 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes Scrappy's Orange Bitters

1/8 oz Maraschino

 Add all ingredients to cocktail mixing glass filled with ice. Stir for 30-45 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist. 

How to make Orange Bitters

Winter Bitters

Winter Bitters

I love bitters. I love making them, sampling them, and infusing just about anything I can get my hands on to see if it makes sense in bitters (within reason of course). As such, my collection of randomly assorted and labeled jars occasionally means the bitter blends get forgotten on the basement shelf to languish into obscurity. But no more! After recreating an original or classic bitters recipe, it's only fitting that it should be destined for a vessel to showcase your time and patience. Many craft cocktail establishments have embraced the "old-timey" crystal bitters bottles which give their bars a vintage feel and are a great conversation starter whether out at the bar, or making drinks at home with friends. 

Even if you're not into making your own bitters, you can transfer store-bought bitters into the vessel for a more elegant look.  

If you are interested in diving into the world of making your own bitters, the recipes below are simply a starting place, so feel free to experiment with your own blends of spices and flavors.  

Orange Bitters:

350ml Everclear (or high-proof vodka)

3/4 cup dried orange peels

1 1/2 tablespoons coriander

1/2 teaspoon fennel

3 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon gentian.  

Place in a sealed jar and let sit for two weeks. Lightly shake jar once a day, and strain through coffee filter after 14 days into clean vessel.  

Winter Bitters:

350ml Everclear (or high-proof vodka) 

6 whole star anise pods

1 vanilla bean

1/2 tbsp cloves

Place in a sealed jar and let sit for two weeks. Lightly shake jar once a day, and strain through coffee filter after 14 days into clean vessel.  

 

Turf

Turf:

1.5 oz Old Tom gin (Ransom)
Dash Angostura bitters
3 Dash orange bitters (Urban Moonshine)
Lemon zest

Stir over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Express oils over cocktail and garnish with lemon twist.

This recipe is from Modern American Drinks:How to Mix and Serve All Kinds of Cups and Drinks by George J. Kappeler, published in 1900. Ransom Old Tom Gin is one of the best offerings from Ransom Spirits, as it is very unique and delicious. With no addtional sweeteners, this cocktail is not for the faint of heart (though the Old Tom Gin does contribute more sweetness than a tradtional London Dry, a result of it's brief stint spent in barrels) The gin is citrus forward with grapefruit, lemon peel, ajowain, peppercorn, cardamom, cedar, pine, and juniper notes. In the same vein as the flavor profile of Ransom Distillery Small's Gin, cardamom takes the lead role. Thanks to brands like Urban Moonshine and Ransom Distillery, the ability to authentically make this classic cocktail with modern ingredients has become a reality. What's your favorite recipe with Old Tom Gin?

 

Waiting for You

Waiting for You:

2 oz vodka (Peabody Jones)
.75 oz Madarine Napoleon 
.5 oz lime juice
less than dash Absinthe (1912 Absinthe Verte Great Lakes Distillery) 
Dash cardamom bitters (Bob's) 
Dash orange and mandarine bitters (Bob's)

Shake all ingredients except absinthe over ice. Double strain into chilled absinthe rinsed glass)

While new vodka's generally don't get my heart pattering, I have to say I was very excited for the opportunity to work with our Northern neighbors and relative newcomer on the spirit scence, the Woodinville Whiskey Company from Woodinville, Washington and their vodka offering, Peabody Jones Vodka. Woodinville joins the camp of those who believe it's alright for vodkas to have flavor (we like this camp), and with a toasted almond and vanilla nose, creamy flavorful taste, with mild spicy clean finish, it is simply delicious. It is moderately sweet, so you may need to adjust the liqueur level for this cocktail to preference if another brand of vodka is used. The absinthe is mostly used for aroma sake, and results in a great licorice and warm spice bouquet. This was also the first time we had the opportunity to work with Bob's Bitters, which helped add complexity to the cocktail and worked to brighten and heighten the mandarin flavor in the Mandarine Napoleon orange liqueur.