In early 2012, we started working with chicory and coffee – two classic bitter flavors that have been part of New Orleans’ iconic coffee blends for over a hundred years. In the late spring, we came up with a great cocktail bitter recipe based on these flavors and brought a sample of them down to New Orleans to see if local bartenders thought we were doing their city proud.While we were tasting folks on the bitters, fate intervened.
On the first day of a multi-day tour through the bars of the city, we ended up at Mid-City’s Twelve Mile Limit where we started talking to the bartender about local roasters making great coffee in New Orleans. It ends up that the bartender, Anderson Stockdale, was also an award-winning barista.
She gave us a great idea for a coffee liqueur, but we still thought that coffee bitters worked beautifully in so many applications that we decided to make both.
Our New Orleans Coffee Bitters blends locally roasted Brazilian Coffee Beans with organic roasted French chicory root. We then add a touch of vanilla, quassia and a handful of cacao nibs. In the spirit of classic soda-shop lactarts, we added in a bit of lactic acid as well.
We thought that if we’re going to use New Orleans in the name, then we want to give something back to the city. So, for every bottle sold worldwide, we’re donating fifty cents to a New Orleans charity. We’ll post the name of each charity we select on this page.
Currently retired – try our New Orleans Coffee Liqueur instead!
If they had a national cocktail in Spain, it would most likely be the gin and tonic. They’ve taken this simple drink and turned it into something special. We remember going to more than one gin bar in Madrid where they had over 50 different types of gin, 5 different tonics and dozens of different garnishes. These drinks would be built in large goblets and served with a flourish.
While living in Spain, we found that with certain gins, a slice of cucumber was a perfect addition to the gin and tonic. However, at the same time, we sometimes found that the cucumber made the drink a little soft.
So, when our distributor in Spain asked us to create cucumber forward bitters for the Spanish market, we knew we had a chance to do something different. So, what did we do? We decided to make our own gin. Ok, it wasn’t really a gin, but we took neutral grain spirit and infused it with juniper, bitter melon, cherry bark and lavender. Then we added in some more florals and a few tart berries. The idea was to build a set of complementary flavors that supported gins, making them more complex – more “ginny”.
From there, we added in cucumber and cucumber hydrosol – organic cucumbers distilled in water instead of alcohol – and finished it with a pinch of malic acid, again for that green apple sourness.
Of course, it makes a uniquely wonderful gin and tonic, but it also works beautifully in a martini!
The Aromatic Cucumber bitters have become the base of our Winter Melon bitters!