As cocktail culture has been revitalized over the past few years, mixologists everywhere are dropping personal touches into their handcrafted concoctions. House bitters is a term you will see on menus at respected cocktail bars across the country, some of which are in our own backyard (Zig Zag Café and Tavern Law to name a few). Bartenders who put forth the effort to make their own bitters are given a certain amount of credibility I believe; you appreciate the craftsmanship behind the cocktail.
So…reusing an empty angostura bottle I recently put the cap on my own homemade bitters! Using a vodka base, I added anise, cardamom, licorice root, coriander, and cinnamon. I let that sit for about a week. I then strained the liquid and added lavender seeds and vanilla beans. After another week of rest I strained it into the bottle. I was pleasantly surprised on how it turned out and have already tested it with a few different recipes… My favorite: Gin. St Germain. Lemon. Lavender Vanilla Bitters.
Ever since I was young, I’ve always had the idea that I would someday start my own business. Ideas for that business would seem to come and go – the future remained cloudy. Within the last year, my vision has become more clear than ever. One day, I will open my own bar.
My love for the craft began around the first time I saw the film Cocktail, at the age of ten. With a sing-along soundtrack (Aruba, Jamaica oooh I wanna take ya…) and Elizabeth Shue, it quickly became one of my favorite rentals. Tom Cruise plays a down and out student turn consummate bartender. With every high-flying bottle flip and suave bar trick, Cruise made me believe that being a bartender would be the coolest job ever. Even at a young age, the idea of being someone people seek out for good drinks and good company appealed to me. I don’t think anyone really grows up aspiring to be a bartender though, and so as I grew reality caught up. Years passed and I never seriously thought about the craft…until now.
Now I feel I’ve found a passion that wont rest. I’m taking a great deal of pride in becoming a bartender dedicated to the art of creating a fine cocktail. Crafting my own infusions, syrups, tinctures and bitters. Studying the history behind classic cocktails. Honoring the traditions of the craft while paying close attention to the modern innovations being unveiled by the great bartenders across the country. My dream is that my dedication will lead to my ultimate hope for The Real McCoy; that one day my traveling bar will find a permanent home.