Beautiful bitters from Bittered Sling
Vancouver, BC – In the midst of a dine around last night during the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival, I had a preview of the next phase in bitters. As you probably know, the cocktail culture in 2014 is all about fresh juices, esoteric (some would say terroir) spirits and of course, bitters. But in the heart of Vancouver, there is a husband-wife team dedicated to new, ground-breaking bitters like I’ve never seen. Fortunately, I had a chance to taste some of their hard work, as a sort of preview of what Chicago drinkers can expect this year, thanks to the fact they’re close to getting a Midwest distributor.
But first, a note about the Dine Out event. From Jan. 17 to Feb. 2, hundreds of this city’s restaurants are offering set-price menus of $18, $28 and $38. It’s Canada’s largest restaurant festival, and I’m apparently in the middle of it. At PiDGin last night, they offered the Dine Out menu, as they did at almost every other restaurant I looked into. In many ways, it’s like the Restaurant Weeks taking place this month and next in Chicago and New York City; a great way to spur business in what is typically the slowest time of year. Certainly, a busy dining room on a Monday in any city is a good sign. Also, a number of hotels are offering great rates on stays during this time period. Click here for more info about the event.
But back to those bitters. Lauren Mote and her fiancé started Bittered Sling last year as a way to infuse drinks and other libations with some new, slightly exotic twists. I had a chance to sample their plum & rootbeer as well as the grapefruit & British Columbia hops. The nose was almost more powerful than the taste, which leads me to believe they will be offering atomizers pretty soon to spray the inside of a coupe glass near you. I watched Mote do her thing at Uva Wine Bar last night, and I must say, impressed. I told her about some of my likes – brown liquor, Root, citrus – and she came up with some crazy Kentucky bourbon, green chartreuse, peach syrup, lemon juice-celery bitters creation that blew my mind. Cheers to seeing their product in the Midwest later this year.