It wasn’t too long ago that the bitters world was dominated by Angostura, and your local liquor store was progressive if they carried Peychaud’s and Fee’s. These days, stalwarts like Angostura are joined on store shelves by Regan’s, The Bitter Truth and Bittermen’s, among others, which is good news for bartenders and home enthusiasts. One of the newer companies to produce an extensive lineup of bitters is Scrappy’s, which has found a home in many Pacific Northwest-area bars.
Founded in 2008 by Seattle bartender Miles Thomas, Scrappy’s makes seven different bitters – lavender, lime, grapefruit, orange, chocolate, cardamom and celery – and their website promises two more in the near future: aromatic and root beer. We recently received a gift box containing Scrappy’s cardamom, grapefruit, lime and orange bitters. For evaluation, we tasted each by itself, added some to water, and mixed up a few cocktails. Some thoughts —
Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters
Strong cardamom aroma and flavor, balanced with a bit of citrus. It’s sweet and spicy, and should work well with a variety of aromatic drinks and hot toddies.
Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters
Bitter grapefruit peel merges with sweet gentian root, for an overall flavor that’s light and zesty. For good results, add it to gin drinks and aperitifs.
Scrappy’s Lime Bitters
First off, kudos to Scrappy’s for producing a lime bitters, which is certainly under-represented in the citrus bitters category. The lime bitters are intensely fresh, with a huge burst of lime peel followed by subtle spices and herbs.
Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
Bitter orange and spices mingle for a fresh and flavorful bitters that leave an unctuous, orange-chocolate candy flavor in the mouth. Delicious with soda and in rich gin drinks like the martinez.
Scrappy’s Bitters are available at many bars and shops in the Pacific Northwest, and select others around the country. To purchase them for home use, your best bet is buying online via stores like Kaufmann Mercantile.