I’m really enamored with cocktail bitters, from tried and true stalwarts like Angostura, Peychaud’s and Regan’s Orange to new offerings from The Bitter Truth. Aside from using bitters to enhance my cocktails, I even consume bitters with a bit of club soda before or after meals to aid digestion. So I was pretty excited when a package arrived from Urban Moonshine, a company in Burlington, Vermont, whose mission is to “rekindle the relationship between herbal medicine and the modern world” by producing handcrafted, organic bitters and tonics.
Urban Moonshine offers three bitters-Original, Citrus and Maple-and three tonics-Immunity, Longevity and Chocolate Love. Each variety of bitters is available in a 10ml spray bottle, a 20z bottle with pipette and 8.4oz bottle.
I sampled each bitters first in a glass of water and then in a cocktail. In water, the Original tasted similar to an aromatic bitters with complex, earthy, herby flavors, while the citrus was more – bitter than I expected, but still pleasant, with flavors or orange and maybe even some lime. The Maple was sweet and decidedly maple-tasting, as the name suggests.
For cocktails, I used the Citrus bitters in a martini, and used both the Original and Maple bitters in a manhattan and old fashioned. In the martini, the Citrus bitters worked quite well, adding a deep orangey note to the cocktail. In both the manhattan and old fashioned, each constructed with rye whiskey, the Original bitters worked nicely. But it was the Maple that really shined, adding a sweet and balanced note to the spiciness of the rye.