Books & Bitters


Date: February 17, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: R/D 691 Auahi St, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

A bar is not a bar without bitters. Historically speaking, a cocktail is not a cocktail without bitters, at least, according to the May 13, 1806 edition of the Federalist newspaper in an article titled The Balance, and Columbian Repository. Though prominent behind the bar, it is difficult to find an eloquent and articulate definition for bitters. For example, the common description, "the spices of cocktails," leaves many confused. The world of bar-fresh commonly utilizes freshly grated spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in drinks. The definition, “the seasonings for cocktails like salt and pepper,” is conceptually accurate, but still leaves much unknown. The historical usage of bitters as a medical remedy does not provide relevant context either. Rather, through dissection of the history, ingredients, varieties and usages the following definition can be formulated: 

Aromatic Bitters are a potent, concentrated potion of fruits, roots, herbs, spices, and botanicals accented by bitter notes. A couple of dashes added to a cocktail enhance dimension, depth and provide bittersweet contrast to the accompanying liquors, fruits or other sweeteners.

On Feburary 17 from 1:00 to 2:30 at 691 Auahi St, Kyle Reutner of Hawaii Bitters Co. will be guiding, attendees through this unique culinary category. The seminar will focus on the craft of bitters making as well as their utilization in cocktails both at home or at establishments via a tasting of the Hawaii Bitter’s Co.’s newly released line. Browse R/D’s curated selection of books including "Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas". As a bonus: you'll receive a newly created Hawaii Bitters Co. Gift Pack worth $35.