18.21 Bitters

Crafting a Better Cocktail

Extra Extra Read All About It! PROHIBITION IS OVER! 18.21 Bitters was created to craft a better cocktail. We may no longer need to disguise our smuggled libations but it sure is fun to pretend! Scroll through our products to see the finest in premium, small batch, handcrafted cocktail bitters, tinctures, shrubs, syrups and tonic, ginger beer and pre-mixed craft cocktails. Throw on your top hat, grab a bottle and have a roaring good time!

 

Scary Good Halloween Cocktails

The most frightening day of the year is almost here and with it, plenty of spooky and fun halloween parties. We have put together a few fun, easy and delicious cocktails that you can serve to your guests and some come with a scary surprise!

“Morticia’s Fantasy”

This cocktail is black like death but tastes like heaven!

Add to a shaker

2oz Rye Whiskey

1/2oz 18.21 Blackberry Peppercorn Shrub

1/2oz Lemon Juice

1/2oz Ancho Reyes

8 drops 18.21 Spicy Creole Bitters

Shake and strain into coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel and a plastic spider!

“Eye See You”

Watch out for the spooky floating eyeball…oh wait..that’s the garnish….a lychee with a cherry inside!

Add to a shaker

2oz Gin or Vodka

1/2oz 18.21 Blood Orange and Ginger Shrub

1/2oz 18.21 Hibiscus Syrup

1/2oz Grapefruit Juice

Strain into a rocks glass over ice and top with ginger beer. To garnish, stuff a Filthy brand cherry into a lychee fruit and skewer.

“Witche’s Brew Punch”

For a larger format drink that is easy for your guests to grab and drink try a punch!

Build in a punch bowl:

40oz Dark Rum

20oz 18.21 Apple Cardamom Shrub

20oz St. George Spiced Pear

5 oz Lemon Juice

.5oz 18.21 Prohibition Aromatic Bitters

16oz sparkling cider

Stir well

Put out cups and let guests add their ice and then fill their cups with punch!

(Target sells a witches cauldron perfect for this drink! click here )

So Inspired by these Female Leaders in our Industry!

1,867 viewsOct 22, 2018, 09:01pm

Women Running The Liquor World: Part One

Chelsea DavisContributori

Dining & Drinking

Though the spirits industry is often characterized as one dominated by men, that isn’t to say that there aren’t plenty of women who are currently at the helm of some of the world’s most notable liquor brands. From master distillers, brand ambassadors and owners to those at the forefront of marketing, innovation and every role in between, these women haven't let stereotypical industry “norms” hold them back. Today they are leaders in their respective fields, shaking up the world of liquor, all while proving gender is irrelevant when it comes to crafting the perfect libation.

We hung out with the badass women running the liquor world to talk humble beginnings, career paths, “made it” moments, favorite cocktails and more. This is part one of two.

Sarah Long, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP, at Rémy Cointreau

How did you break into the spirits industry?

My first foray into the industry was in college where I ran two of the campus bars, and over one summer, I secured the capital, oversaw the construction, and doubled the size of one both physically and financially. From there, I saw an opportunity to license our football games, and, as I did not want to miss the revenue opportunity of Homecoming, I carried the liquor license under my own name to meet the deadline. The news of the game being licensed was my first introduction to the power of public relations. Homecoming football attendance hit a 15-year-high, and looking back, the personal liability risk I took at age 22 was not lost on me!

After college, I worked in brand management at Proctor & Gamble before being recruited to Molson Coors, Canada’s largest beer distributor, which as a Canadian was a dream job. We owned and managed the rights to six NHL teams, concert venues and an entertainment group. Through this, I learned the value of creating meaningful consumer engagements and experiences and even brought in Foo Fighters and Oasis for a 400 person concert for our most loyal consumers. From there I moved to New York and joined Diageo working across innovation and marketing over six years. After Diageo, I took a break from the spirits world to work at a startup in digital and social media technology and consulting, which was a valuable experience as both a marketer and client.

After a few years there, I quickly came back to spirits when I was presented with the opportunity to work at Rémy Cointreau, whose portfolio of exceptional spirits appealed to me and allowed me to focus more on luxury, which is a passion of mine.

How do you see the industry evolving?

The industry is constantly changing and right now we are seeing a big trend in millennials drinking less, but drinking better. People are becoming more interested in the ingredients and are willing to spend more for a quality product. In addition, consumers are looking for brands to tell meaningful stories and they are drawn to authenticity.

A brand or product’s integrity is increasingly scrutinized.  I consider myself fortunate that the brands I work across at Rémy Cointreau truly embody the values we see our consumers looking for and it’s why some of them have existed over 300 years. Our focus on people, terroir, and time, and building our brands sustainably for the future is the reason I come to work every day.

What do you love the most about your job?

I love being in an industry that is social in its nature and thrives in making meaningful connections, especially finding ways to engage with consumers. I love the challenge of an ever-changing media landscape, competitive set, and most importantly, the challenge consumers pose in demanding more of us, both our products and how we engage. Finally, it’s a complex industry that relies on a solid business foundation, relationships and collaboration, which suits my high extraversion very well.

What is your favorite cocktail?

A spicy mezcal margarita, made with Cointreau.

Jenna Fagnan, President, Tequila Avion

How did your life affect your decision to get into the spirits industry?

I was born in an Eskimo village in Alaska and was raised in a small logging and fishing town in Oregon. At 14-year-old, my first job ever was bussing tables, from that point on I stayed within the hospitality industry and just worked my way up from there in restaurants.  I never thought of going into the wine and spirits world, but I always loved the hospitality and restaurant industries, so I in a way it was a natural avenue, but not one that was consciously planned.

How did you get your start in the liquor world?

Working in restaurants was my first glimpse of it, but it never hit me to go into it.  It wasn’t until I graduated from business school and I had the opportunity to manage Dom Perignon for LVMH (Moet Hennessy / Louis Vuitton).  At the time, it was a quiet, dusty brand that no one was paying attention to, so it was an incredible opportunity to gather an innovative team together shake things up and make it shine.

Did you always envision yourself going into the liquor business? 

Not at all.  My parents are in the non-profit world, so I always thought that is where I would end up. Luckily with Avion it really is a mix of both as we have been very focused since the beginning on creating jobs in the town of Jesus Maria which is Avion’s home, rather than automating as we grew. We have also been fortunate enough to help build an orphanage in the region where there is a great need and start a foundation to help give back there. It is really a freeing time to be in a business where you don’t need to just focus on the bottom line. Giving back can be a just as important part of your business model.

Today I really enjoy managing Avion, the brand I helped build with Ken Austin and the Lopez family. Even though we have sold it to Pernod Ricard, it is still my baby and I love being involved in its next chapter.

What have you learned from being in the liquor industry and what advice would you give to young women looking to follow in your footsteps?

Life is too short to not do what energizes you. I had a job once where I would wake up and dread going into the office (it wasn’t in the wine and spirits business). I regret wasting that time.  In the wine and spirits business, even though there are tough days and nights where I am working non-stop, I’m always excited to see what the day will bring. We need more women in the wine and spirits business. I would recommend not worrying about the brand or your title in your first jobs, but instead, focus on who you are going to work with.  Work for someone or a group that you will learn from and who are passionate, ambitious and good human beings. That’s what is important. I was lucky to have great teachers in this business and I still do.

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite cocktail is an Avion Old Fashioned.  Everyone thinks they need to make an old-fashioned with bourbon, but most haven’t tried one with Avion Anejo.  Our Avion Anejo has been aged for 2 years in ex-bourbon barrels and the depth of the age along with the fruit forward agave flavor of Avion, makes for the best Old Fashioned you have ever tried. 

Robyn Greene, SVP Brand Marketing and Innovation, Cooper Spirits Company

What did you originally go to school for?

I double majored in Psychology and Communications at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. My plan was to head to law school after pursuing my undergraduate degree.  While in college I ended up securing an internship as a Marketing and PR intern at News Corp.  I started studying for my LSAT that same summer and found the work I was doing in my internship much more interesting and exciting than I found the LSAT materials. That's when I knew a career in PR and Marketing was the right direction for me.

How did you get your start in the liquor world?

I had the good fortune early in my career to work on an agency team that managed the Rémy Martin cognac business.  My specific focus was on Louis XIII, the ultra-premium brand in their portfolio—one of the finest spirits in the world—it was quite the introduction to the spirits industry! This experience had me traveling to Cognac, where I was fully immersed in the craftsmanship of cognac making and the incredible history and story of the portfolio's brands. After that, I was hooked on the industry—the artistry of production, the heritage and poetic brand stories and the challenge of creating relevance to today's consumer.

When did you know you had “made it” in the liquor industry?

I will never think, “I’ve made it.” A career is a constant evolution and progression and I’m incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on phenomenal brands in the spirits world.  One particular highlight in my career was being hired by Cooper Spirits founder, Robert Cooper.  I joined the company shortly after St-Germain was launched and was fortunate to work alongside his creative genius.  He was an incredible mentor to me and I felt honored to be part of his team and bring his vision and brands to life.

What have you learned from being in the liquor industry and what advice would you give to young women looking to follow in your footsteps?

I learned early on in my career that "the devil is in the details" and taking the time to perfect even the most seemingly insignificant detail can be the difference between good and great.  I have passed on that notion to those who I've mentored along the way.

What is your favorite cocktail?

I love a good old-fashioned. After the workday, juggling meetings and then having two small kids at home, I like to keep it simple when it comes to making a drink.  Slow & Low Rock & Rye is my go-to because it's a proper old-fashioned right out of the bottle.  All I have to do is crack it open, pour over ice and it’s a full-proof bar cocktail without having to mix, muddle or stir. Super easy and it packs a punch.

Elizabeth McCall, Assistant Master Distiller, Woodford Reserve

How did your life affect your decision to get into the spirits industry?

I grew up with two very supportive parents that encouraged each of their kids to pursue their passions. I was brought up knowing that I needed to get a job to be able to support myself. I have a very strong horseback riding passion that I needed and still need to support, so a stable job with decent pay was important to me. I found out about the job opportunity with Brown-Forman completely by chance. I was attending my younger brother’s graduation party and discussing my upcoming graduation. There was man there who worked for Brown-Forman and overheard me discussing my future career plans. He informed me that the Sensory Department had a technician that was leaving and would have a spot open. I sent in my resume ASAP and a few months later I got the job!

Did you always envision yourself going into the liquor business?

No, in college I never thought that I would be working in the beverage alcohol industry. It was happenstance that brought me here. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work in the alcohol industry, I just wasn’t aware of the opportunities that are present and that I would find the work so fascinating. It is an unexpected love affair.

How did you get your start in the bourbon and whiskey world?

I got my start in the bourbon & whiskey world as a Sensory Technician in the Brown-Forman Research & Development department. I was the person washing dishes and setting up the taste panels. Organizing the data collected and putting it into reports and databases. Curiosity and saying “yes” a lot got me to my current position.

When did you know you had “made it” in the liquor industry?

I still don’t feel that I have “made it”, there is still so much more to learn and so much growing to do. I feel I am only scratching the surface of where my career and Woodford Reserve will go.

What is your favorite cocktail?

I love a well-made Old Fashion, it’s a classic.

Lesley Gracie, Master Distiller, Hendrick’s Gin

How did you get started in the spirits industry?

I started in the distilling industry over 30 years ago when I moved from my native Yorkshire, England, up to Girvan, Scotland where I have lived and worked ever since. I was offered a position in the Technical Function within William Grant & Sons based in the laboratory. In my previous role I had done some flavor development work and gradually became involved in the New Liquid Development process due to my experience.

After 30 years in the industry, do you feel like you’ve “made it”?

I never really think that I have “made it.” I am still learning about new flavors, botanicals and their combinations. That is not to say that I don’t feel very proud when I see products on shelf that I have been involved with.

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite drink is very simple. Just Hendrick’s Gin, elderflower cordial and sparkling water. It goes down a treat at any time! 

Charlotte Voisey, Director of Brand Advocacy, William Grant & Sons

How did you get started in the spirits industry?

I started my career with a restaurant company in London, renowned for their excellent training program.  With them, I ran restaurants in Barcelona as well as Buenos Aires before returning to London to further my career in hospitality management.

You oversee all portfolios for William Grant & Sons. Plus, you’re a two-time Golden Spirit Award winner and are recognized by the James Beard Foundation for your contributions to mixology. Was there a defining moment that launched your career?

It was at classic cocktail bar, Apartment 195 in London where my career took off.  I won UK Bartender of the Year in 2004 and that put my name on the map and opened so very many doors to me, that was the moment I knew I had "made it" and I am so grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me since.

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite cocktail at the moment is a Hendrick's Gin French 75, delightfully refreshing and suits any mood.

Naomi Leslie, East Coast Ambassador, The Balvenie

How has working with other talented women in the spirits world help to shape your career?

The first two important bars I bartended at, Dear Irving and BlackTail, are led by very strong women. Their staff also include a large number of women, even behind the bar. So I’ve been lucky to have that be the norm for me. Hopefully, this will become the norm for more and more people as the industry progresses.

What do you define as having “made it” in the spirits industry? 

My idea of “making it” is finding a position that is both enjoyable and challenging. I realized while I was at my previous job that I still wanted to be involved in the spirits industry, but that I needed to be more involved with the training side. This Balvenie Ambassador role is a perfect chance to delve further into whisky and education.

What is your favorite cocktail?

I’m absolutely in love with The Tattletale, by Sam Ross at Milk & Honey. The Tattletale is an Old Fashioned variation with bitters, honey syrup, and a mix of peated and unpeated Scotch. It’s a perfectly balanced drink; highlighting the Scotch without overpowering it.

Samantha Leotta, Brand Director Americas, The Macallan

How did your professional background help get you into the spirits world?

I actually got into the spirits industry by accident. Somehow, my unique background of being a creative on the agency side and working within hospitality is just what this spirits company was looking for at that time. After I visited a whisky distillery for the first time, I became fascinated with the incredible talent, craft and skill that goes into the whisky-making process and it’s what inspired me to come back and live and breathe those brands. Seeing the process first-hand gave me a deep understanding and appreciation of an industry that although quite large, still has an incredible amount of meticulous craftsmanship that I have not seen in any other industry before. The passion of the people behind the whisky making process truly touched me and provided me with a sense of purpose in my career. From that moment on, I immediately fell in love with the industry and could not see myself doing anything else.

When did you know you had "made it" in the spirits industry?

I knew I had “made it” when I started working for not only the best single malt whisky in the world, but also running the largest market for the brand globally. While The Macallan is globally recognized, it has also long been my personal favorite, making this truly a dream job. I wake up feeling incredibly grateful and energized every single day.

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite cocktail is a Whisky Sour. It was the first, truly well-made cocktail I ever had and the first time I discovered both the wonderful new world of whisky-based cocktails and that the highest quality spirit makes the best cocktails. That was a pivotal moment that changed my appreciation for cocktails overall and turned me into a bit of a “drink snob,” to be honest. Since then, I’ve had many variations of sours with different types and styles of whiskies, but my go-to is a Macallan Double Cask Whisky Sour—any day.

I'm a freelance writer whose passion revolves around traveling the world, immersing myself in foreign cultures and, of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. From learning how to cook pad Thai from a floating market veteran to eating traditional monk-made udon noo...

MORE

Follow me on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with my latest work at www.ChelseaDavis.com and on my blog, www.cheycheyfromthebay.com.

Please click here for a link to the forbes article.



Ready for Pumpkin Spice Season? Halloween/Thanksgiving Cocktail Ideas

This week, we had an article published in Southern Kitchen with tons of info and recipes on making seasonal cocktails with our Pumpkin Spice Shrub. For this week’s Holiday Entertaining blog post, please enjoy the article!

18.21 Bitters shows us how to make actually great pumpkin spice cocktails

By  Ryan Hughley

I don't know about you, but if I have to drink another PSL (pumpkin spice latte) this year I'm going to freak out. I always start of the season the same way. Waiting with bated breath until my favorite coffee shop starts putting pumpkin in every coffee drink I can imagine. 

By mid-October, however, I'm totally over it. Thankfully there's a better way to satisfy those pumpkin spice cravings without a trip to a coffee shop.

18.21 Bitters is an Atlanta based company that churns out artisan cocktail bitters, syrups and shrubs. They've recently re-released a fall fan favorite, pumpkin spice shrub. Featuring actual pumpkin, along with allspice and black peppercorn, this fall scented, vinegar-based cocktail additive is exactly what you need on hand when you finally get tired drinking your pumpkin spice with coffee. 

Once you've got your bottle on hand, try out these two seasonal cocktails, straight from 18.21 itself.
Pumpkin Harbor
Picture this. Crisp fall air, your fireplace roaring in the living room, the smell of a pot of chili simmering on the stove top and you, content as you can possibly be. This is the cocktail you'll want to drink in this exact moment. This cocktail is rum-based, which pairs perfectly with the subtle sweetness of pumpkin shrub. The black currant and cocoa tincture not only adds a bit of brightness but ties this whole thing together. The result? A cocktail you'll keep reaching for long after pumpkins have gone out of season. 

Serves: 1
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
2 ounces English Harbour 5-year rum
1/2 ounce 18.21 Pumpkin Spice Shrub
1/2 ounce St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 dashes Black Currant + Cocoa Tincture
Grated nutmeg for garnish 

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass or a coupe glass. Serve immediately. 
Triple Smoked Pumpkin Fizz
Our love for whiskey is no secret. This cocktail manages to actually feature a strong pumpkin flavor without it being overpowering. The LaPhroaig and Havana + Hide bitters marry together and give this cocktail a beautiful smokey flavor while the egg whites add a velvety texture. This is one fun drink. After an incredibly hard day at work, this is the cocktail you want to make right when you get home. 

Serves: 1
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
LaPhroaig Scotch whiskey, for rinsing
2 ounces Corsair Triple Smoked Whiskey
1/2 ounce 18.21 Pumpkin Spice Shrub
1 egg white
3 dashes Havana + Hide bitters
Pistachio, crushed for garnish

Instructions
Fill a rocks glass with ice and add splash of LaPhroaig. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Corsair whiskey, pumpkin shrub, egg white, and bitters. Dry shake the ingredients for 30 seconds to froth the egg whites. Fill the shaker with ice cubes and shake again until well chilled.

Discard the ice and LaPhroaig in the rocks glass and add one large ice cube. Strain the cocktail mixture into the glass. Garnish with crushed pistachio. Serve immediately.

All Photos: 18.21 Bitters/Instagram 

Please click here for a link directly to the article.

Holiday Entertaining

The holidays are creeping up quickly and with them comes holiday parties and dinners. We have a weekly series here leading up to the holidays with some tips and tricks to help you host stress free events and make easy delicious cocktails.

This week, we will be hosting an Old Fashioned class and in honor of the iconic cocktail and our fun cocktail class, here are some tips on adding this cocktail to your next event!

Try a build your own Old Fashioned Bar! Put out a Bourbon, a Rye Whiskey, and a Dark Rum along with a jigger in front of each. Add a few bottles of different bitters flavors (we suggest 18.21 Prohibition Aromatic for the traditionalist, 18.21 Barrel Aged Havana & Hide for the adventurous and the Rum lovers, and 18.21 Earl Grey Bitters for those who want to walk on the wild side. If you are feeling really fun and funky, try the 18.21 Grapefruit Lavender Bitters for a Rye Whiskey old fashioned!) Also leave out two syrups (try a plain simple syrup, or our 18.21 Coffee Vanilla Cacao Syrup for a fun twist). Print out instructions on how to make an old fashioned and leave out a bowl of garnishes including lemon rinds and orange rinds along with some Cherries (we love Filthy Cherries!). Add a muddler into the mix and a few cocktail mixing glasses, spoons and strainers, and your guests have a fun and interactive way to make their own cocktails so you can focus on enjoying your own cocktail and your party!

Here is our sample recipe:

BUILD YOUR OWN OLD FASHIONED

Add 2oz Spirit of Choice to Mixing Glass

Add bar spoon of syrup of choice

Add 10 drops bitters of choice

Add ice and stir

Strain into rocks glass over large ice

Garnish with Choice of Garnish

Suggested Pairings:

Rye Whiskey, Prohibition Aromatic Bitters, Simple Syrup Garnish with Orange Peel

Rum, Havana & Hide Bitters, Coffee Vanilla Cacao Syrup Garnish with Cherry

Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Earl Grey Bitters Garnish with Lemon Peel

Cheers to the holidays!

Looking for A Hero!

Call For Heros!

 

We want you to nominate yourself or someone you know as a homegrown hero!

 

Know a firefighter, police officer, teacher, EMT, construction worker, mom, dad, pharmacist, truck driver, bartender, musician, doctor, nurse, volunteer, soldier, ... anyone that is a HERO! There are so many definitions of the word. Is your hero a role model to children, works hard to support their family, volunteers to clean their local park, is an excellent neighbor who helps out when their neighbors or friends are in need, your go to bartender who saved your bad day, a nurse or doctor who saved a loved one? Nominate them to be an 18.21 Homegrown Hero. We want to honor them and provide them with free 18.21 products and a special surprise for their hard work, contributions and kindness.

 

Please send a 500-750 word essay on why we should choose your hero along with your name, email, address and phone number, your hero's name, email, address and phone number, and a photo of your hero.

 

All Finalists will have to submit to a background check. We will be selecting 10 out of all of our entries so start getting them in! Deadline is September 10th! EMAIL FOR ENTRIES: drink@1821bitters.com

Interested in wholesale or distribution? Email us at drink@1821bitters.com