Ever wanted to make your own bitters, but didn’t know where to start? Art in the Age (makers of a number of specialty bitter liqueurs) has partnered with Terra Luna, an herbally-oriented company in Philadelphia, to make bitters-making easy at home.
This box includes almost everything you need to turn Terra Luna’s herbal blend into about a vial and a half (figure 75ml or so) of bitters. The blend includes (their text):
Stinging Nettle Leaves (Urtica dioica) Iron and Vitamin C rich, supports liver cleansing. Supports healthy, clear skin and Urinary Tract health (diuretic).
Citrus Mint Leaves (Mentha citrata) Helpful in digestive complaints such as indigestion, cramps, and nausea. Helps calm headaches, anxiety, insomnia. Aromatic citrus, refreshing, and energizing taste and smell.
Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) Bitter, liver stimulant.
Lemon Peel (Citrus limon) Bitter, citrus, nerve tonic.
Also included in the kit is a good amount of hardware: 2 Bottles with Droppers, 2 Infusion Jars, Bottle Labels, Metal Bottle Funnel, Metal Strainer, and Cheesecloth. The only thing the consumer has to add is a white spirit that’s 100 proof or higher and a little patience.
Following the instructions is easy and takes about two weeks to complete. I used 190 proof Everclear in my mix, and after the allotted time I had Chartreuse-green, intensely aromatic bitters at my disposal.
How do they taste? Pungent and “green,” with a bold herbaceousness, though the mint and lemon notes come through quite clearly. The flavor is quite unique, and lends itself well to experimentation in cocktails (in small quantities). If I was to do it again, I’d probably use overproof vodka instead of Everclear, which makes for quite a powerful alcohol level. That said, $45 is awfully steep for what you actually get here — though it does make for a fine gift for the boozehound who has everything else.
B+ / $45 / artintheage.com