Edit ModuleShow Tags

Nick Kosevich Previews MNMO's Fine Spirits Classic


Published:

Minnesota Monthly hosts its inaugural Fine Spirits Classic tomorrow night, with distillers and reps from local and national spirits makers—45th Parallel, 2 Gingers, Great Lakes Distillery, Phillips, Diego, and Bacardi among them—pouring samples and answering questions at Mill City Nights. I touched base with Fine Spirits Classic participant Nick Kosevich of Bittercube to find out what the Midwestern bitter-master and his business partner, Ira Koplowitz, have been up to lately and get a few more details about they'll be pouring at the event. 

In  addition to launching Eat Street Social's bar program and producing your bitters line, what else has Bittercube been up to lately?
We consult on other projects throughout the Midwest. We currently are working with the Hamilton in Milwaukee and have some other things in the works there as well. We are in the final stages of a limited batch of Hops Bitters for the holidays. They are made with Chinook and Cascade hops from Door Peninsula Hops and bittered with unique botanicals that have been used in beer making for centuries like Yarrow Herb and Feverfew.  

Could you explain how, exactly, your bitters are made?
Bitters are an amalgamation of herbs, barks, fruits, flowers, spices and herbs. We take these botanicals and extract their essential oils through a process called maceration, which is basically an infusion with multiple ingredients and high proof spirits. Once the maceration is complete the bitters are softened with non-alcoholic ingredients to lower the proof. At the heart of a bitter is bitterness. But when these highly concentrated liquids are diluted in a cocktail the real magic happens and layers upon layers of flavor and aroma are exposed.

Why are bitters so important to cocktails?
Bitters are like the spice rack for cocktails. They are the salt and pepper of a well-balanced cocktail. They have been used in cocktails since cocktails were made. The very first cocktail, the Old Fashioned, invented in 1806 calls for nothing more than spirits, sugar, bitters, water (generally in the form of ice).  

Any new spirits you're excited about?
We've been working with Mike McCarron of Gamle Ode Dill Aquavit lately [produced by 45th Parallel Spirits and also being poured at the Fine Spirits Classic] and that product is amazing and unique only to the Minnesota market right now. It's a unique spirit that is more versatile than I could have ever imagined.
 
What drinks will you be featuring at the event?
 We'll be making cocktails with Great Lakes Distillery at the event tomorrow and their hand-crafted spirits and our bitters go great together. We like to showcase simple and well-balanced cocktails for events like this. The idea for us is that we want people to pick up a box of our bitters and the spirits we're showcasing and be able to make these cocktails at home.

We're doing a Fall Gimlet with Rehorst Gin, lime juice, simple syrup and Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters. This is a great example of what our bitters do for cocktails. This simple recipe of 2oz to 3/4 lime juice and 3/4 simple takes on a fall flavor simply by using the Bittercube Blackstrap Bitters. You can make this same cocktail with our Jamaican #2 Bitters and have a summer gimlet. We're also doing an Old Fashioned with their Kinnickinnic Whiskey and what we call our "Trinity" of Old Fashioned Bitters, Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla, Orange, and Bolivar Bitters.

**If you want to take some Bittercube bitters home—great for gifting!—single bottles and variety packs will be for sale at the event.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café

Berry Love Plus Berry Shortcake with Lime Whipped Cream Recipe

Everyone loves berries—including Justin Timberlake, the creator of the "brasberry"—but it just so happens the Twin Cities loves them more than most

3 Things to Eat This Week: July 25-29

Eat like a kid in summer: root beer popsicles, corncobs, Cubanos
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags