Drink of the Month: Local Bitters

Stocking stuffers for drink connoisseurs, from Easy & Oskey and Five Watt Coffee

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Easy & Oskey bitters kit

Photo by Eliesa Johnson

Bitters are a great gift for the drink connoisseur who may already have a shelf full of obscure spirits or coffee-brewing gadgets. Made of roots, barks, herbs, or spices steeped with alcohol and sweetened, bitters are used like a liquid garnish to accentuate flavors. Just a drop or two is needed to put the signature touch on a favorite drink—a Manhattan or Old Fashioned just doesn’t taste right without them.

These local bitters come in a wide range of surprising flavors and offer a fun twist to the usual Peychaud’s or Angostura.

Easy & Oskey’s bitters kit: Dan Oskey, former mixologist at Strip Club Meat & Fish and a founder of Tattersall Distillery, created a make-your-own small batch bitters kit, available in several flavors including habañero, orange, grapefruit, and cherry vanilla. The “naked” kit guides you on how to create your own flavors (bacon bitters for your Bloody Mary, anyone?) and includes all supplies needed. • easyandoskey.com

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Five Watt Coffee bitters

Photo by TJ Turner

Five Watt Coffee bitters: While bitters are most commonly used in cocktails, this Kingfield neighborhood coffee shop creatively uses bitters to infuse flavors into their specialty brewed beverages. The Gin Basil Smash, for example, pairs cold press, basil simple syrup, gin bitters, and cream; the May Day spikes cold press with salted lavender simple syrup and grapefruit bitters. Bottles of the house-made fennel, coriander, and gin bitters can be purchased in store. • 3745 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-259-7519, fivewattcoffee.com