The world of bitters has exploded in the past few years, with more and more unique flavors coming on to the scene. What initially intrigued me about AZ Bitters, is that their company is truly a labor of love. Started by a husband and wife who explored cocktail culture on the east coast, they eventually settled in Chandler, Arizona where they founded the first bitters company in the state. Using unusual flavor profiles like fig, rare ingredients like saffron, and a process from beginning to end literally done by hand; they are craftsmen in the truest sense of the word.
They currently have three bitters in their portfolio, which I was sent for review.
Figgy Pudding – Slightly sweet with a definite fig overtone. Notes of baking spices, richly dense Christmas pudding and even hard sauce, Instantly reminded me of the holidays. The profile is not overly bitter, but is quite balanced with just enough of an edge to it. Truly unique and mouthwatering, these bitters are perfect for brown spirits like rum, bourbon and anejo tequilas. GSN Rating: A
Más Mole – Notes of cocoa quickly give way some some serious heat. There are three different kinds of dried chiles used in the blend, and it shows. Despite a lot of warmth in the front of the palate, the cocoa aspect acts as a nice counterbalance and supports the whole shebang. You will only need a drop or two in a cocktail to notice the difference these will make. The obvious choice of spirit is tequila, but these also work well in drinks calling for creme de cacao, coffee liqueur or cream-based dessert liqueurs. GSN Rating: B
Orange Sunshine – Juicy orange almost immediately gives way to a more traditional dry and bitter citrus peel taste. Quite compact and intense, these are the most traditional bitters in AZ’s line up. What separates them from the competition is a heavier use of atypical spices like fennel and saffron. The overall effect is of orange spice cake. Definitely different from what you’re using now and because of the unusual spice notes, these make a great partner for gin, rye and spiced rums. GSN Rating: B
For more information go to: AZ Bitters Lab