LOS ANGELES, JULY 14, 2009—This past Sunday at New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail, TRU Organic Spirits announced winners of the Barmade Bitters Challenge. The three winning aromatic bitters, which act like “seasoning” for cocktails, represent the best examples of a lost craft in classic cocktail making now being revived by bartenders across the United States. The winning bitters will be release by January 2010 and become the first certified, all-organic collection available.
The contest and seminar showcased 15 bitters (five each in fruit, herb and spice) for an audience of 100 plus bartenders and fans, along with the judging panel, which included John Deragon from PDT, Allen Katz from Southern Wine & Spirits and Slow Food, Livio Lauro from the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild, Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew from Modern Spirits (the company that produces TRU Organic Spirits). The judges looked for aroma and taste in three simple cocktails (with soda, vodka and whiskey), as well as originality and commercial potential.
“Bitters are a secret passion for bartenders and an important ingredient for well-balanced cocktails,” said Melkon Khosrovian, co-founder and maker of TRU Organic Spirits. “We’re thrilled to work with the winning bartenders to help them share their bitters with the world.”
And the winners are….
Winner – Marshall Atlier from New York City with his Baked Big Apple Bitters
Second – Blair Reynolds with Grapefruit Bitters
Third – Kathy Casey with Golden Era Bitters
Winner – Adam Seger from Chicago with his Swedish Bitters
Second – Ron Oliver with Pachamama Bitters
Third – Ron Oliver with Backhouse Bitters
Winner – Tobin Ellis & John Hogan from Las Vegas with English Lavender & Spice Bitters
Second – Alex Smith with Anise Bitters
Third – George Costa with Smoked Ginger Bitters