By Tomi Sue Dinsman

Jack Nicholson screams, “You can’t handle the truth!” in “A Few Good Men” and Gerard Butler’s character teaches Katherine Heigl’s character about “The Ugly Truth.” There is now The Bitter Truth, ingredients for making the best craft cocktails at home or when ordering a traditional cocktail from a favorite bartender or mixologist. Cocktail bitters are the spice rack for any bar and needed for the perfect party.

Bitters have quite a lengthy history. It was by the 19th century that the British made the use of adding herbal bitters to canary wine for medicinal purposes. The idea caught on and became popular in the American colonies. According to Wikipedia, in 1806, American Publications referenced the popularity of a new preparation termed cocktail, described as a combination of “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters.” For decades, cocktail bitters were the essential component for making any good cocktail to a sensation-in-a-glass. Unfortunately, the prohibition era impacted the drinking habits of consumers and cocktail bitters all but faded away, except for Angostura Bitters.

Much like fashion, music and cars … everything old is new again. Enter the mixologist of today, the trending handcrafted cocktails and there is a resurgence in the popularity of cocktail bitters on an international level. Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck, bartenders from Munich, have created cocktail bitters of the highest quality, The Bitter Truth. In 2006, Orange Bitters and Old Time Aromatic Bitters were the first flavors released. The criteria for flavor choice were mainly provided by 19th and 20th century cocktail recipes that could no longer be mixed true to the original recipe because the correct bitters were not produced anymore. Spice Rack for The Bar includes lemon, Creole, celery, grapefruit, chocolate, tonic, peach, cucumber, olive and Jerry Thomas. These bitters are also perfect for use in culinary recipes.

The Bitter Truth has also released fine liqueur and flavored spirits including apricot, violet, elderflower, Golden Falernum, Pimento Dram and Pink Gin (yes, it is pink).

Pink gin originated as a breakfast drink to “rally the men” headed for the seas. Today it is modernized and sophisticated with a Mediterranean bouquet on the nose, with juniper, lemons and warm spice flavors of licorice, caraway and fennel.

Celebrate the spring with The Bitter Truth and visit for more imaginative ideas to create couture cocktails.

Gin Julep
Pour Pink Gin and tonic over ice or impress guests with craft mixology skills with this refreshing Gin Julep at home.
2 ounces The Bitter Truth Pink Gin
¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
1.2 ounces sugar syrup
1 ounce soda water
1 sprig of mint

Muddle mint with gin in a tall glass, add all other ingredients with ice and stir. Garnish with fresh mint.

Berentzen Cherry Manhattan

1 ounce whiskey
½ ounce Berentzen Wild Cherry
3 dashes The Bitter Truth flavor, Jerry Thomas Bitters

Combine all ingredients over ice, stir and strain into cocktail glass.