Archive for the ‘Happenings’ Category

photo courtesy of Jey Moore

We were surprised and honored to by named by Phoenix New Times as one of the 100 Tastemakers for 2016. We are so grateful to all of the bars, restaurants, retail partners, and friends that have supported us so far and especially to Young’s Market Co of Arizona for helping to spread our bitters love throughout the state. In the past few months we have teamed with retail partners in NYC (Amor Y Amargo), Philadelphia (Rowhouse Distillery) and San Diego (Pacific Provisions) to help get our bitters into the hands of bartenders and home enthusiasts throughout the country. Thank you, all!

It’s been an amazing journey so far for us at AZ Bitters Lab! When we started making bitters as a hobby we never thought it would take on us on this path. We just wanted to have some fun, learn new stuff, and enjoy research and development (aka imbibe some cocktails). Instead, making bitters has led us on an incredible adventure that we could not have imagined.

We are well into our second year of business and want to take a moment and give thanks. We have been blessed by meeting so many amazing people, receiving such great and loving support from the local and national community, and having wonderful opportunities come our way. First and foremost, we give thanks to our Father for blessing us in this process and may we do good with what He has provided. Thank you to our family, especially our Moms, and our friends for helping and encouraging us throughout this process. Thanks to our mentors, guides, teachers, business partners, and collaborators for sharing your wisdom, bringing us alongside, and inspiring our creativity and drive to do more. Thank you to our customers who have purchased our product and may your cocktails always be delicious.

Has it all been fun and games? No! It’s taken a lot of time, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears (and cocktails!) to build up our business. That’s a lot of work for our small team of three, which includes Mom, who is nice enough to provide free labor for her kids. We’ve done it all from washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen to packaging up boxes for mailing and sending invoices. We can say that we’ve held every position in our company and do so with love and passion for what we’re doing. So, we’re far from our original hobby, but we love every minute of it.

We are looking forward to new adventures in 2014, which includes growing our business and branching out in new areas. When we started the business we knew one of our goals would be to focus on giving back. Why give back, you ask? Hey, we’re lucky to make a great product that is enjoyed by folks who are eating and imbibing well. Seems like a no-brainer to us; we have been so blessed by the business in so many ways, so let’s give to people that need a blessing. And when we think about people in need, we think about people affected by hunger and food insecurity. We enjoy our great meals and cocktails, yet so many don’t know where their next meal is coming from for themselves or for their children. So, our plan is to help support efforts to address this critical need.

We are excited to announce that we have formally partnered with two amazing organizations that provide food to people: United Food Bank (UFB) and Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).

United Food Bank provides 51,000 meals a day to those in need right here in the East Valley and eastern Arizona. UFB estimates over 1.2 million people in Arizona and one out of every four children in Maricopa County are food insecure. Feed My Starving Children tackles world hunger by sending volunteer-packed, nutritious meals to over 70 countries. Last year, FMSC delivered 133 million meals world-wide. Both organizations are four star rated by Charity Navigator, have low administrative costs, and have great employees and volunteers. Our goal is to support these vital organizations with our time, talents, and treasure. We’re small and may not be able to contribute a lot at this time, but every little bit helps. As a food and drink community, we, collectively, can make a huge difference.

 

We ask that you check out these two great organizations and keep an eye out for future updates on our efforts to help combat food insecurity. There is something all of us can do and no effort is too small. We hope this is just the beginning of great things to come and look forward to seeing where this path takes us.

Again, thank you. It’s because of YOU that we’re able to continue on this journey and may we do good things with your support. Cheers!

We were invited by Troy and Krista from Wedge and Bottle to give a little demonstration and tasting to introduce our bitters to their customers. Their shop is the best around for artisan cheeses (oh my!), excellent beer and wine selection, wonderful crackers, salts, jams, and other goodies. They also serve up some killer grilled sandwiches, soups, and charcuterie plates. As they focus on wine and beer, we were challenged to come up with some wine and beer (no liquor!) cocktails that would showcase our bitters. After a few hours of happy experimenting we came up with three (recipes below).

During the couple hours of our demonstration we were thrilled to meet a few of you that we had only chatted to through social media, we saw some good friends, and we got to introduce our bitters to some people that only knew bitters from that old Angostura bottle in their parents cabinet. We are so thankful to Troy, Krista, and Liz at Wedge and Bottle for giving us this opportunity!

Recipes Pils-orita

This is a beery take on our favorite Margarita recipe replacing the tequila with a wonderful pils and adjusting the sweet/sour a bit. This cocktail is very low in alcohol and perfect for a sunset party on the patio with your friends.

1oz agave syrup (half agave nectar, half water) 0.75oz lime 4 dashes AZBL Más Mole bitters 4-5oz of Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils

Combine the agave, lime, and bitters in a shaker. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the Pils, give a gentle stir, and add a extra dash of the bitters on top.

Champagne Cocktail 0.25oz of simple syrup or 1 sugar cube a few dashes of AZBL Figgy Pudding bitters Brut bubbly (in this case we used Campos de Estrellas cava)

Add the syrup or sugar cube the bottom of a flute, add 2-3 dashes of bitters, and top with the brut bubbly. How easy is this?

Figgy Nitro

This drink is even easier than the bubbly cocktail above, taking a really delicious stout and making it even better.

Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout AZBL Figgy Pudding bitters

Pour the stout into a beer glass, add a few dashes of bitters to the top. Enjoy! The fig flavor is a perfect compliment to the chocolaty creamy goodness of this stout. We experimented with quite a few stouts and porters and found that the sweetness of the Nitro was just the right combination for the bitters.

It sure was a busy first 24 hours for AZBL since going live with online and retail sales.

It started with our first online sale shortly after opening our virtual doors, then a second, and a third….

This morning found that we had been selected by Good Food Allies to be featured as part of their Twelve Days of Good Food Gifting. We’re very excited to be part of such a vibrant and supportive food community here in Phoenix.

This afternoon we dropped off some bottles at Pig & Pickle, a hot new restaurant in Scottsdale that is getting rave reviews. Look for Figgy Pudding and Más Mole behind the bar and on their signature menu in Clayton’s variations of the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.

After that we went by Urban Table at JAM and are so thrilled that Traci and RJ are our first retail partner! Please do go visit and check out all of the artisan products both in the chef’s larder and throughout JAM.

Whew. Time for a drink. Cheers!

Exciting News Alert!!! The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has just approved Figgy Pudding as a “non-beverage flavoring extract” under Code of Federal Regulations 27CFR 17.134.

What does that mean?, you ask.

It means that our bitters can be legally sold as a food product, much like vanilla extract.

It also means that Maricopa County Health Dept has jurisdiction instead of the AZ Liquor Board.

Next step is getting our permits from Maricopa County Health and we’ll be ready to produce.