Yesterday I wrote about bitters. Today I'll share with you the best places to buy bitters in Seattle.
Most liquor stores and even some grocery stores will likely carry Angostura and Regans No. 6 Orange bitters. But for a larger selection, here is a list of the best places to buy bitters in the city.
In Seattle We Trust
A specialty food store in Pike Place Market that stocks tons of chocolate, olive oils, and many other foods. They have one of the best bitters selections in town along with syrups, vermouth, and wine.
- Brands they carry: Amargo Chuncho, Bittermans, The Bitter Truth, E. Smith Mercantile, Fee Brothers, Scrappy's.
A small gourmet store downtown specializing in all foods French.
A small shop in Capitol Hill with a good selection of bitters and other apothecary items.
- Brands they carry: Bad Dog, Bittercube, Bittermens, Bittered Sling, Dr. Adam Elmegirab's, Dram Apothecary, Kari's Island Elixirs (from San Juan Island), Scrappy's, and Urban Moonshine.
The great thing about Sugarpill is they allow you to sample each one of the bitters they sell, something most shops in Seattle don’t do (but should). They will be adding more bitters in the coming months. They also have tons of herbs and spices for making your own bitters including pre-made kits for aromatic, lemon, rhubarb and cherry bitters.
One of the better liquor stores in the city, located in Wallingford.
- Brands they carry: Bittercube, Bittermens, Dr. Adam Elmegirab’s, Fee Brothers, Scrappy’s.
Since the privatization of liquor in the state of Washington, they have gone from one of the best places to buy bourbon and rye to how "come these shelves are so empty" and back again several times. But their bitters selection has remained solid.
We Make Our Own
The following companies make their own bitters.
We are very fortunate to have one of the best whiskey bars in the world right here in our backyard. And since their name has “bitters” in it, you would hope they make their own. Thankfully they have a few flavors they sell.
- They make their own: Boker's, cherry, and rhubarb bitters.
A mercantile store with a bar attached in Pioneer Square. They carry a wide variety of cocktail mixers to help the home bartender including Addition Cocktail Spices.
- They make their own: BBQ, lavender bitters, and smoke bitters.
Seattle is home to one of the most popular bitters companies in the country. Scrappy's Bitters started in 2008 and since then they've sold worldwide. A great starter option is to buy their two gift packs (with four bitters per pack) so you can sample all their flavors at a fraction of the price. Visit their website for a full list of where to buy Scrappy's.
- They make their own: Aromatic, Cardamom, Celery, Chocolate, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lime, Orange.
A bar and a distillery in Capitol Hill. Along with vodka and multiple varieties of gin and rum, they make their own orange bitters.
I've Got to Get Out of This City
If you’re traveling north or south on I-5, there are two stores you will definitely want to check out.
- The Meadow in Portland has the best selection of bitters in the Pacific Northwest. And they let you taste any flavor you would like. They also carry an awesome variety of chocolates, salts, and vermouths.
- The Modern Bartender in Vancouver, BC carries a ton of bitters along with a great selection of tools, reading material, and glassware for your home bar.
You’ve read the blog, tried some bitters, and have decided you want to take it to the next level and make your own. An absolute must read is Brad Thomas Parsons' Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All. Even if you have no desire to make your own, this book is the guide to everything bitters, including tasting notes for a dozen brands. If you live in Seattle, you can get many of the ingredients to make bitters in a small store in Pike Place Market called Tenzing Momo.
There you have it, the roundup of bitters for the great city of Seattle.