The barrel is dry and the last of the Extinct Abbott’s bitters have been bottled. That means there are only 300 bottles left and once they are gone, that will probably be the end. Have no doubt they are a great tasting bitter and the research does point to this being the original Abbott’s recipe. However, these bitters are not easy to produce and even harder to market. Getting the key ingredient requires a flight to the Caribbean and the Tempus Fugit trademark application has created too many roadblocks for this product to be truly feasible. It should be noted that this isn’t the end, I am just entering the next phase of the project.
If you are unfamiliar with the Abbott’s story or my research on the subject, you can check out this Youtube video which will give you the background. [Abbott’s Bitters video]
Though most of the Abbott’s bitters will be gone, once these last bottles sell, I have kept a small reserve of the bitters required for the next step of this project— which is to release all of the research information. The plan is to see if I can jump on the “Cocktail Week” circuit and detail everything about this project, including the actual recipe and its source. You may ask “Who the hell would freely release the recipe to a coveted bitters recipe?”. Ummm, that would be me, I do things like that.
I won’t have any bitters left to sell once the presentations begin, but it wouldn’t be much of a presentation if I didn’t let attendees sample them. I suspect that not having a sample of the bitters during the presentation would be the ultimate tease.
Oh yes, it should be mentioned that the Abbott’s recipe comes from a rather large pool of historical bitter recipes. To date, I haven’t seen anyone write or mention this source, but once I release the info I’m sure it will have a major impact on the world of bitters. Actually, it will give professional bartenders a whole new information resource, beyond bitters, to make their drinks even more creative. Seriously, this will be another very useful discovery to further the art of cocktail making.
The first step, before I give away everything, is to find a sponsor or two to get this presentation on the road. Vermouth and whisky would be good sponsors because we could make Manhattans. It has been said that Abbott’s was the first, or possibly the preferred, bitter in that cocktail. Then I need to decide where to do the first presentation. The fact that I have never been to New York makes the Manhattan Cocktail Classic a good option. After that I will probably only have enough bitters for 4 or 5 more presentations, then that will be it. If you or you know someone, who would like to help get this presentation on the road, please feel free to email me at [email protected].
Writer, author of Fix the Pumps, chemist, beekeper and general do-er-of-things, Darcy can generally be found looking for new and interesting things to do, usually over a cocktail. Currently working on more soda fountain history.
Last modified: November 11, 2018