Mister Bitters is, according to the brand’s website, “Australia’s very first bitters company”. It was started after the owner and bartenders of Lily Blacks, a cocktail bar in Melbourne famous for its extensive collection of more than 300 bitters, started creating their own house blends (including special blends for events such as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix) under the name Mister Bitters. For approximately two years, their products were used by bartenders in other cocktail bars around town to certain success.
Mister Bitters went commercial in May 2014 after the original team associated themselves with Only Bitters, an Australian online bitters store shipping worldwide through onlybitters.com and to the United States through onlybitters.us. I met John Dimitropoulos, one of the store’s co-founders (the other being his wife), at Tales of the Cocktail 2016. « One day we were talking with the guys behind Mister Bitters about their products and then came the idea : why don’t we commercialize them ? That’s how we went into partnership. We kept the name Mister Bitters as the bartenders were already using it.»
Mister Bitters now produces 6 different bitters from its lab in Melbourne :
– Fig & Cinnamon – “a mildly spiced blend of Australian figs, cinnamon, gentian and a range of spices. Christmas comes every day of the year with a few drops of this elixir”,
– Honeyed Apricot & Smoked Hickory – “a sweet front and smoky finish with a blend of leatherwood honey, apricot and smoked hickory”,
– Pink Grapefruit & Agave – “a bitter citrus and agave blend that characteristically works well with Tequila”,
– Negroni – “a blend of Australian oranges and lemons, mixed with the floral notes of chamomile and the richness of star anise”,
– Cacao & Macadamia – “the richness of Cacao Nibs (…)blended (…) with the dryness of native Macadamia nuts. Added to a spice blend including coffee, sultanas and allspice, the result is a uniquely Australian, chocolate-forward bitters”,
– and the special edition Sweet and Sour Tropical bitter (currently unavailable on both onlybitters.com and onlybitters.us) – “a mix of sweet mango and passionfruit with fresh lemon and lime peel, this bitters is designed to add a tropical lift to any cocktail”.
After engaging at a seminar and telling me about Mister Bitters, John led me through a quick tasting of Mister Bitters and other brands’ products at the bitters market. I was sold as I ended up buying a bottle of Mister Bitters Fig & Cinnamon and another of Honeyed Apricot & Smoked Hickory!