EXPLOSIVE BITTERS COMPANY | Help Tonic & Tinctures Bitters Company launch their Initial Bitter Offering (IBO)
AMIAMO GLI AMARI!
(That’s Italian for WE LOVE BITTERS!)
We are Tonic & Tinctures Bitters Company – a small batch bitters company based out of Cambridge, NY. Started by Anna Monaco and Michael Shane in late 2017, Tonic & Tinctures (TNT for short) grew out of our desire to get on the production side of the alcohol business. We have over 20 years of restaurant experience between us, and we decided it was time we made some delicious products for people to enjoy outside of the establishments we work in.
THUS WAS BORN TNT BITTERS!
We plan to start with four flavors of bitters:
THE ALIBI- A combination aromatic and citrus bitter tailored made for the most debonaire of whiskey drinks – the Old Fashioned.
NAPALM IN THE MORNING – A partnership with Iron Coffee in Hoosick Falls, NY brings us locally roasted coffee with which to make a bitter concoction not often seen. A good pair with tequilas and mezcals.
PINK MIST– Smoked grapefruit is a flavor we’ve been obsessing over for a while that has the potential to complete a myriad of drinks, but also could perfectly freshen up some soda water. The bubbles – they go straight to my head!
A BETTER NAME THAN KAMIKAZE – When Mike once asked Anna how to make a wasabi bitter, she responded “Very carefully.” So we decided to tone it back a bit, use horseradish for the heat instead, and pair it with ginger for that perfect balance. Put this bitter in some sake or even throw it in your favorite peanut sauce for an extra flavor blast. IT’S EXPLOSIVE! (get it… TNT….)
Your contributions will help us buy the product we need to produce this first batch of bitters – what we call our IBO (Initial Bitters Offering). We already have the space built and ready to go; the licenses are lined up; we even have a company ready to deliver gallons upon gallons of grain neutral spirit (GNS). What we need is a little extra cash to put us over the threshold from concept to product and give us the wiggle room to make second batches when we get what we can only assume are going to be massive amounts of orders, ‘CAUSE IT’S A FREAKIN’ BITTERS EXPLOSION!
THE BREAK DOWN
Still interested? You should be. Bitters are awesome. We obviously think so. They are the piece of the recipe that complete the drink. An Old Fashioned without bitters is just sugared whiskey. Have a Sazerac without Peychaud’s Bitters and it may still taste good, but you will be left with the ghost of a missing taste. Those ghosts, those absent flavors are exorcised and filled by bitters.
In our quest to fill your flavor holes, we’re asking for $10,000 to help move TNT Bitters from the ethereal world into the physical. Those funds will help us:
- Buy the herbs, spices, botanicals, and alcohol needed to produce the bitters ($4,000)
- Finish product design, including logos, labeling, and other physical advertising materials; purchasing bottles and stoppers – the liquid has to go in something after all! ($1,500)
- Launch website and shore up our web presence with some focused advertising using only the most sophisticated Russian bots ($500)
- Additional equipment purchases – as we grow, we will need to get more sophisticated bottling equipment, additional herbs and spices (read down further for our growth ideas!), and other miscellaneous kitchen and bar purchases ($2,000)
- Be traveling salesmen! We have to stomp the pavement to sell our goods. We both have an assortment of friends in an assortment of restaurant positions across the United States. This will also help cover the expenses of things like travel, trade shows, booths at local farmers markets, and other similar industry events in the area. ($1,000)
- Cover the random detritus of life. This would include things like repairs to the equipment and space, additional month or so of rent if production is slowed or product delayed, and other such miscellany that life inevitably throws at you. ($1,000)
If we fall short of our total goal, all funds will go towards the production of our first batch of bitters. The sales from that would then help us reach our other goals, but in a slower fashion with less a of a cushion to work with.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
As a mere cog in capitalism’s massive machine, we understand, of course, that growth is king. TNT Bitters plans to expand its line to include other batches such as a lavender bitter and a hops concoction (hopefully in partnership with local beer producer Brown’s Brewing Company). We would like to partner with local farms to produce seasonal bitters as well.
In addition to the line of traditional bitters, we would like to branch into what we call Mists – a concentrated flavor with a spray top that one could use to mist over a glass to add a distinct aroma or place in a bathroom to hide an unwanted one. Cedar, Peat, and Anise would be the three beginning scents.
Lastly, we will produce a seasonal small batch amaro (a bitter Italian liqueur) called the Washington Batch made with herbs and botanicals grown by the farms in Washington County, NY and the surrounding area. (One of our perks reserves you a bottle!)
In the far future, we may get into the tonic section of our name and produce handcrafted sodas, syrups, and other cocktail or cooking additives.
WHEN IS THIS BOMB GOING TO BLOW?
Since we have overcome the nightmarish bureaucracy of federal and state alcohol boards, we are close to starting production. Once we’ve gathered the ingredients and materials, production takes approximately 2 weeks to a month depending on the exact tincture we’re creating.
We hope to have product labeled and ready to leave our little hamlet of Cambridge, NY by October 2018.
A note on our perks – we cannot legally send alcohol in the mail. Bitters falls in the strange grey area between alcohol and grocery, but to be on the safe side, we’ll be mailing out vouchers for the perks that include reserved bottles. These vouchers are good for all four bottles of our initial bitters offerings or the future amaro we will make. You can pick them up from us directly in Cambridge if you’re in the area or at any of the fairs, markets, or trade shows that we frequent. Additionally, you could catfish us, get our home address, and accost us there, but let’s not get the cops involved this soon in our relationship.
There will no doubt be hiccups (which bitters can help cure!), more bureaucracy, and other obstacles to overcome, but we have been through a number of ringers in our long and varied restaurant careers and always came out the other side upright and successful. From throwing out drunks to designing full menus to managing huge staffs to opening restaurants from a concrete slab up, we’ve conquered it all without the help of explosives. BUT NOW WE’VE GOT TNT ON OUR SIDE!
PLEASE SHARE EVEN IF YOU CAN’T DONATE!
Even that small copy and paste will have us sending good booze karma your way.
Want to know more? Here’s a little bit on bitters:
What are bitters?
Bitters are flavorful liquids that have been used for centuries. Often known as tonics or tinctures, they were first sold as cures for indigestion, headaches, heartburn, and other ailments. Eventually, they made it into the cocktail world, and today are mainly used as additions to drinks that help round out the flavor of a drink or add a surprising, powerful taste element. They are, in specifics, heavily flavored alcohol made with specific agents that cause them to become bitter.
How are bitters made?
Bitters are fairly simple to make, but very hard to perfect. They are made by steeping various herbs, spices, botanicals, and bittering agents in high proof alcohol for weeks at a time. The alcohol takes on the flavor of the plants that occupy the sealed container it shares space with and then is diluted by water, packaged in small containers, and sent off into the world.
How are bitters used?
As mentioned above, bitters are used as additive elements to cocktails. An Old Fashioned, for example, gets Angostura bitters (the largest bitters manufacturer’s aromatic bitters). A Sazerac (America’s first cocktail) gets a few dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (a red, anise flavored bitter). As the cocktail world has expanded, so has the selection of bitters. In addition to cocktails, bitters can be added to soda water to aid in digestion. Larger format bitters called Amari (bitters in Italian) serve as apertifs and digestifs. Bitters have even made it into the cooking world – for example as roasting elements for nuts or as flavorful additions to cookie recipes.