Better with Bitters

Better with Bitters

A local couple with decades of combined bartending experience are making a line of aromatic bitters to enhance any cocktail or spirit

Aromatic bitters have a long history of medicinal uses; now the tonics are seeing a resurgence in modern bartending practices. | Photo by Young Kwak

While the craft of mixing cocktails is celebrated as a complex and careful art, it doesn’t always have to be a complicated undertaking.

This is partly the philosophy behind a Spokane couple’s growing business producing small-batch aromatic bitters that can offer a flavorful complement to both alcohols served neat, or as multi-ingredient libations of any scale.

Shelayna and Tyson Skidmore — who’ve each worked more than a decade in the hospitality industry — have seen Skidmore Alchemy, their line of aromatic bitters, significantly expand in use at bars across the region since early this year. Nearly two dozen local bars and restaurants now carry the couple’s cocktail additives, which can be used to splash a hint of herbal or fruit-based flavors, among others, to all variety of alcoholic beverages.

“Bitters is the salt and pepper of the spirits world,” says Tyson. “They’re not there to change the flavor of the product, but to enhance it and make it better.”

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This story received third place in the 2018 Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) Awards in the category of Food Writing, circulation of 40,000 and over.