Pine Plains, NY
“There are a lot of smaller bitters producers coming out now,” says Ariel Schlein, president of Dutch’s Spirits. The company makes moonshine, brandy, and bitters on the site of a historic old distillery in Pine Plains that allegedly was run by famed mobster Dutch Schultz during Prohibition. The famed Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan is already using Dutch’s bitters: “They make a Manhattan with them,” says Schlein. Wild American spicebush and kinnikinnick leaf are the main ingredients, but they also draw flavors from around the globe, including Turkish bitter orange peel and French lavender. The bitters “go particularly well with dark spirits like whiskey or rye,” says Schlein. A buyer at Williams-Sonoma was so impressed with the product that he approached the company about making a do-it-yourself bitters kit. “We dropped everything else and put something together in a week,” says Schlein. The $24.95 kit went on the market in February; “It’s a great seller for them,” says Schlein.