Better Bitters

CBD makes its mark.

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Rectangular amber bottle with blue label of CBD herbal aromatic bitters

A drop at a time, hemp-derived cannabidiol (better known as CBD) has made its mark in recent years. CBD’s sedative qualities have the power to help us chill—and boy, have we needed that. It’s no wonder that infusions of the stuff are available in the form of just about anything you can consume. 

One area of particular growth has been the CBD bitters market. Nicholas Andresen, founder and chemist of Denver-based bitters company Strongwater, saw the trend on the rise before COVID, but in 2020, sales of the company’s CBD line—called Mountain Elixirs—rose steadily.

Strongwater supplies several area restaurants and bars, including Avanti Food & Beverage, where beverage director Chris Stotts notes an uptick in guests ordering CBD cocktails. And Strongwater ambassador Alex Kayir says that adding CBD bitters to a drink (alcoholic or otherwise) often means restaurants and bars can charge more. “It’s an upcharge,” she says. “I think Carbon did $1 per milligram and coffee shops do a similar format. At Señor Bear, the CBD old fashioned with our CBD aromatic bitters was $18.”

Curious? Consider these Strongwater bitters for your bar:

Aromatic ⇨ with turmeric, cardamom, allspice, sassafras, and black pepper ⇨ for hot toddies and old fashioneds

Orange ⇨ with orange peel, black walnut, gentian, clove, and cardamom ⇨ for margaritas and Negronis

Cherry Bourbon ⇨ with tart and Bing cherries, bourbon, cinnamon, cherry bark, and gentian ⇨ for Manhattans

Lavender ⇨ with lavender, chamomile, calendula, yarrow, vervain, and wormwood ⇨ for French 75s and greyhounds

Virtue ⇨ with rose, sage, holy basil, chrysanthemum, and lemongrass ⇨ for bloody marys and spritzers

Talk to us! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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