The Napa Valley Distillery has a store in the Oxbow Public Market (A favorite haunt of ours). They sell a variety of spirits, abouht which I cannot write, as I have to yet to try them. That may not seem too remarkable; there are, after all, hundreds of food and drink businesses in Napa Valley, I cannot have tried them all. However, I have frequently visited their Oxbow outlet and bought many items. The reason for these apparently contradictory statements is that all of my purchases have been of cocktail bitters.
The Napa Valley Distillery stock a wide range of bitters, far more than I have seen in any other store. Were this range not sufficient justification to make them my destination of choice for bitters, they also allow you to taste from all of their range. When I wanted to purchase chocolate bitters, being able to sample several different brands helped me settle on my favourite (Bob’s Bitters)
The chocolate bitters work well with Tequila and Mescal cocktails; for example:
2oz Añejo tequila
1/4 oz Mezcal
1/oz Green Chartreuse
2 ds Chocolate bitters
Stir with ice, strain into glass. Drink-up
The staff are friendly and knowledgeable. On a recent visit, I indicated that I was not sure what bitter I wanted, but knew I wanted something that would give some variety to my Old Fashioned. I was recommended the excellent Dashfire Brandy Old Fashioned Bitters, which as previously noted on this blog were an excellent choice.
Napa Valley Distillery make their own bitters, which they sell alongside product from other manufacturers both large and small. I have a bottle of their excellent grapefruit bitters. Their website will give you a sense of the variety, without allowing you the pleasure of tasting; for that you need to visit them at Oxbow.
California Girl Comments: Every time we are in the Oxbow Public Market, The Brit makes a B-Line for this shop. Not being the mixologist he is, it’s hard for me to fathom why anyone would need that many types of bitters in one cocktail cabinet collection. Good thing though that he proves me wrong every time with his amazing concoctions. I just sit back and enjoy, no more questions asked. Well, maybe one. May I have another?