The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2011

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Page 86 of 128

BRAND PROFILE Bitter Reality L At Library Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt, barman Chris Hewes (left) tries out Miracle Mile Bitters created by Louis Anderman (right). WHAT STARTED AS A HOBBY BECOMES A BUSINESS WITH MIRACLE MILE BITTERS COMPANY story and photos by E. C. Gladstone ouis Anderman doesn't come across as a very obsessive person. But sidle up next to him on a barstool and get chatting about his "hobby," and you're in for a long haul. The CEO/bottler/deliveryman of the Miracle Miles Bitters Company can expound at fascinating length on the origins of the 19th- century tonics and elixirs that evolved into our favorite cocktail condiments. "We're still undoing the damage of Prohibition," Anderman tells THE TASTING PANEL, eager to do his part in bringing back the glory days of imbib- ing. A former film industry exec, Los Angeles's Anderman actually did start making bitters just for fun (and maybe to break the ice with a bartender or two), but after so many local mixologists requested bottles, he realized he had to start charging for it. One thing, as they say, led to another, and now seven different flavors are available, with at least three more under development. Despite Anderman's fascination with recipe archeology and obscure ingredients such as tonka beans, gentian and burdock, though, only two, Forbidden Bitters and Orange, follow a classic flavor profile. The others are starkly modern, including Chocolate/Chili (made with real Valrhona, we're told), Gingerbread, Sour Cherry, Castilian and Yuzu. Retail outlets in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, he tells us, have trouble keeping them in stock. Carefully guarding his recipes, Anderman personally makes all the batches by hand, using equipment at nearby Monrovia's Modern Spirits distillery. In most cases, he delivers them personally as well, though that might change as the tinctures begin getting national distribution to rival Fee Brothers, The Bitter Truth and others. At THE TASTING PANEL's request, Chris Hewes of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's moody Library Bar gave the Miracle Mile range a workout, showing the vast array of unique cocktails to which the bitters could contribute, from sweetish Fig Fashioned to earthy Nolita. "His bitters really allow you to play," says Hewes. "The flavors are bolder." Taking an appreciative sip, Anderman responds, "I'm just the luthier, making the instrument." Miracle Miles Bitters come in seven flavors, with two more on the way. 86 / the tasting panel / december 201 1

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