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Handcrafted Bitters

Bittered Sling small-batch extracts.

What happens when the worlds of award-winning mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote and talented chef Jonathan Chovancek collide? Professional and personal lives fuse and Bittered Sling Extracts—an artisanal line of small-batch, high-quality cocktail bitters and culinary extracts—is born.

Launched in 2010, Bittered Sling is a perfect union of the pair’s cocktail and culinary palates. Mote had been making bitters and infusions for a few years, and the partnership added a culinary edge that took them to another level. “We’re each others’ muses,” says Mote. The mixologist defines bitters as ambassadors of flavour—high-proof infusions with “thoughtful ingredients used as a complex bridge to bring ingredients together.” Adding to his partner’s definition, Chovancek adds, “They’re the salt, pepper, and vinegar of the cocktail world and equally at home in the kitchen where a dash or two will elevate a dish.”

With 15 bitters in the line up, six are global and always available, like Moondog or Grapefruit and Hops, and others are seasonal, such as Kensington Dry Aromatic, Autumn Bog Cranberry, or Suius Cherry, all being released in the autumn. With production growing from 5,000 bottles in 2012 to 35,000 in 2013, Bittered Sling is easily found in bars and specialty shops all over Canada, and, increasingly, the United States. The bitters are also distributed internationally.

Bittered Sling bitters earned three gold and two silver medals at the 2014 International Review of Spirits Competition. “Everything we entered got a medal,” says Mote. Nothing bitter in that.