Sweet launch for bitters line

Bitters by Christos took home three double gold awards at the San Diego Spirits Festival. Central City Brewers and Distillers photo

It’s not even available for sale yet, but already Christos Kalaitzis’ new bitters line is reaping the kind of recognition a crafty bartender could only dream of.

Bitters by Christos, created by the spirits brand ambassador and mixologist for Central City Brewers & Distillers, just took home not one, not two, but three double gold awards at the prestigious San Diego Spirits Festival, the premiere West Coast celebration of spirits and cocktails. (Central City’s Lohin McKinnon Peated Whisky also won double gold.)

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Blueberry Gin Smash

• 1.5 oz Queensborough Gin
• 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• 0.5 oz maple syrup
• 2 dashes aromatic bitters
• 5 fresh blueberries
• 3 lime wedges
• 1 mint sprig
• Tonic water

Add bitters, blueberries and limes into the glass and muddle them. Add Queensborough gin and dry vermouth and stir. Add ice cubes and top up with tonic. Add some crushed ice to the top of the glass and garnish with some blueberries and mint.

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Salted Caramel Rob Roy

Christos Kaliatzis’ Salted Caramel Rob Roy. Duncan Joseph photo

The Rob Roy was created in 1894 at Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria; at Central City, bartender Christos Kalaitzis created this salty-sweet version that won the Canadian Art of the Cocktail competition in 2017.

• 1 oz Lohin Mckinnon single malt
• 1 oz sweet vermouth
• 0.5 oz salted caramel sauce (see recipe below)
• 2 dashes rosemary bitters
• Garnish: Orange zest

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