This week on Shop Small Saturday Showcase, I have something just for the big kids. :) When I first found Olive Heights Trading Co. at Artisanal L.A. last year, one of their bottles of bitters ended up being one of the only items we bought that day. Usually, I try lots of samples, file away all the business info, and figure out what to buy from the online shops later, but this just couldn't wait! All of the items were interesting, but the Moroccan Orange Bitters came home with me that day. :)
Actually, if you are interested in trying it for yourself, the awesome owners and of Olive Heights Trading Co., Benjamin and Scott, are giving away a gift set of Moroccan Orange, Basil Rosemary and Padre Pio Molé Bitters to one of my lucky readers! But first, check out the interview where you'll find out the amazing inspiration for the Padre Pio Molé Bitters and more interesting tidbits!
Tell me a little bit about yourself!
Our company was founded in 2013 by veteran bartenders Benjamin Carpenter and Scott Winnie with the vision and guidance of longtime friend and business analyst Skyler Champion. Our aim was simple; to produce quality artisanal bitters while only using organic ingredients from the finest domestic and international sources.
Where did the name of your store come from?
Olive Heights is the neighborhood in Pasadena where we founded the company in an attic apartment of a historic Craftsman home.
Why did you start making goods for Olive Heights?
Ben had recently become head bartender of Green Street Restaurant in Pasadena. His owner and bar manager, Michael and Alison Hawkins had approached him about buying bitters for the bar and Ben asked for the opportunity to make them himself. A couple of weeks later, they hosted a bitters tasting for him and enjoyed them so much that they encouraged him to start a company and offered to be his first account.
What is your favorite item?
Our Padre Pio Molé Bitters are our current favorite. We felt that all of the other Molé inspired bitters on the market are too chocolate-forward. Real Molé has supporting notes of cacao but is truly savory, spicy and herbaceous in nature. Our Padre Pio formula is derived from a 150 year old Oaxacan recipe and is incredibly authentic.
What is your most popular item?
Our Moroccan Orange Bitters are our leading seller at the moment. Cinnamon and Hontaka Chiles share the spotlight in this formula with generous amounts of fresh and dried orange peel.
Where do you get the inspiration for your work?
Our bitters are inspired by culinary flavor profiles. We saw a void in the market for certain flavors and wanted to develop original formulas that would still remain practical to the average cocktail maker. Our Vito Vincenzo Basil Rosemary Bitters are a perfect example. They are a derived from a unique formula but still remain a versatile choice for bourbon, agave-based and neutral grain spirits alike.
What makes your store unique?
All of the bitters we sell are crafted, labeled and bottled by hand. The word artisanal is thrown around a lot, but we feel as though our products are the very definition.
What is the toughest part about making your goods/your artistic process?
The toughest part is the patience required for producing bitters. It is a minimum two week process and there are a lot of moving parts. It requires a lot of diligence and attention to detail.
Do you take custom orders?
We develop custom bitters, shrubs and syrups for restaurants and bars across the country. It is a minimum month long process and we guarantee pinpoint accuracy in regards to meeting your target flavor.
Where can I see more of your work and buy a gift?
Are you ready to get your hands on some amazing bitters and try out some fun drinks? Check out the website for their products, this page for cocktail recipes, and enter the giveaway below! Let's get to it!
One lucky winner will receive a gift set of Moroccan Orange, Basil Rosemary and Padre Pio Molé Bitters. Wonderful! This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents 21 and over, so please take note of the age requirement this time. Enter in the widget below, and...