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Aug 18, 2009 03:11 PM

Orange Bitters in Seattle? Rye?

Anyone know where I can get some orange cocktail bitters? I've been to a couple different government liquor stores (including the well-stocked one on Cap. Hill) and was referred to "a grocery store". That hasn't panned out either.

Also, the state shop seems to stock only Jim Beam Rye. Is that a decent brand for cocktail consumption? If not, can someone reccomend another? I'm a novice.


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    1. I can't help with the orange bitters but I've heard that the Jim Beam Rye is decent. I've bought Old Overholt Rye from the West Seattle liquor store and have been happy with it. Under $20 if I remember right. "Ri" seems to be overpriced for what you get.

      1. I don't care for Jim Beam rye. I like Rittenhouse rye and you can get it here. You may have to check the WSLCB web site for locations.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Lauren

          You should be able to get Angostura bitters w/ the mixers in most decent grocery stores.

          Don't know much about rye, except that i like to drink it! Crown Royal and Canadian Club are widely available, and i think that the labeling is differnet in canada, so sometimes just called canadian whisky, which is fairly equivalent to american rye (i could be wrong, this is only what i have gleaned from bartender chat and some friends in toronto who drink gallons of CC and call it rye). Sometimes bourbon is replaced for rye in mixed drinks, and it is a little sweeter than rye, but some really outstanding small production varieties are easy to find (love Makers Mark and Knob Creek).. Wild Turkey (bleh) is another US brand of rye. I think that Jim beam has a few different labels that vary in qualilty (like Johnny Walker red vs black, etc).

          So, if i may ask, what are you mixing?

          1. re: bluedog67

            Looking for bitters, but have to give you some direction, if that's ok.

            Crown Royal and CC don't have a drop of rye in them, they are made from other grains, notably a large corn componebt.

            Anything called "Canadian Whisky" usually have no rye in them, and you'll notr that the labelling makes no claim of rye in the contents. The distillers though are happy to ley people think that they are ryes.
            This all arose when the aforementioned brands decided that the public couldn't really tell the difference and switched from rye which was more expensive at the time, to other grains, etc.

            If you want real Canadian rye, try Alberta Premium, Tangle Ridge, Centennial premium, White owl (clear, no colour added).
            An excellent blend of rye, corn, and barley is 40 Creek Whisky, surpassing most-if not all- 100% rye whisky IMO.

            Hope this helps.

        2. I've mostly found that Old Overcoat is the best bet for rye at the goverenment stores. DeLaurenti ( in the Pike Place Market had a nice selection of bitters last time I was there. Can't say for sure that they had an orange bitter, but a quick call to their wine shop should find out for sure.

          1. late to the party here but there are a bunch of boutique ryes worth trying and i think even the good ones don't get up in price the way boutique bourbon does. unfortunately most wa state liquor stores only carry old overholt and jim beam. rittenhouse is good and if you can find it pikesville rye is great and very cheap (like 15$/fifth) try the u village liquor store or the downtown ballard one. rittenhouse makes pikesville, which is an old classic maryland label (one of the original rye centers of production), to i believe its original specifications. last time i checked i was told that the distillery had run out of pikesville and it was unclear when it would be back. but keep your eyes open for it. there are other labels too. we use it for fresh squeezed whiskey sours. it's dandy.