Seehuusens Coffee and Chocolate bitters is made by a Swedish bartender, Daniel Seehuusen. They are new on the market in Sweden (for now) and I must say, these bitters are very good!
Here is his story:
Taste has always been something that has interested me, and when I received Saturday candy as a child I always thought it was very interesting to first take a red candy, then a yellow and finally take one red and one yellow to see if it got better together.
I got interested in cooking early, something that today is still a great passion and usually is what I do to unwind and relax. After high school I knew I wanted to work in a restaurant, but I was unsure if it was in the kitchen I wanted to be or in the bar, but as an 18 year old it was easy to pull up to the bar’s magical world. I joined an intensive training and worked a few months.
But I realized quite quickly that my education didn`t really deliver what it promised so I decided to take the other road into the bar, from the bottom and up. I worked a few years as a dishwasher and barback and began after a while to run the bar again.
Quickly I realized the beauty of working in front of the guest and to get feedback immediately. Cooking remained a hobby.
I have for many years macerated ingredients in spirits to to use in cocktails so making bitters turned out quite natural. I had it as pretty relaxed projects for quite a few years but for 1½ years ago I decided to make it more seriously, I started to weigh and measure, keeping records and I became interested in what alcohol proof worked best for each individual ingredient.
I began to think it was funnier to make new bitters than to use up my old. The problem that arose with too many bitters was simply solved by giving them away to friends and acquaintances.
Last summer I broke two fingers in a bicycle accident, and I got a quite a long sick leave but after a while I started “climbing the walls” and that`s when I decided to start my own business. Said and done, I started Seehuusen Spirits AB and sent samples to Systembolaget (The Swedish spirits retail shop, alcohol is state owned in Sweden) and won their request for a new cocktail bitters.
Part of the reason I began making bitters was because I felt that many of the available bitters on the market has a chemical taste, I simply doesn`t think everything out there tastes authentic and natural. And therefore it has been very important for me to use natural ingredients and not compromising on quality. The ingredients in Seehuusen’s Bitters are of course a secret, but the three main ingredients are coffee, chocolate and cocoa.
I have been extra careful and have only selected products that are produced in a sustainable and responsible manner and of course of really high quality. My goal is that Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate should be entirely organic in 2016.
I have also chosen the bottle with care and the dark purple glass lets through very little light. As you probably already know, light break down flavors and reduce sustainability and so I picked this dark purple glass to be able to guarantee the highest quality and longest possible shelf life.
My plan with Seehuusen Spirit is to work as much as possible with the launch of the “Coffee & Chocolate”at Systembolaget, and in the fall / winter there will be new flavors that will only be sold to restaurants.
Seehuusen’s Bitters Coffee & Chocolate will be in the normal range in 70 Systembolaget shops. It is 200 ml, 35% and the price is 149 SEK. Systembolaget’s part number: 450 – http://www.systembolaget.se/dryck/sprit/seehuusens-bitters-45004
So, I tried the bitters in two drinks, one recipe created by Daniel and then a “bitterized” Shrunken Skull – since there has already been published classic and modern cocktails on the bitters website, someone needs to try them in a tiki drink too right? well somebody gotta do it….seems that somebody is me… 🙂
But before I present the drinks, let me say what I think of the bitters:
First the bottle, it is a very nice looking one with a beautiful label in dark purple and gold to match the dark purple bottle and even the seal is beautiful. But it´s the inside that counts right? so first the nose, you get a whiff of coffee at first followed by warm cocoa, and the final impression is that it´s a yummy balanced smell of both cocoa and coffee.
Tasting a few drops of it reveals more of the coffee-cocoa flavor with a slight bitterness but it´s not more bitter than say Angostura, you can use this in larger quantities too if you want to make cocktails in the style of Trinidad Sour. But how much flavor a dash or two gives different cocktails is something to experiment with.
Here´s the two drinks:
Micedymac Flip (recipe Daniel Seehuusen)
4 cl ( about 1.5 oz) Venezuelan rum and 2 cl ( about 0.75 oz) Trinidad rum
3 barspoons maple syrup
3 dash Seehusens bitters coffee and chocolate
Dry shake and then shake with ice, strain into a glass, dust a little cocoa on top, garnish with wrapped around vanilla beans.
This drink did really let the rum come forward….soft like velvet and somewhat “cool” for a lack of better word, and not too sweet! the cinnamon on top added that extra spice…
Shrunken Skull with a twist!
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz grenadine
1 oz gold Puero Rican rum (instead, I used Denizen Rum Merchant`s Reserve)
1 oz demerara rum
Several good dashes of Seehuusen`s Coffee and Chocolate Bitters
Shake vigoriously with ice cubes and pour unstrained into a tiki mug.
As of recipe from the 1950s………it`s believed that the Shrunken Skull is a drink that was inspired by Don the Beachcomber’s Skull & Bones. As far as I know there´s only two tiki bars in the world still serving Donn Beach original Skull and Bones – Mai Kai and Tiki Ti.
The Seehuusens coffe and chocolate bitters added a rounded yummy touch to the drink! I submitted this one also for the Shrunken Skull Challenge on Instagram.
So, if you happen to live in Sweden (for now at least), give these bitters a try….you won`t be disappointed!
Here is the bitters webpage, Seehuusens Spirits.