Bitters, an often misunderstood flavor with a storied past

This often-misunderstood flavor is a tool that every bartender should have in their bag – and understand what to do with it. We as humans can detect five distinct flavors: sweet, salty, sour, bitter & umami (or savory). The initial challenge with "bitter" is that we are hardwired to think twice when something is bitter. This is a defense mechanism the tastebuds have to tell the body something you’re about to digest may be toxic. However, when delivered properly bitters can act as a palate cleanser or a bridge to connect flavors. Familiar foods we love have bitter tones like coffee, chocolate, grapefruit and many more.

Originally created to fight illness, bitter elixirs date all the way back to ancient Egyptians and furthered their popularity in medieval Europe. Different bitters and tonics were thought to cure just about anything and with distilled alcohol becoming more and more available, it was only a matter of time before the two met. Bitters is an element in the first written definition of the word cocktail; spirit, sugar, water & bitters. Try using the classic Angostura bitters with Kuleana Rum to make a Rum Old Fashioned. Or check out this fun cocktail called the "Diviso" utilizing the bitter elixir Cynar along with Kuleana ‘Huihui’ Rum, pineapple juice, lime juice & sugar. See the recipe below.

Kuleana Diviso


1 oz Kuleana Huihui

1 oz Cynar

.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice

.5 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

.25 oz Simple Syrup

Shake and strain.

WATCH VIDEO: Diviso Cocktail

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