Broaden Your Palette with Grandeur View Bitters 

Glance through most American kitchens and you’re likely to find two staple ingredients: Vanilla Extract and Angostura. One is typically mixed into birthday cakes and homemade ice cream, while the other is reserved for a stiff drink served after hours. One is regularly used by your LDS grandmother, and the other will get you 86’ed from the Celestial Kingdom. Despite their cultural inequalities, these two items are essentially the same thing: flavor extracts made from aromatic ingredients and high-proof ethanol. 

Thinking of vanilla extract and bitters on the same playing field opens up a new realm of possibility. Sure, bitters are a go-to flavor enhancement to cocktails like an Old Fashion or Sazerac, but what about using them to flavor food? How about adding them to everyday drinks like coffee or soda water? To further add to the range of possibilities, modern-day bitters have come a long way from their astringent forefathers. Now you can find unique flavor combinations like blueberry and cardamom, or gooseberry and armageddon pepper. The latter can be purchased from a local vendor who’s working to change consumers’ perception of aromatic tinctures as a whole—Grandeur View Bitters. 

Grandeur View Bitters
Photo by Adam Finkle

A small-batch producer, Grandeur View was founded by Dr. Anne Arendt who teaches at Utah Valley University. The idea for the company stemmed from her interest in cooking and the chance to show her students how to build a business from the ground up. “There was a lot of experimentation, and a lot of hoops to jump through when it comes to getting things approved from the TTB [Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau],” she says. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Arendt sought out to create new and unique flavor combinations. “I started to look at historical recipes and make up my own alterations.” From that quest came Grandeur View’s flagship products—Quake, Grapefruit Complex and Gooseberry Armageddon. “Each bitters has a different use, Grapefruit Complex is great for gins and vodkas or waters, while Quake is best in whiskey or black coffee,” she explains. 

Considering that Arendt has only been producing and selling bitters for a little over a year, her products have already earned impressive accolades. Grapefruit Complex, her personal favorite, was recognized in the International Wine & Spirit Competition. Gooseberry Armageddon, a zesty flavor made from Armageddon peppers grown in her own home, has become a best seller among Utahns—thanks to Arendt’s marketing approach. “The reality of trying to sell bitters in Utah is challenging, because how many people in this state are looking for ways to flavor cocktails?” says Arendt, who found she had to first educate consumers on what bitters even are. “When people come up to my booth [at farmer’s markets], I always start with this sentence: ‘Just so you know, bitters have an alcoholic base but are considered a non-alcoholic product that we sell in grocery stores, not liquor stores—just like vanilla extract!’”  

Having captured their interest (or having weeded out the zero-tolerance killjoys), Arendt shares the many ways her bitters can be used. “It’s about getting people to think outside the box and use bitters in other ways,” she says. “In my home, we use them to flavor fish and vegetables before or after cooking.” Surpisingly, she’s found that non-drinkers have become bitters’ biggest champions. 

So why are bitters so popular among Utahns, both tipplers and teetotalers alike? Arendt believes it’s because they offer a customization factor. As evidenced by the invasion of signature soda shops and “build-your-own” menus, people want personalized experiences when it comes to food and beverages. And whether they’re used behind the bar or in the kitchen, bitters allow consumers to create an experience that’s entirely their own.

Look for Grandeur View Bitters at the Wheeler Farmer’s Market, at Salt And Hops in Ogden, and at the Neighborhood Hive. Browse the full product line at / @grandeurviewbitters

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Avrey Evans
Avrey Evans
Avrey Evans is the Digital and the Nightlife Editor of Salt Lake Magazine. She has been writing for city publications for six years and enjoys covering the faces and places of our salty city, especially when a boozy libation is concerned.

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