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Bitters Bottles


Chris Hennes
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For years, now, I've kept my bitters in those little dropper bottles from Specialty Bottle: the Amber Boston Rounds in the four ounce size, with the black dropper. For the labels, I just used my label maker, so they ended up looking like this:

DSC_6933.jpg

 

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I bought my current house. It's a little weird (designed by a local architect), and has this borderline-unusable space off the dining room. The furniture-designer in me immediately started plotting built-in wine and liquor storage, and the time has finally come to implement that scheme. I've more or less finished building the furniture (I have an electrician coming next month to run some new lines for me, but the construction is done). There is one section above the window that is a very short shelf, about 6" tall, but 5'8" long. My thought was to put my bitters bottles up there, but I decided I wanted something less ugly.

 

My first thought was to laser-engrave the bottles: I was imagining this like laser-etched polycarbonate, where if you edge-light it the etched part catches the light and glows. So I was hoping to uplight the bottles and get a cool glowing effect. Alas, glass doesn't work like that, and the laser-etched bottles are pretty nearly unreadable. Here's the Angostura attempt for reference:

DSC_6939.jpg

 

So, I went to plan B instead, and picked up some of those waterproof Avery labels in the 2" square size (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). I then spent the day perusing manufacturers websites and pulling logos and graphics from them. Then I created a basic template with my "house label" and morphed the original bottle designs onto that. Here's the result:

DSC_6938.jpg

 

DSC_6941.jpg

 

Once I get the lighting set up in that area I'll post them on their actual shelf, but overall the effect is pretty good. The labels are quite readable, even the Bitter Truth ones, which have the smallest flavor font.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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My old school brain wants bitters in low cool light but that is probably scientifically not fact based. The etching was lovely from an artistic standpoint. Oh so many career paths in front of you Mr Hennes.

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38 minutes ago, Craig E said:

Very cool! I'd be tempted to do some color-coding to speed my selection.

I'm still torn on the color issue: the shelves are gray and the walls are grayish. About half the stuff that's intended to live on these shelves is either clear or very desaturated. But the other half (cookbooks, plants, etc.) is pretty saturated, and the art on the walls is (or will be) saturated. I don't think I'll be able to tell until the lighting is installed whether these should be colored or not. Of course I am a librarian: they are in alphabetical order, so finding the right one is not too bad.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'm in awe of that variety of bitters. (I have Angostura and Peychauds). Display them the way it makes you smile. I love the idea of pantry staples as art.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I'm in awe of the dedicated bitters shelf.  The whole thing sounds like a work of art.

Mine are crammed into a low spot in my pull-out pantry.  Last night I was rummaging for Peychaud's & mole bitters with one hand while trying to keep 4 curious kittens from sneaking in with the other.

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5 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I'm still torn on the color issue: the shelves are gray and the walls are grayish. About half the stuff that's intended to live on these shelves is either clear or very desaturated. But the other half (cookbooks, plants, etc.) is pretty saturated, and the art on the walls is (or will be) saturated. I don't think I'll be able to tell until the lighting is installed whether these should be colored or not. Of course I am a librarian: they are in alphabetical order, so finding the right one is not too bad.

 

There aren't Library of Congress Classifications for Bitters? 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I like the original labeling...so much more DIY.  But what I really like is the bottle these things come in; the new labels, while gorgeous, are sorta like putting pineapple on a pizza.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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16 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I'm still torn on the color issue: the shelves are gray and the walls are grayish. About half the stuff that's intended to live on these shelves is either clear or very desaturated. But the other half (cookbooks, plants, etc.) is pretty saturated, and the art on the walls is (or will be) saturated. I don't think I'll be able to tell until the lighting is installed whether these should be colored or not. Of course I am a librarian: they are in alphabetical order, so finding the right one is not too bad.

You're a crazy librarian. But it's good you are a librarian, because clearly that's the only thing keeping you from organizing your books by spine color. Happy Thanksgiving! 

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8 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

You're a crazy librarian. But it's good you are a librarian, because clearly that's the only thing keeping you from organizing your books by spine color. Happy Thanksgiving! 

 

Ha! @rarerollingobject did the spine color thing and swore she could find any of her numerous cookbooks right away.

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6 hours ago, weinoo said:

But what I really like is the bottle these things come in;

I really (really) like the Dashfire Mole bitters bottle, but I think Fee Bros bottles are ugly. If there was only one Fee Bros. bottle that would be fine, it would just blend into the crowd, but there are six or seven of them, I think.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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