The display for Honest John Bitters really made you feel as though you were stepping back in time to the days of snake-oil salesmen peddling their wares. Photo: Talyn Sherer

Honest John Bitters Co. Launch @ The Mandate Press 10.15

Food Festivals & Events

If you have ever been mysteriously led to the basement of Bodega and sipped on a cocktail while enjoying the hauntingly beautiful décor, chances are you have been the unknowing test subject of a little endeavor called Honest John Bitters Co. This newest venture from Sara Lund was brought about due to the financial constraints required to keep a ready supply of bitters stocked up for her speakeasy, The Rest. Not only was the process becoming arduous to keep the supply well stocked, but the quality of the bitters was not up to par with Sara’s vision to create the perfect cocktail. Most bitters on the market today have lost touch with their roots: Instead of giving you a tonic filled with the elixir of various flavors, they mask it using cheap ingredients like glycerin. As explained by Lund, the name Honest John comes from a time when bitters were marketed as the one-stop shop, cure-all elixir that were sold off the back of wagons by traveling snake-oil salesmen called Honest Johns. Sara herself is far from a snake-oil salesman, and her product does not make claims to cure any diseases—unless the disease stems from a severe lack of flavor in your daily cocktail, in which case there is no better alternative. So, if you find yourself in the market for a locally sourced cocktail additive or are simply curious about comparing flavors, be sure to seek out Honest Johns Bitters at The Rest. Starting Oct. 18, The Rest will hold an exclusive tasting that features four of the five bitters they offer, giving patrons a chance to try bitters in their purest form.