People who know me, understand me to be a purist. Nothing halfway about my pursuits. This posture brings about both joy, as well as disappointment. In the end you often realize that it’s the journey and not the destination that is important. Which is why I am constantly searching…

In a recent copy of Imbibe magazine I learned about a new line of pre-made cocktail mixers from an outfit called Bittermilk in Charleston, South Carolina. Like the author of the piece, I eschew most pre-made cocktail mixers, primarily because they are really bad and don’t make anything even close to the cocktail suggested on the bottle. I would rather pass on a cocktail, or struggle to find the right ingredients before using the usual dreck that constitutes pre-made cocktail mixers.

Imagine my joy when I read about Bittermilk and promptly ordered their three cocktail mixer compounds. According to the web site: “Bittermilk compounds are designed for the modern day cocktail enthusiast, to help mix up unique, quality cocktails following a simple ratio of Bittermilk to your choice of spirit. Each of our products use a bittering agent, a sweetener, and an acid to achieve a balanced cocktail. The labor is in the bottle.”

The three compounds currently available are:


No. 1 – Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Fashioned


No. 2 Tom Collins with Elderflower and Hops


No. 3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour

After sampling them with my favorite spirits, I can justly say they are amazing. The Whiskey Sour is about the best I have ever had, bright, refreshing with near perfect balance. The Old Fashioned is lush with a lovely, nuanced vanilla character. The Tom Collins is light and floral with a crisp, bright finish. The other nice aspect to these compounds is that you basically pick your spirit, mix with the recommended proportion of compound, shake/stir/strain and you’re done. Nothing could be easier, nor more pleasing. The labor really is in the bottle.

While I did not look for them locally, you can order them from the web site: They run $15 per compound, plus shipping – not inexpensive, but for the quality and the ease of use, they are certainly worth the price.

So, if you too are a purist at heart and want to find a credible pre-made cocktail mixer, the search is (partially) over – Bittermilk Cocktail Mixer Compounds…