High Garden: The secret weapon for Nashville’s cocktail community
Bitters. What the heck are bitters? Cocktail lovers everywhere have been seeing the resurgence of the medicinal droppers on bars throughout the country but, why the drops? Bitters are aromatic tinctures, made of several ingredients with medicinal qualities which, if done properly, also provide a keen flavor profile. Bitters were the cure for all sorts of things in 19th century America. The advent of spiking ones brandy with Peychaud’s bitters (to prevent a hangover) was what gave way to the grand bishop of all cocktails, the Sazerac. Craft bartenders can use both bitters and tinctures in constructing their libations. What distinguishes bitters from tinctures, however, is a series of roots and other foliage that actually produce a bitter effect on the tongue. Mixologists in Nashville looking to make their own bitters, say of orange or lavender, would have normally had to order these hard to get ingredients, like quassia chips, dandelion root or milk thistle, online. Today though, Music City has High Garden, and thank God! Instead of waiting weeks for the goods, bartenders can now visit this East Nashville tea emporium, which includes a surprisingly thorough stock of base ingredients needed to make great bitters. Owners Joel and Leah Larabell wanted to provide Music City with a place to learn, connect and purchase all in the name of tea and herbs, and to help reinstate one of the worlds oldest drinking cultures. Though the obvious focus here is that of a non alcoholic nature, history states that when the good Lord brings something from the earth, someone, at sometime, will find a way to drink it. Bitters are not necessary for every classic or modern cocktail. If made well, though, bitters will help with the entire balance of a properly made sling and thus entirely preferred. We welcome High Garden with open arms. Bartenders…the world is now your oyster, and your shucking knife is in East Nashville.
1006 Fatherland Street Suite 204 Nashville TN 37206
As written for Nashville.com