Joe and MariElena Raya are an aspiring couple. The two, who met in 2001 while attending The Culinary Institute of America, have single handedly transformed what was once MariElena’s father’s legendary institution Robert’s (in the last location) into one of the city’s best places for craft cocktail consumption — The Gin Joint. People questioned the seriousness of the place when it first opened but it quickly showed everyone that a small, hard-to-find intimate, almost all spirit focused bar could survive. Not only has it survived, it is a hot spot for those into cocktail drinking or just socializing in town. There is no question, that the couple knows what they are doing and do it well.
Which is why it comes to no surprise that the Raya’s are at it again. This time with launching a new line of tasty non-alcoholic “cocktail compounds” that go perfectly with some of your favorite spirits. Bittermilk, as they have affectionately named the line, is a series of mixers that together with some good booze can create a variety of easy to make cocktails.
The name Bittermilk came to the couple after a cohesive theme came to light — there is a bittering agent in each compound. Each formula is very complex and creates a unique but tasty mix. It’s different from anything available on the market and the products feature flavors that you would not make yourself at home.
Here is the low down on the three products just launched: