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Fair Food, Philadelphia Distilling And Bartram’s Garden Bring Back Bartram’s Bitters, A Recipe From The Mid-1800’s

Fair Food, Bartram's Garden and Philadelphia Distilling are joining forces to resurrect a recipe that dates back to the mid-1800's, Bartram's Bitters. (Photo courtesy: Fair Food)

While organizing books in the Bartram’s Garden archives, curator Joel Fry found a curious piece of paper folded into an 1846 copy of A.B. Stong’s The American Flora. The handwritten paper read, “Receipt For Making Bartram’s Homestead Bitters.” The recipe is estimated to have been written during the mid‐19th century and is in the hand of John William Bartram (1813‐1866), a great-grandson of famed Philadelphia botanist, John Bartram.

The recipe originally called for mixing several astringent plant extracts – gentian root, prickly ash bark, cherry bark, and calamus root – with other aromatics in an alcohol‐water base. According to the recipe, the base was then diluted and sweetened with sugar and would have been a potent 37.5% alcohol or 75 proof.

Using local and organic ingredients, Fair Food and Philadelphia Distilling have resurrected, as closely as possible, the Bartram family recipe. On May16th from 5:30 – 8PM, the partners will celebrate the first batch production of the bitters with a cocktail competition (using the Bitters, of course) at the beautiful and historic Bartram’s Garden. Cocktails will be created by Christopher Walls of Dettera Restaurant & Wine Bar, Theo Webb of FISH Restaurant and Phoebe Esmon.

General admission tickets are $75, with proceeds benefiting Bartram’s Garden. A special $125 ticket is also available and includes a one-year membership to the garden. Everyone who attends will receive a bottle of Bartram’s Bitters to take home. Tickets to the event are available online via TicketLeap.

Lite bites will be provided by Ashley Power of Power Catering Events with support from Jen and Mitch Prensky of Supper.

Bartram’s Bitters Launch Party and Fundraiser
When: May 16th, 5:30 – 8:30PM
Where: Bartram’s Garden, 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard Philadelphia, PA
Cost: $75; $125 (includes one-year Bartram’s Garden membership)
More Information: http://bartram.ticketleap.com/bartrambitters/