FAQs

1) What are bitters and how do you use them? 

Bitters are classified as a flavour enhancer (a seasoning if you will) for the preparation of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, as well as any savoury or sweet food dish. Bitters add a layer of flavour complexity. They intensify the flavour of other ingredients, counteract the harshness of acidic contents and decrease the harshness of spirits. Bitters also help cleanse the palate and aid in digestion.

While the product contains 42% alcohol by volume, each dash contains an insignificant amount of alcohol due to serving size. 

 

2) How does Token make our bitters?

All Token Bitters products are made locally in Edmonton through an ethanol extraction process using 95% grain ethanol and our unique blend of natural ingredients. 

Token’s unique ingredients are sourced both locally and from fair trade sources around the globe. While other bitters manufacturers use vegetable glycerine as an extractive agent, Token uses ethanol as an extractive medium. We do this with thoughtful intention, as ethanol allows us to get the right flavours out of our ingredients. 

We are careful to source only organic ingredients whenever possible. Our hops, for example, are cultivated by Harvesters of Organic Hops. Token plans to support suppliers in their efforts to grow organic produce.

3) Are your products vegan or gluten-free? There are no gluten or animal products used in any part of the extraction, therefore our products are both vegan and gluten free. 

 

4) Which ingredients do you use?

  1. Hops
  • Hops have three flavour components: aroma, flavour and bitterness. The aroma is the experience provided by the volatile essential oils which enter the head space of a beverage. The flavour comes from more stable essential oils which remain dissolved in solution. Bitterness comes from alpha and beta acids extracted from the hop flower. Through heating, beta acid is converted to alpha acid during extraction in a process called isomerization. Alpha acid is much more bitter than beta acid.
  • Ku Deng Tea
  • A precious ancient tea from China that is derived from the Ilex latifolia species, a relative of the holly plant. Traditional Chinese medicine believes Ku Deng tea to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The major bittering component is triterpene glycosides (saponins) and additional flavour is provided by polyphenols and flavonoids.
  • Dried Moringa Seeds
  • Moringa oleifera comes from the drumstick tree, traditionally found in the Tamil Nadu region of India. The West African country of Benin has successfully built a small industry around Moringa seed production. The drought resistant crop is an ideal economic diversification for regions prone to drought. In fact, the plant is considered one of the most useful trees in the world because all parts of the plant can be used for food, medicines and industrial purposes.

5) Tell me a bit about the history of bitters. 

Don't mind if we do! Bitters were wildly popular in the 1800s before they quietly crept off the radar due to government regulation and Prohibition.  In Europe, bitters have long been used as medicine. Evidence of the world's first alcoholic beverage date to 7,000 B.C. in China indicated it was a brew of grapes, rice, honey, and hawthorn berry, a bitter component - Technically, it was an amaro—a drinkable bitters. Due to the resurgence of craft cocktails in the last decade there is a strong renewed interest in these potent and, yes, bitter liquids, a few drops of which bar aficionados say are essential to many proper drinks and, as a bonus, can soothe an upset stomach.