For the serious cocktail enthusiast, the Ira Remsen Kit lets you experiment in style. The sturdy wood case included with this kit lets you take the show on the road or earn serious bar cred at your next speakeasy night. Available with battery powered lights under the bottles to make your bitters shine. Request a custom order for more info.
Seven types of dropper bottles are available (number in kit; 30ml with glass dropper and rubber bulb unless otherwise noted):
- clear Barnes (8; square with red rubber stopper)
- amber French square (9)
- clear French square (9)
- amber Boston round (8)
- clear Boston round (8)
- amber round with ground glass pipette (7)
- clear round with ground glass pipette (7)
I highly recommend the book "Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas" by Brad Thomas Parsons and Ed Anderson as an accompaniment to this kit.
Ira Remsen founded the department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. He encouraged his students to experiment and observe and to not rest on their achievements. He also had an impressive set of muttonchop sideburns. One of my favorite science quotes is his account of an experiment gone wrong:
"While reading in a textbook of chemistry, ... I came across the statement, 'nitric acid acts upon copper.' I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff and I determined to see what this meant. Copper was more or less familiar to me, for copper cents were then in use. I had seen a bottle marked 'nitric acid' on a table in the doctor's office where I was then 'doing time.' I did not know its peculiarities, but I was getting on and likely to learn. The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant... I put one of them on the table, opened the bottle marked 'nitric acid'; poured some of the liquid on the copper; and prepared to make an observation. But what was this wonderful thing which I beheld? The cent was already changed, and it was no small change either. A greenish blue liquid foamed and fumed over the cent and over the table. The air in the neighborhood of the performance became colored dark red. A great colored cloud arose. This was disagreeable and suffocating, how should I stop this? I tried to get rid of the objectionable mess by picking it up and throwing it out of the window, which I had meanwhile opened. I learned another fact: nitric acid not only acts upon copper but it acts upon fingers. The pain led to another unpremeditated experiment. I drew my fingers across my trousers and another fact was discovered. Nitric acid acts upon trousers. Taking everything into consideration, that was the most impressive experiment, and, relatively, probably the most costly experiment I have ever performed."
- From The Life of Ira Remsen by F. H. Getman, 1940.
Ira Remsen Kit - Makes 20 - 36 200ml batches:
â–º 7, 8, or 9 dropper bottles, depending on style. See list below.
â–º 1 small wooden trunk to hold bottles and jars
â–º 4 handmade 250 ml amber glass apothecary jars with molded glass stoppers
â–º 1 funnel with 10 filter papers
â–º 1 60 ml syringe for measuring liquids and filling bottles
â–º 3 fl oz (approx 90 ml or 6 tablespoons) each:
- Allspice berries
- Black peppercorns
- Birch bark
- Burdock root
- Cardamom (green pods)
- Cinchona bark
- Cinnamon chips
- Roasted cocoa nibs
- Gentian root
- Hibiscus flower
- Licorice root
- Milk thistle seed
- Quassia wood
- Sarsaparilla root
- Wild cherry bark
- Wintergreen leaf
- Wormwood herb
- Juniper berries
- Black Walnut leaf
- Cascade hops