We believe cocktails should be fun, not precious or intimidating. They should also be made with the best possible ingredients. We make all our bitters and syrups with real ingredients in small-batches to give you the best elements for all your cocktail making needs.
In 2012 wife and husband team, Genevieve and Dan Brazelton, started The Bitter Housewife with the mission to create a brand that made cocktails approachable through great tasting flavors, simple recipes, and lots of education. They expanded to add RAFT Syrups a few years later because bitter is always better with sweet.
It all started with a joke. “We’ll call it The Bitter Housewife,” I suggested after my husband Dan asked if I thought we could actually make a living selling cocktail bitters. He registered the website on the spot.
I’m generally of the mind that making things from scratch produces better results than store bought. However, I was doubtful bitters would be the same. I tried anyway. Dan and I were pleasantly surprised by the results and I set about making the perfect bitters for an Old Fashioned. When I finally nailed it, Dan thought we had something worth selling.
It didn’t take long before my marketing brain kicked in and a brand identity was forming. At the time, there was nothing on the market that spoke to women in an intelligent way. I wanted to create something that didn’t intimidate or exclude the novice, but also didn’t talk down to anyone. I wanted to create a brand for me and my friends – whiskey drinking, fun loving, go-getting women.
After a year of researching, imagining, and planning life stepped in. At the end of 2013 we moved to Portland, OR from San Francisco, bought a house, and got pregnant, but that didn’t slow us down. We welcomed our son, Dylan, into the world in August of 2014 and delivered our first wholesale order to all 13 New Seasons Markets just 2 months later. That first order was almost ruined because a sleep-deprived mistake landed half of that original batch on our dining room floor.
During that first year we had a basement full of mason jars and the dining room table served as our bottling “line”, labeling station, and order staging area.
Fast forward a year and a half to when we started to talk with the creators of RAFT Syrups, Sook Goh and Roslyn Tellvik, about working together on a cocktail kit. After a few conversations, they came back to us to ask if we’d like to take over the brand. We were honored that they trusted us to continue what they started and said yes.
The first flavor we launched under the RAFT brand was Citrus Rosemary, a syrup I first made for my baby shower. I wanted something that worked well spiked or not. We loved it so much it became a staple in our fridge long after our son was born.
Now we have a full pantry of small-batch cocktail ingredients you can trust to taste great and be made without heavy processing or additives.