THE BITTER OPTIMIST
Citrussy, woody, herbal and deeply bitter. Limited edition
500 ml / 16.9 fl oz
OPTIMIST BOTANICALS are artfully distilled botanical spirits that are completely free of alcohol. Designed to be mixed as you would a premium spirit.
Tasting notes: Citrus, herbal, bitter
Reminiscent of a bitter old-school amari but with a contemporary Cali twist
Pour: 1 part BITTER OPTIMIST Cali Amaro over ice. Sip straight or add a splash of club soda for a longer sip. Use as a base for more complex cocktails.
Garnish: Citrus peel
Key Botanicals: Orange, pink grapefruit, mandarin orange, bay laurel, sage, wormwood, gentian, dandelion root.
CALI AMARO is inspired by Los Angeles’ year round sunshine, and citrus growing history. Cruising in a soft top along the winding Mulholland Drive, views of citrus groves and the ocean beyond, the abundance of native plants and trees lent inspiration for the bitter notes in this expression. As did the endless frustration of LA traffic…
Water, dandelion root, linden, gentian, yerba mate, camellia sinensis (black tea), glycerin, agave nectar, fruit & vegetable juice (for color), botanical disillates and extracts (incl. Orange, pink grapefruit, mandarin orange, sage, bay laurel, thyme, angelica, wormwood, neroli, vetiver), citric acid, potassium sorbate (as preservative)
Some of us are trying to drink less. Some of us don’t want to drink anything at all. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to meet up with the people we enjoy and make meaningful connections. Alcohol shouldn’t be a barrier (lockdown is a different matter…) We want to offer an alternative, and envision a better way for us to hang and connect, without compromising our physical and mental wellbeing. And if we are all staying closer to home for a while, it’s good to have the ritual of making a drink to mark the transition from the end of the working day into a relaxing evening, without the morning after.
WHERE DOES THE NAME COME FROM?
Optimists are change-makers, people who see things for what they are, no matter how difficult that is, then envision a better way - a brighter future - and put in the work to make it a reality.
When we talk about optimists, and optimism, we don’t mean rose-tinted, mindless positivity. It takes work to be an optimist; it takes grit, clarity of thought, and resilience to be able to envision a better future and then work towards it. We aren’t anti-alcohol but we recognise that the booze doesn’t always help with our mental wellness, or our physical well being. What we do need though are meaningful social connections, and the rituals that are involved in getting together for a drink. We need small moments of celebration that don’t rely on inebriation.
In order to be able to envision a better future, and help shape that future, we first need to take care of our mental wellbeing. Levels of mental illness and depression are on the rise, particularly amongst young people. Loneliness is a key factor in this, and as people are trying to drink less, or choosing not to drink at all, we want to rethink what it means to ‘have a drink’ with friends, and offer up an alternative to ensure alcohol isn’t a barrier to social connection.
HOW DOES IT TASTE?
The three flavor profiles of Optimist Botanicals are very distinct, drawing inspiration from the diverse landscapes and cultures of LA and it’s environs. Each has between 10-15 botanicals which gradually unfold on your tongue. Dig into the flavor profiles for more detail on what to expect, or to find your perfect Optimist.
WHAT ABOUT THE BUZZ?
We believe (and plenty of research supports this) that much of the buzz you feel when drinking with people you enjoy comes from the social connection, and ritual of crafting beautiful drinks. We want to untether the booze from the buzz. Contact highs all the way. You are also free to bring your own buzz, whatever that may be. It’s all about choice.
HOW DO YOU MAKE IT?
We worked with a master distiller in downtown LA for over 18 months to create the final recipes for the three Optimist Botanical flavor profiles. Each ingredient is distilled separately, using traditional steam distillation or C02 extraction (a very clean method more commonly used in cannabis production). This gives is the true ‘spirit’ of each ingredient, the most essential flavor. These distilliates are carefully blended to create a balanced, distinct profile for each flavor.
HOW DO I MAKE IT?
Optimist Botanicals were created to be mixed with sparkling water, tonic water, or your favorite mixer. Experiment a little, and take a look at our recipe ideas in the journal or on Insta for some direction. They can also be used as part of a lower alcohol cocktail; sub in for vodka, gin or tequila depending on what you’re creating.
WHAT’S IN IT? NO ALCOHOL, NO SUGAR, NO CARBS?
As far as possible we work with our partners to source organic ingredients (this can be more challenging for some less common botanicals), and we are mindful of sustainable and ethical practices. We have B Corps Pending status, which means we are striving to meet the highest standards of environmental and social performance.
Our products contain no alcohol, no sugar, no calories. They are vegan, carb-free and contain no artificial flavors, gums or additives.
HOW, WHERE AND FOR HOW LONG SHOULD I STORE IT?
Cool and dry, for up to a month once opened.
THERE’S A LITTLE CONDENSATION IN MY BOTTLE..?
The challenge of making a distilled drink without alcohol is that ethanol usually plays the role of preservative and stabiliser. Optimist Botanicals uses natural distillates and CO2 extracts to create the complex flavor profiles, but our products are regulated by the FDA (unlike the alcohol industry) and so we are required to add something else to act as a preservative. In order to keep our products as clean as we possibly can, we use the smallest amount possible, but it is a very fine balance. And without the alcohol, the liquid is more subject to ambient temperature change, which may create some condensation in the bottle. Give it a little shake for the sheer aestheticism. If you see any separation, or bonding of the flavor components within your bottle, shake a little more energetically (mixologist style). Your Optimist will still taste fabulous, but if you are not completely happy then please send us an email or a DM and we can find a solve together.
WHO SHOULD BE DRINKING IT AND WHEN?
Everyone? We are super inclusive. Anyone who wants to drink something delicious, drink less alcohol, or drink no alcohol at all. Optimist Botanical evenings complement clear thinking, future planning, dawn patrol, super early ascents, scuppered lie-ins, yoga, meditation, pregnancy, Dry January, ‘Dryish February’, Sober October, and all the other calendar months either side.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO MAKE?
Skipping the alcohol when you are creating a distilled drink makes the process curiously more challenging. Crafting and perfecting these recipes took time, as did working out the best methods and processes to capture flavor and deliver complex profiles. Unlike alcohol brands, we are entirely transparent about what makes it into our bottles. We source the finest ingredients, with a close eye on sustainability and ethical practises for ourselves and our partners. Our packaging is created to have minimal environmental impact, which means it is more expensive, for now at least. But we hope you’ll recognise the value of these decisions.
Shipping + Returns
WHERE DO YOU SHIP TO?
Currently we are shipping to Mainland US. If you are further afield and would like to get your hands on some Optimist, send us a message and we will work out how to make it happen.
HOW MUCH IS SHIPPING?
Our flat rate for shipping is $6 for a single bottle. For two bottles or more we cover shipping costs for you. If you are outside of Mainland US, shipping costs will vary, but we will try to find the most cost effective way of getting it to you.
WHEN WILL MY ORDER ARRIVE?
Optimist Drinks is a nascent company, and we are operating with a small band of Optimists, particularly during the pandemic and all the other madness. We aim to have our bottles in your hands within 7-10 days, and you will get an email and tracking number when your package is on its way. If for any reason there is a delay, we will be sure to let you know. This is the year after 2020 after all….
WHERE CAN I BUY OPTIMIST?
RIght here. Place your order and we will get it to you within 7-10 days. We are working with grocery/retail partners in LA and beyond to make our products available on the ground shortly, and we will share new partner information as they leap onto the band(wagon) of Optimists. If you have a preferred retailer, and would like to see Optimist on their shelves, let us know.
MY BOTTLE IS DAMAGED, WHAT CAN I DO?
Let us sort it out for you. Send us a message, a text or a DM and we will expedite a replacement bottle or three for you.