Who knew that such a tiny drop of liquid could contain such a burst of flavours?
And who knew that such an explosion of taste could be so nuanced that you can detect slight hints of a myriad of ingredients?
Well, Lauren Mote for one.
She is the high priestess of bitters, the bartender turned entrepreneur who, with her partner in life and business, chef Jonathan Chovancek, has created Bittered Sling.
Their line of bitters concentrated concoctions of botanical and organic food ingredients is adding creativity to dozens of bar lists across the city.
"What bitters are to cocktails, IMAX is to VHS; it changes the complexity," Mote explains.
But its not just cocktail lovers who are delighting in the discovery of how bitters enhance their drinks flavours.
Put a few drops in sparkling water and you have a refreshingly natural spritzer.
And its not a coincidence that Mote has created her year-old line of 14 bitters (six of which are available all the time) with Chovancek in their kitchen.
Jonathan is an incredibly gifted chef, she says.
He operates with food and flavours the way I operate with booze and flavours. Im obsessed with making things and Jonathans the same way. We remastered my bitters with a chefs perspective.
Dont be surprised to see Chovancek add bitters to what hes cooking for their other company, Kale & Nori.
Bitters have been around for centuries but prohibition squeezed many companies dry.
Modern pioneers such as Mote are sparking curiosity about bitters power.
Its not to add to the taste; its to make the flavours of whats in the glass taste what theyre supposed to be, she says.
Her definition of bitters is a high- have the same ingredients in a tea or tisane.
Alcohol is the only medium you can use to extract the flavours of the ingredients. You wouldnt have the flavours without the alcohol, Mote says.
Lauren Mote is very much in demand as a speaker and presenter.
Notes for this story were taken at a bitters seminar at the Modern Bartender in Gastown.
She and Chovancek also host monthly cocktail competitions at the Legacy Liquor Store in Olympic Village.
Pictured: Five of the current flavours available at BitteredSling.com: Plum & Rootbeer, Denman, Moondog, Grapefruit & Hops and Orange & Juniper.