Carly Blessing is the co-founder of All The Bitter non-alcoholic cocktail bitters. She and her husband Ian met while working together as sommeliers at one of the world's finest three-Michelin-star restaurants, The French Laundry, in the Napa Valley. A few years and two young kids later, they decided that alcohol wasn't in their plan anymore, and All The Bitter was born.
What brought you to non-alcoholic drinking?
I stopped drinking after I had my first son, Jack, in 2019. I'm simply a better mom without alcohol in my life. With a background in wine, I still wanted to enjoy tasty beverages and fell quickly down the rabbit hole of the seemingly endless supply of non-alcoholic drinks available now. I feel so lucky to have stopped drinking at this exciting time - what once would have felt like depriving myself of my favorite thing became a real opportunity to learn about this budding industry of functional and delicious options.
Tell us a little bit about how you created All The Bitter and how you source your ingredients.
We created All The Bitter with health and function in mind, so many of our botanicals are not only for flavor but for health benefits as well, such as digestion and liver health. Creating a beverage with the highest quality ingredients, without any artificial or "natural" flavorings is very important to us. We simply use raw, dried herbs that are all organic or wild-foraged. Our beginning process started in our home kitchen, testing over a hundred batches in mason jars, until we finally nailed the perfect recipe.
What's your current go-to non-alcoholic drink?
I've always been a Champagne person, so my current go-to is non-alcoholic sparkling wine, sometimes with a couple dropperfuls of our orange bitters. I have many favorites though!
What's on the horizon for All The Bitter in 2022?
We're currently in the researching stage of creating canned ready-to-drink beverages using our three classic flavors. We hope to launch that line later this year.
How do you feel being a woman influences your approach to your business?
I'm used to being a woman in a male-dominated industry. I feel that I approach business in the same way as everyone else.
Who is another woman in the non-alcoholic space you admire and why?
I'm a huge fan of Julia Bainbridge, and I admire her creative influence in this space. She wrote her fantastic book, Good Drinks, just before many of these new non-alcoholic alternatives emerged so I find her drinks to be incredibly creative and unique - and an inspiration for so many people in this space.