Sassafras Bitters

I love how certain smells instantly transport you to a distant time. Your olfactory glands are like magical teleportation devices. The smell of sassafras takes me back to the time when I was younger running around in Georgetown Delaware, playing in the woods of with my younger brothers in the spring and summer. A tree would snap and the air would be perfumed with the woody root beer smell. I loved it! I would try to find as much of the red hued wood and roots as possible to carve and make tea.

My good friend Nathan Tanner is now digging the roots for me, with his kids. I was looking for a way to utilize the fragrant, bitter, sweet quality of it. I knew would pair perfectly with bourbon, so I created this powerful elixir.

Sassafras bitters in the making.

Sassafras bitters in the making.



750 ml. bottle of neutral grain spirit (I used a white corn whiskey)

2 vanilla Beans split

2 star anise pods

1 t. fennel seeds

4 clove

2 black cardamon

2 t. wormwood

1 pound sassafras root

1 t. shredded oak

1 t. dry caramel

.5 oz sassafras root extract. (not needed, but really Boost flavor!)


Toast all spices until fragrant. Combine all ingredients in a jar. Let macerate for 2 weeks, agitating once per week.  Strain and enjoy!

A spring cocktail made with bourbon and sassafras bitters!

A spring cocktail made with bourbon and sassafras bitters!



Now the official blog of a(MUSE.) Restaurant inspired food & drink in Rehoboth Beach Delaware.

Wow, with the holiday season successfully behind us I have a little more time to breath.  A little more time to read, write and work on this blog. Business has slowed significantly but  I am still working hard everyday here at a(MUSE.) in the now sleepy town of REHOBOTH BEACH DELAWARE. I Have decided to make The Comb & Wattle more about the day-to-day happenings in my restaurant plus a format to share all of the fun side projects that I have going on.

This month I will be teaching a lot of private and public classes and workshops. I will report about those as they happen. My next demo/lunch here at a(MUSE.) will be held on Saturday January the 26th at 12:00 o’clock Sharp. The subject will be Holiday Gadgets! I have been taking suggestions on what will be taught that day. I am also available to do private cooking classes for individuals or groups either here at a(MUSE.) or at your location.

Recently I have been involved in the formation of R.I.C.I. (Rehoboth Inspired Chefs Initiative) a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the cause of local food related issues and to raising money for other charitable causes. Click on the link above to like us on Facebook. We have already done many great things and have a lot of big plans for the future. Our founding board members consist of Jay Caputo chef owner of Espuma, Cabo, The Rose & Crown, Lion and Meg Gardner chef and owners of The Blue Moon, Gretchen Hanson Chef owner of Hobo’s, Shawn Xiong chef owner of Confucius, Danielle Panarello Pastry Chef of Jam,Eden.

Yesterday R.I.C.I. collaborated with 16 Mile Brewery on a beer that will benefit The Food Bank Of Delaware. It was a great morning filled with beer making magic. We brewed a porter called Post Apocalyptic Ale. We chose chocolate, Guajillo Chiles, and orange as the main flavor profile. I can’t wait to taste it! The Release date will be in early February. Chef Jay Caputo with unveil it on January 31st. at an all day event at The The Rose & Crown in collabration with 16 Mile.

I have been really into Instagram lately so a lot of my photography has been done on my Iphone 5. It is the camera that is always on and by my side. I really like shooting with my Cannon EOS Rebel T3i but being that I am always in the kitchen it is harder to have it ready to shoot. Here are some of my recent INSTA-PICS!

Where the magic happens at 16 Mile Brewery!

Where the magic happens at 16 Mile Brewery!

Guajillo chiles

Guajillo chiles

The cocoa

The cocoa





Black Bass - celery - parsnip  - cabbage - leek

Black Bass – celery – parsnip – cabbage – leek

Nantucket Bay scallops - brown butter - potato - green apple - trout roe

Nantucket Bay scallops – brown butter – potato – green apple – trout roe

I love feed back so let me know whats on you minds! Any suggestions on writing topics always considered!

i really enjoy cooking

Pictures From Tonights Tasting Menu


Parsnip soup, Smoked Bay Scallop, Black Quinoa, Roasted Orange, Pickled Shallot, Espellette


Dourade Crudo, Burnt Shishito Pepper Relish, Grapefruit, Celery Root, Red Ribbon Sorral



A Gift From The Chef



Shad Roe, Shiitake Mushroom, Sunchoke, Lardon, Bacon Mushroom Consume


Rockfish, Tomato Jam, Shaved Fennel, Crispy Chickpeas

Im still working on a light box for better pictures so stay tuned!