I’ve always been a sucker for pharmacies, apothecaries, and perfume counters. I just can’t get enough of those little bottles and the treasures and tinctures they hold, so part of the fun of visiting a craft cocktail joint for me is looking at all the bottles at the bar. Bitters are always present, but in recent years, the number of brands of these somewhat mysterious concoctions have exploded, and Craig Rudewicz of Crude Bitters and Sodas in Raleigh, NC, is making some of the best. He started building bitters while working at a restaurant, put some sweat equity into his new business at local farmers markets, raised additional monies through Kickstarter, and these days distributes country-wide  and teaches cocktail classes too. The bitters go beyond the normal flavor profiles, and our conversation goes beyond the normal too, jumping from alcohol laws to Leprechaun Stew. Join us for a ride on what I call “the bitter train.”