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Bitters

A rather curious drink, primarily used for adding flavour to cocktails, Bitters are a little like the salt and pepper of the cocktail world (as in the condiment and not the hip hop outfit).

Bitters are made with various bitter herbs, barks and other flavourings, with an alcoholic base (often rum). They are not intended for neat consumption, due to their very (and unsurprisingly) bitter flavour, but when added to an Old-Fashioned cocktail, or a Manhattan, they impart all sorts of complexity, bringing maturity and great depth.

Bitters started life, as did many of our favourite drinks, as a medicine. The famous Angostura bitters were created by Dr Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert as a remedy for sea sickness and stomach ailments. The original recipe was named after the town of Angostura in Venezuela (and not after the bark from the tree of the same name – also named after the town).

Exports started to Trinidad (where the Angostura company is now based) and England. The Royal Navy (which was, at the time, an ardent promoter of some of the more beneficial qualities of alcohol) took to adding a few dashing of Angostura bitters to Gin, a concoction known as “Pink Gin”, which was said to placate tummy woes.

The list of ingredients used to make traditional bitters reads a little like a who’s who of archaic remedies: Angostura bark, cassia, gentian, even quinine (the favourite anti-malarial of the old colonists). Bitters are simply made by macerating a bitter agent (often one or more of the above mentioned barks), and a selection of other herbs and spices in strong spirit.

Did you know?... ...In Trinidad and Tobago, Angostura bitters are often added to coffee – well worth trying!

Bitters

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Master of Malt Whisky Liqueurs
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A superb dark chocolate bitters inspired by the cacao lusting Aztecs of yore who would drink a bitter version of hot chocolate made from cacao, peppers and spices. Fee Brothers' bitters are fantastic...  More info
$16.77
Thanks to Fee Brothers, you can now enjoy the earthy, nutty taste of walnuts in your drinks without getting bits of shell stuck in your teeth. Their Black Walnut Bitters can add some sweet, mildly...  More info
$16.10
Named for the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite Bitters are made with numerous ingredients which have alleged aphrodisiacal properties. These include Chocolate, Cocoa nibs, Ginger root, Red Chilli...  More info
$16.40
A new higher ABV version of the Bitter Truth's Jerry Thomas Bitters, based on those made by the legendary bartender and professor they're named after. Perfect for a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.  More info
$31.25
Wonderful bitters from Dr Adam Elmegirab, these offer fantastic notes of citrus. We get flavours of coriander, violet, raspberry, honey, pomegranate, chamomile, and a range of orange peels.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$16.58
Very fresh and hearty Lemon bitters from Fee Brothers. They make these with lemon oils and Lemon Grass, and the result is great bitters that work superbly well in Sours cocktails and long drinks.  More info
$19.52
Angelica Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
A far cry from the lurid green Glacé Angelica of our youth, these bitters are made with proper, grown-ups' Angelica root.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the...  More info
$16.72
Campari 1l - 1980s
(100cl, 25%)
This bottling of Campari comes from the 1980s, from the era of Fellini's 'woman in red' advert with Kelly Le Brock.  More info
$161.29
Made in New York by the Bittermens company, Elemakule Tiki Bitters are produced in very small batches. These are flavoured with cinnamon and allspice as well as spices from Polynesia and the...  More info
$32.12
Xocolatl Mole Bitters are superb bitter chocolate bitters that work wonders in drinks made with vermouth or rich whisky.  More info
$25.40
Cacao, cinnamon and spice flavoured bitters designed to be added to aged Tequila but also work well in Bourbon and Rye whiskies.  More info
$39.47
Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters. Pimento is the Jamaican word for allspice, as such these bitters have a delicious layering of anise and other herbs that work excellently in a Piña Colada or a...  More info
$31.44
These spicy bitters are aptly named - they are spicy, sweet and tart - truly burlesque! They were work well in cocktails featuring Amari, Gin, Tequila or Rum and are made using hibiscus, açai berry...  More info
$39.47
You're probably not going to get one of your five a day from the Fee Brothers Celery Bitters, especially since you'll only need to add a dash or two to give your drinks some complex, bitter-sweet and...  More info
$14.89
These bitters are packed full of citrus flavours off-set with a heavy dose of chamomile. Designed for summer months but can bring a zestiness to a cocktail at any time of year!  More info
$39.47
Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle, in this case) - tastes like cranberry with a good helping of bitterness. Sure, you could add it to a Cosmopolitan for an...  More info
$15.00
Aromatic bitters, made by The Bitter Truth, in 15cl bottles. For when you aren't planning to make loads of cocktails, but still want them to have a some spicy complexity.  More info
$29.69
A bottle of Campari Bitters from the 1970s, made in Italy. Ready for Negronis, Americanos and the Campari Orange.  More info
$161.29
Campari 100cl - 1970s
(100cl, 25%)
A 100cl bottle of Campari bitters produced in the 1970s. A neat little antique that isn't all that little at all. Like I said, it's a 100cl bottle.  More info
$201.61
You've heard of whisky barrel-aged orange bitter, but how about gin barrel-aged orange bitters? Fee Brothers have brought that dream to life, ageing their famous orange bitters for three to six months...  More info
$25.37
Fantastic spicy, rich tasting bitters from Fee Brothers. This are the crème de la crème from their range, bottled once yearly in the Spring. They aged this in fresh Tennessee whiskey barrels.  More info
$29.75
Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
(15cl, 35.80%)
Very well made mint bitters from Fee Brothers. The flavour is so authentic and rich, just a dash to a mojito or rum cocktail and you'll bring out a world of new flavours.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (3.0/5)
$16.26
Lavender Bitters
(5cl, 40%)
Made using the finest grade of Lavender Flowers – these superb bitters add a perfumed intensity to all manner of cocktails.These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only two ingredients; the spirit...  More info
$16.72
Underberg 3x2cl
(2cl, 44%)
Underberg is a brilliant digestif bitter drink made with aromatic herbs from 43 different countries. It is matured in Slovenian oak barrels for several months and is typically enjoyed as a digestive...  More info
$7.98
Naga Chilli Bitters
(5cl, 51%)
Made with the world's hottest chilli, Naga Jolokia, we reckon these bitters probably tip the scale at around about 250,000 Scoville units.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$16.72
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