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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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FEW Spirits
These Bitter Bastards Sour Cherry Bitters have been made using cherries (obviously), a carefully selected spirit, well-measured amounts of bittering agent (gentian root), rapid-maceration and...  More info
$15.91
If you're looking to add some fantastic citrus zestiness to your cocktails, the Bitter Bastards Sweet Orange Bitters have got you covered. They're are made with the finest Spanish orange peels...  More info
$15.91
Wormwood is a vital ingredient in absinthe (some might even go so far as to say it is THE vital ingredient, and they'd probably be right!), so you can bet your bottom dollar that the Bitter Bastards...  More info
$15.91
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
$37.56
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
$37.56
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
$30.57
Some very interesting cocktail bitters from Bittermens in America (we probably could say that about everything they come out with), their Hellfire Habanero Shrub Bitters are made with a classic...  More info
$38.76
Extraordinary bitters, Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters are made with grapefruit essences and peels, hops for bitterness, and bottled at 53% abv. We recommend these be used in cocktails such as...  More info
$37.56
The Bittermens chaps over in the USA were inspired by cream sodas and phosphates you might find in soda shops of old for their Orange Cream Citrate Bitters, which are more intensely sour and sweet...  More info
$38.76
Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub was partially inspired by a pickle seller in New York, partially inspired by a vintage soda which was made with celery and partially inspired by picklebacks...  More info
$38.76
Cacao, cinnamon and spice flavoured bitters designed to be added to aged Tequila but also work well in Bourbon and Rye whiskies.  More info
$29.22
Tuber Aestivum, or the Summer Truffle, is in fact the same species as the Burgundy Truffle (Tuber Uncinatum), but they are grown in the Mediterranean warmth of southern France, Spain and Italy and are...  More info
$23.91
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
$191.89
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
$153.51
Campari 25% - 1970s
(75cl, 25%)
A 1970s bottle of Campari Bitters, perfect for a Negroni that isn't a roast beef sandwich (check out this edition of Master of Cocktails to pick up what I'm putting down with that statement)...  More info
$153.51
This is a 1980s bottle of the classic Campari Bitter. Due to the maceration, rather than distillation, that takes place in Campari's production, oxidisation takes place in the bottle, which leads to...  More info
$191.89
Campari Bitters
(70cl, 25%)
A 19th century bitters created in Milan by Gaspare Campari. It is made by infusing bitter herbs, plants and fruit in alcohol and water. The result is a rich, complex bitters which works brilliantly in...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$25.07
Casque Orange Bitters
(1cl, 14.30%)
These Orange Bitters are thought to originate from the 1970s, although no definitive record of their production, ingredients or method of manufacture can be found, consequently no warranty as to the...  More info
$15.91
Cinnamon Bitters
(5cl, 51%)
A fabulous, Christmassy spice, Cinnamon lends a superb edge to many different cocktails, especially those using apple.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the...  More info
$15.91
Clove Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
The quintessential Christmas spice, cloves add a powerful and intense aroma to cocktails and recipes of all descriptions.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the...  More info
$15.91
Coffee Bitters
(5cl, 40%)
Made using the finest Arabica Coffee beans roasted to a very high (continental) level.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only two ingredients; the spirit (Grain Vodka), coffee beans and...  More info
$15.91
Coriander Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
When Macerated in the high-proof rum used to extract the flavour, Coriander seeds take on an ethereal, slightly perfumed note.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients;...  More info
$15.91
Cumin Bitters
(5cl, 40%)
A superb extraction of the very finest Cumin Seeds money can buy.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (Grain Vodka) and Cumin Seeds with natural...  More info
$15.91
Curacao Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
Made using small, Green, Bitter oranges from the Island of Curacao (just off Venezuela).

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (High-proof Dark Rum) and...  More info
$15.91
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
$25.76
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