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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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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)
$15.88
The Teapot Bitters were created in early 2012 when Dr. Adam Elmegirab felt inspired by the medicinal uses of tea and bitters. So he decided to fuse the two together into these delicious tea-flavoured...  More info
$16.09
Handcrafted bitters with a Christmas twist, Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Christmas Bitters are the perfect addition to seasonal cocktails requiring a botanical lift.  More info
$16.50
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
$16.06
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
$15.42
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
$14.56
Stunning Cherry bitters from Fee Brothers. A classic ingredient in pre-Prohibition era cocktail making. These work fantastically with whiskey cocktails…  More info
$14.27
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
$14.79
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
$24.30
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
$18.70
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)
$15.58
Classically styled old fashioned bitters from Fee Brothers. These work wonders in a Planter's Punch, a Singapore Sling or a Manhattan.  More info
$14.68
Now where would an Old-Fashioned, or a Manhattan be without some decent Orange bitters. These are made by Fee Brothers using West Indian oranges.  More info
User Rating:  Rating (5.0/5)
$14.19
Brilliant peach bitters from Free Brothers. Try adding a few drops to a Mai Tai cocktail, it adds a luscious peach flavour that works really well.  More info
$14.21
Add a dose of dark fruit and spice to your cocktails with the Fee Brothers Plum Bitters. Ought to pair well with dark rums, we reckon.  More info
$17.25
Very unusual indeed - Rhubarb bitters. Made by Fee Brothers, they have a complex medicinal, rhubarb flavour with hints of cherry.  More info
$16.00
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
$31.74
Fennel Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
Made using the finest Fennel seeds macerated in a superb blend of Caribbean Rums.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (High-proof Dark Rum) and Fennel...  More info
$16.01
Ooh, bitters from the folks behind Ferdinand's Saar Dry Gin in Germany. These bitters have a rather intriguing flavour profile - Riesling and Quince! If you remember, the Saar Dry Gin is also made...  More info
$32.25
Part of the Bitters Sweet Symphony range from German distillers Ferdinand, comes the Winerose Lavender bitters, sure to add delicate, though complex notes to your cocktails and mixed drinks. And yes...  More info
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Gammel Dansk is a Danish bitters, and the name literally means "Old Danish". It was first created in 1961 and it is flavoured with herbs and spices including star anise, nutmeg, ginger, laurel...  More info
User Rating:  Rating (4.0/5)
$36.69
Gentian Bitters
(5cl, 40%)
Gentian is an ingredient traditionally used as a bittering agent in many cocktail bitters, and cocktail recipes.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit...  More info
$16.01
Kamm & Sons excellent Ginseng Spirit has been relaunched as Kamm & Sons British Aperitif - still containing 45 botanicals (such as grapefruit peel, manuka honey, elderflower, juniper berries, fennel...  More info
$43.44
Liquorice Bitters
(5cl, 51%)
Made using Liquorice root, these bitters reflect the true and unadulterated flavour of the liquorice plant.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit...  More info
$16.01
These are the London Cocktail Society's very own bitters - developed with their members and Master of Malt through a bitters blending competition held at Shaker and Company in November 2011. We gave a...  More info
$16.01
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