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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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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
£17.67
Bitter Bastards Liquorice Bitters are made with liquorice root and a bittering agent (gentian root) with a high-quality bourbon base, and provide an intense, earthy, rich, unadulterated liquorice...  More info
£9.95
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
£15.10
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
£18.96
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
£20.02
Bitter Bastards Fennel Bitters will add a little fennel seed spice and zing to those cocktails of yours. Ideal. Made using a carefully considered recipe where only high-proof dark rum and a bittering...  More info
£9.95
These bitters from The Bitter Truth are made using oranges, lemons and grapefruit from Sicily, perfect for giving a drink a balanced citrus component.  More info
£14.51
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
£9.95
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
£9.95
Xocolatl Mole Bitters are superb bitter chocolate bitters that work wonders in drinks made with vermouth or rich whisky.  More info
£20.21
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
£16.11
If you're looking for some bitters to make your drink taste like you just filled up an Easter egg with mashed up chocolate buttons, this probably isn't for you. However, if you're looking to add a...  More info
£9.95
These Lemon Bitters from The Bitter Truth were the first of their kind on the market. Great zingy flavour, works wonders in a Martini or a Gin and Tonic.  More info
£19.65
The Tuber Magnatum Pico Truffle is sometimes referred to as the 'diamond of the kitchen'. With these Bitter Bastards White Truffle Bitters, made with Tuber Magnatum Pico truffles, you could also call...  More info
£19.95
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
£9.05
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)
£9.68
Classically styled old fashioned bitters from Fee Brothers. These work wonders in a Planter's Punch, a Singapore Sling or a Manhattan.  More info
£9.12
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
£9.95
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
£9.76
Old Time Aromatic Bitters are some astonishing bitters from the Bitter Truth. These work brilliantly in whisky and rum cocktails and add superb, spicy complexity.  More info
£22.71
This is the second batch of our delicious cask-aged Whisky Bitters. These were aged in a fresh Kentucky oak cask, and the results are spicy and full-bodied cocktail bitters which work well in all...  More info
£14.95
The Bitter Truth Rose Water is flavoured with organic blossoms, and undergoes an intricate distillation process. As you might imagine the scent is flowery and very natural.  More info
£10.50
You can't make a Ramos Gin Fizz without this! Non-alcoholic Orange Flower Water can also be added to champagne or sparkling wine for a delectable summer drink.  More info
£12.25
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
£9.95
Perfectly crafted orange bitters, these Orange Bitters from Bitter Truth are essential in a good Old Fashioned Cocktail. Loads of zesty, spicy flavour!  More info
£14.22
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