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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!

Bittermens Buckspice Ginger

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

The Bittermans Buckspice Ginger Bitters pack quite a kick indeed. They pair excellent with whiskey and rum, and the producers say that a few drops added to a Moscow Mule is a rather fantastic idea…  More info

Bittermens Buckspice Ginger
$17.84

Droplets Hot Chili Pepper

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Add chilli to drinks (and food) with ease and accuracy with Javier de las Muelas' Hot Chilli Droplets. They have been created to add clean flavour, rather than any vinegary notes that some…  More info

Droplets Hot Chili Pepper
$16.53

Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters

15cl, 6.4%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
$16.53

Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Bitters

15cl, 44%
Bittermens

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

Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Bitters
1
$17.84

Fee Brothers Plum Bitters

15cl, 12%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
$16.86

Dashfire Hibiscus Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dashfire

When you drop these Hibiscus Dashfire Bitters (handcrafted in St. Paul, Minnesota) into your cocktail, you'll probably notice the gorgeous colour first - but don't stop yourself there. The subtle…  More info

Dashfire Hibiscus Bitters
$17.71

Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters

15cl, 4.8%
Fee Brothers

Stunning Cherry bitters from Fee Brothers. A classic ingredient in pre-Prohibition era cocktail making. These work fantastically with whiskey cocktails…  More info

Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters
$14.52

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters

10cl, 41.8%
Bob's Bitters

Back in the day, any barkeep worth their salt would have some Abbotts Bitters in their arsenal. They went out of style during the 1950s and came perilously close to being lost in the ravages of time,…  More info

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters
$17.92

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set

10cl, 38.2%
The Bitter Truth

Designed to be carried in your hand luggage so never again will you have to cancel a holiday out of fear of not having a decent selection of cocktail bitters. The Bitter Truth has come up with these…  More info

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set
1
$20.23

Copperhead Blends Aperitivum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

The Copperhead Blends range helps you get the most out of this Belgian Gin and the different times you may wish to enjoy it. Aperitivum contains palate-cleansing angelica and grapefruit, perfect for…  More info

Copperhead Blends Aperitivum
$13.20

Droplets Indian Spices

5cl, 0%
Droplets

As at home in gastonomy as mixology, Javier de las Muelas' Droplets is an adaptable, alcohol-free range. These Indian Spices Droplets add spice flavour without affecting the texture or salinity of a…  More info

Droplets Indian Spices
$20.04

Marka Nordic Bitter

50cl, 35%
Oslo Håndverksdestilleri

The first product from Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (which will be the first production distillery to open in Norway since 1927), offering a taste of the Norwegian forest! These bitters are made with 16…  More info

Marka Nordic Bitter
1
$29.79
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Ms. Better's Smoke & Oak Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Intriguing smokey bitters from Canada's Ms. Better's range, brilliant for use in rum and whisky cocktails. Impressive stuff.  More info

Ms. Better's Smoke & Oak Bitters
$29.98

Kamm & Sons British Aperitif

70cl, 33%
Kamm & Sons

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

Kamm & Sons British Aperitif
$33.86
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Bitter Bastards Grapefruit Bitters 10cl

10cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

Got a whole bundle of cocktails that call out for the wonderful bittersweet deliciousness of the grapefruit, but don't want to go out and forage in your local hedgerows for this somewhat unwieldy…  More info

Bitter Bastards Grapefruit Bitters 10cl
$18.50

Fee Brothers - Cardamon Bitters (Boker's Style)

15cl, 8.4%
Fee Brothers

Another addition to a bartender's arsenal from Fee Brothers, they've only gone and made some Cardamom Bitters, inspired by a classic style of bitters which date back to the 1800s. Plenty spicy, with…  More info

Fee Brothers - Cardamon Bitters (Boker's Style)
$16.61

Bitter Bastards Black Truffle Bitters - Tuber Aestivum

5cl, 42%
Bitter Bastards

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…  More info

Bitter Bastards Black Truffle Bitters - Tuber Aestivum
$26.46

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Orinoco Aromatic Bitters

10cl, 45%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

Orinoco Bitters created by Dr. Adam Elmegirab, originally for use in the multi-award-winning Dead Rabbit bar in New York City. Inspired by a style of bitters produced in the late 1800s, they're made…  More info

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Orinoco Aromatic Bitters
2
$13.26

Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

15cl, 44%
Bittermens

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

Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
$17.84

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Boker's Bitters

10cl, 31.5%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

These were created in 1828 by John G Boker. They became very popular in New York and they were synonymous with the "golden age" of cocktail making. They were used throughout Jerry Thomas's book "How…  More info

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Boker's Bitters
3
$14.15

Bitter Bastards Chipotle Bitters 10cl

10cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

A 10cl bottle of Bitter Bastards Chipotle Bitter, which will look just as at home on your home bar as they would in your kitchen's spice rack. Add a few drops of these rapidly-macerated,…  More info

Bitter Bastards Chipotle Bitters 10cl
$18.50

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters 10cl

10cl, 49.5%
Bitter Bastards

A 10cl bottle of Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters, made using specially selected spirit, rapid-maceration and centrifugal extraction, creating some spectacular cocktail 'seasoning'. We all know…  More info

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters 10cl
$19.83

Bittermens New England Spiced Cranberry

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

Originally created for a bar in Brooklyn to give their punch a kick of spicy fruit deliciousness, these New England Spiced Cranberry from Bittermans cause quite enough of a stir among bartenders that…  More info

Bittermens New England Spiced Cranberry
$17.84

Bittermens Krupnik Herbal Honey Bitters

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

Inspired by the popular Belarusian tipple known as Krupnik, the chaps at Bittermens have created some cocktail bitters featuring ingredients along the lines of black tea, pine, juniper and honey,…  More info

Bittermens Krupnik Herbal Honey Bitters
$17.84

Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters

15cl, 17%
Fee Brothers

These excellent grapefruit bitters from Fee Brothers work really well in cocktails with a tangy citrus element. They add a little extra spice and depth. Try them in your next Margarita or Sour…  More info

Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
1
$17.58

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