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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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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
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The ultimate bitters for delicious Pisco sours, Chuncho bitters are made with Peruvian Quina and Sarrapia leaves as well as a variety of barks, roots, flowers, herbs and peels.  More info
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Orinoco Bitters were created by Dr. Adam Elmegirab 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 using a...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$12.82
Toasted Pecan Bitters do sound particularly mouthwatering, don't they? These come to us from the LA-based Miracle Mile range, created by Louis Anderman. Not only do they feature notes of toasted...  More info
$30.97
These chipotle bitters are made with delicious smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, gentian root and specially selected spirit. The yummy, highly-desirable flavours gained through rapid-maceration are then...  More info
$12.76
Yuzu Bitters from the LA-based Miracle Mile range, created by Louis Anderman. Yuzu is a citrus fruit more commonly found in Asia, though more and more the fruit's elegant, floral flavours are becoming...  More info
$30.97
Juniper & Apricot bitters from the Regency Bitters range, produced by Brighton bartender Ben Leggett. A few drops of these bitters ought to compliment your gin-based cocktails with a strikingly...  More info
User Rating:  (1 Review)
$19.18
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
$31.09
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
$19.18
Stunning Creole bitters from the Bitter Truth. Creole Bitters reflects the intense, rich style of good from Louisiana, vaguely similar to Cajun food, which sprung from meeting of many cultures...  More info
$18.64
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
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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
$12.76
Have you ever seen a milk crate and thought "I wish they made a smaller version of that, and for it to house bottles of Underberg..."? Well, your oddly specific wish has been granted! This handsome...  More info
$21.23
Make your Gin & Tonic more Gin & Tonic-y with the Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters, which blends together notes of grapefruit, lime, Seville Orange and Sicilian lemon along with juniper, orris root and...  More info
$22.38
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
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Clove is wonderful stuff, whether you're adding it to some mulled wine or picking it out of a whisky's snazzy bouquet, we love this dark spice. How then, to get some of this magic into your cocktails?...  More info
$12.76
Made with the finest roasted arabica coffee beans, these exceptional bitters will give a hit of Columbia's finest to your cocktail creations! Like the rest of the extensive Bitter Bastards range, only...  More info
$12.76
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
$16.05
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
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Classically styled old fashioned bitters from Fee Brothers. These work wonders in a Planter's Punch, a Singapore Sling or a Manhattan.  More info
$11.70
Absinthe Bitters
(50cl, 52%)
Absinthe Bitters from The Great Southern Distilling Company down on the Western Coast of Australia. This is made with two different types of wormwood (the herb that imparts absinthe much of its...  More info
$63.79
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
$12.76
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
$12.61
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
$12.18
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
$13.90
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