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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!

Bitter Bastards Ginger Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Say you've got a cocktail, but you feel it's lacking some 'shazam' or 'ka-pow' or another onomatopoeic word to suggest excitement. What's the remedy for this lack of 'ta-daa'? Bitters. Perhaps…  More info

Bitter Bastards Ginger Bitters
$11.96

Bitter Bastards Juniper Bitters

5cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

The Bitter Bastards Juniper Bitters are made with rapid-maceration and centrifugal extraction in order to preserve the maximum amount of gorgeous, fresh flavours from the botanical. Also, centrifuges…  More info

Bitter Bastards Juniper Bitters
1
$11.96

Bitter Bastards Liquorice Bitters

5cl, 49.50%
Bitter Bastards

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

Bitter Bastards Liquorice Bitters
$11.96

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

15cl, 17.50%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
$23.99

The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set

10cl, 38.20%
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
$21.62

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Boker's Bitters

10cl, 31.50%
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
1
$13.25

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters

5cl, 49.50%
Bitter Bastards

Brian's mother may not have been too enamoured by myrrh, but there's nothing she enjoyed more than a gift of gold or frankincense. Despite being promised as much gold as she could eat by the…  More info

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters
$11.96

The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

20cl, 44%
The Bitter Truth

These Celery Bitters from The Bitter Truth are the first celery bitters on the market for a long time. Great in a herbal cocktail, or in anything with a clear spirit based (gin, vodka etc).  More info

The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
$22.89

Bitter Bastards Naga Chilli Bitters

5cl, 49.50%
Bitter Bastards

The Naga Jolokia chilli, the hottest chilli in the world, is a terrifying beast, one that could bring tears to the eyes of the burliest brute in the land. So obviously there needed to be some Bitter…  More info

Bitter Bastards Naga Chilli Bitters
$11.96

Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6

15cl, 45%
Buffalo Trace

Regans Orange bitters - absolutely magical when used in an old-fashioned. A must-have for anyone making cocktails with any kind of whisky.  More info

Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6
$11.06

Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters

5cl, 60%
Bitter Bastards

It's clear to see that these Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters are just the ticket for delicious crystal-clear cocktails made with clear spirits. Though not centrifugally extracted like the other…  More info

Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters
$14.37

Fee Brothers Celery Bitters 15cl

15cl, 1.30%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Celery Bitters 15cl
$12.52

Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters 15cl

15cl, 4.10%
Fee Brothers

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…  More info

Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters 15cl
$12.68

Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

15cl, 45.90%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters
$14.81

Angostura Orange Bitters

10cl, 28%
Angostura

Fabulous orange bitters from the legendary Angostura company, these were first introduced in 2007 and work tremendously well in a variety of rum-based cocktails…  More info

Angostura Orange Bitters
$12.81

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
$32.44

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Aphrodite Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

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

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Aphrodite Bitters
$15.30

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Aromatic Bitters

6cl, 49%
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

From the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. collection comes some rather wonderful Aromatic Bitters, perfect for giving a good burst of flavour to a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Made with citrus, a selection…  More info

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Aromatic Bitters
$14.37

Fee Brothers Mint Bitters

15cl, 35.80%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Mint Bitters
1
$11.64

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Teapot Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

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

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Teapot Bitters
$12.01

Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Cardamom has been a handy tool in a bartender's tool-belt for years, and these Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters will surely find their way into the tool-belts of many bartenders and, consequently,…  More info

Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters
1
$11.96

Bittermens Boston Bittahs

15cl, 44%
Bittermens

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

Bittermens Boston Bittahs
$28.24

Bitter Bastards Wormwood Bitters

5cl, 49.50%
Bitter Bastards

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

Bitter Bastards Wormwood Bitters
$11.96

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

One upon a time, Abbotts Bitters were a vital tool in a mixologist's arsenal, though in the 1950s they stopped being produced. However, the recipe has been recreated for the Bob's Bitters range much…  More info

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters
$19.49

Bob’s Vanilla Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Rich, warming, delicious Vanilla Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range. Loads of authentic vanilla notes to be had here - just perfect for sweeter cocktails. These would also go great in mixed drinks…  More info

Bob’s Vanilla Bitters
$14.61

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