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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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Add an exotic depth and bitterness to your cocktails with these Kola Bitters. Paired with a good rum and maybe some tropical fruits, you'll have yourself a definite winner.

The Bitter Bastards...  More info
$15.28
These Bittermens Grapefruit Bitters are excellent in drinks made with gin or other clear spirits. These are great in summertime favourites like a Daiquiri or a Gin and Tonic.  More info
$31.04
Coffee Bitters
(5cl, 40%)
Made using the finest Arabica Coffee beans roasted to a very high (continental) level.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only two ingredients; the spirit (Grain Vodka), coffee beans and...  More info
$15.28
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
$16.02
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
$30.47
Made with tuber magnatum pico (white truffles) these are magnificently earthy, perfumed bitters. We produce these simply by macerating top-quality white truffles in fine grain spirit. Very good in all...  More info
$35.25
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
$22.32
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: 
$18.88
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
$15.28
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
$15.10
The Bitter Bastards range features all sorts of top quality bitters in a rainbow of flavours, all made with innovative (and awesome) centrifugal extraction and rapid-maceration to reduce unwanted...  More info
$15.28
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
User Rating: 
$15.28
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
$16.65
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
User Rating: 
$15.28
Campari 100cl - 1970s
(100cl, 25%)
A 100cl bottle of Campari bitters produced in the 1970s. A neat little antique that isn't all that little at all. Like I said, it's a 100cl bottle.  More info
$184.32
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
$26.80
Produced in Germany by The Bitter Truth, these delicious bitters are flavoured with peach. The result is the perfect addition to a variety of fruity cocktails.  More info
$22.32
These Robinson and Payne Orange Bitters are thought to originate from the 1890s or 1900s, although no definitive record of their production, ingredients or method of manufacture can be found...  More info
$30.64
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
$18.49
Using the peel of the small, green and rather bitter oranges you find on the Island of Curaçao, the Bitter Bastards Curaçao Bitters are supremely zesty. With carefully measured amounts of bittering...  More info
$15.28
Clove Bitters
(5cl, 75%)
The quintessential Christmas spice, cloves add a powerful and intense aroma to cocktails and recipes of all descriptions.

These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the...  More info
$15.28
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
$15.28
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
$15.28
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
$15.28
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
$15.36
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