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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 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
$10.97

The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters

20cl, 43%
The Bitter Truth

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

The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters
$19.23

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
$22.00

The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters

20cl, 39%
The Bitter Truth

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

The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
$16.12

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

15cl, 2.60%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
$11.55

Fee Brothers - Cardamon Bitters (Boker's Style)

15cl, 8.40%
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)
$10.46

Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters 15cl

15cl, 6.40%
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 15cl
$11.94

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
$10.97

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Chocolate Bitters, you say? Yum, yum, yum... These come from the Bob's Bitters range, which features a selection of single-botanicals bitters than make it easy to match their flavours with your…  More info

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters
$13.40

The Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters

20cl, 44%
The Bitter Truth

Fantastic chocolate bitters from Germany courtesy of The Bitter Truth. Try adding a dash into a cocktail that uses a rich whisky for some tremendous added depth.  More info

The Bitter Truth Spiced Chocolate Bitters
$16.26

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
$19.83

Droplets Oak Smoke

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Oak Smoke Droplets from Javier de las Muelas, made without alcohol, for controlled, consistent addition of smoky flavour to food and drink. Great with cola, try with rum and whisky based cocktails,…  More info

Droplets Oak Smoke
$16.48

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
$10.97

Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters

15cl, 52%
Scrappy's Bitters

Spicy Cardamom Bitters from the Scrappy's range (founded in Seattle by Miles Thomas), which has been handsomely well-balanced with a deft squeeze of citrus added into the mix. Ought to be good for…  More info

Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters
$18.27

Bitter Bastards Lavender Bitters

5cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

Get some bouquet in your bouquet, with these Bitter Bastards Lavender Bitters, bringing perfumed intensity to a drink near you! Made with lavender flowers, natural bittering agent (gentian root) and…  More info

Bitter Bastards Lavender Bitters
$10.97

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
$11.63

Fee Brothers Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters

15cl, 9%
Fee Brothers

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…  More info

Fee Brothers Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters
$19.10

Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Single botanical bitters from Bob's extensive range - grapefruit ones in this instance. As all good mixologists know 'bitters' shouldn't be treated as a single uniform ingredient any more than…  More info

Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters
$13.40

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
$10.97

Bitter Bastards Gentian Bitters

5cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

You'll often see gentian being used as a bittering agent in cocktails and bitters alike. Yep, it's fair to say that gentian is a properly bitter bastard. Naturally, the Bitter Bastards range wouldn't…  More info

Bitter Bastards Gentian Bitters
$10.97

Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters

12cl, 40%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Not only are these Sour Cherry Bitters from Miracle Mile made with sour cherries, they also feature wild cherry bark! They're also made with ginger blossom, orange blossom honey, cardamom and…  More info

Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters
$26.61

Bitter Bastards Cumin Bitters

5cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

Like chefs arm themselves with spices to create masterful meals, bartenders arm themselves with bitters to perfectly season cocktails. The Bitter Bastards Cumin Bitters wouldn't look out of place in…  More info

Bitter Bastards Cumin Bitters
$10.97

Regency Bitters - Juniper & Apricot

5cl, 55%
Regency Bitters

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

Regency Bitters - Juniper & Apricot
1
$16.48

Bob’s Ginger Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Ginger Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range. Bob focuses more on single-botanical expressions rather than mixtures of ingredients, resulting in bitters which can let cocktails enthusiasts craft the…  More info

Bob’s Ginger Bitters
$13.40

Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters

15cl, 44%
Bittermens

Made in New York by the Bittermens company, Elemakule Tiki Bitters are produced in very small batches. These are flavoured with cinnamon and allspice as well as spices from Polynesia and the…  More info

Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters
$21.86

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