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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!

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
$15.27

Bitter Bastards Clove Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

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…  More info

Bitter Bastards Clove Bitters
$12.06

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
$24.19

Dashfire Cardamom Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dashfire

Another effort from Dashfire’s unique and varied line of tinctures, handcrafted in small batches in St. Paul, Minnesota. This release uses the power-pod of intense aromatic flavour that is cardamom…  More info

Dashfire Cardamom Bitters
$14.95

Fee Brothers Toasted Almond Bitters

15cl, 6.6%
Fee Brothers

The wonderful Fee Brothers present to you another marvellous creation, Toasted Almond Bitters! These are pretty diverse, making a great addition to anything from Tiki cocktails, to pretty much…  More info

Fee Brothers Toasted Almond Bitters
$15.70

Ms. Better's Pineapple Star Anise Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Juicy and full-bodied, Ms. Better's Pineapple Star Anise Bitters boast notes of grilled tropical fruits and a little spark of tongue-tantalising star anise. Rum cocktail-enthusiasts should very much…  More info

Ms. Better's Pineapple Star Anise Bitters
$27.27

Bitter French Rainy Harvest Bitters

10cl, 40%
Bordeaux Distilling Co.

The Bordeaux Distilling Company has turned its hand to bitters! This is the Rainy Harvest variant from the Bitter French range, made with grape pomace, grape vine leaves, cardamom, and Rooibos tea,…  More info

Bitter French Rainy Harvest Bitters
$23.40

The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters

20cl, 39%
The Bitter Truth

Bitter Truth have long created celery bitters and now the top German bitters producers have produced cucumber bitters too! Perfect for Pimms and G&Ts especially.  More info

The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters
1
$15.74

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
$18.13

Bitter Bastards Celery Bitters

10cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

Savoury cocktails are very much a 'thing', and the folks behind Bitter Bastards have got a great tool for anyone looking to make some - centrifugally extracted, rapidly macerated Celery Bitters!…  More info

Bitter Bastards Celery Bitters
$16.91

Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

15cl, 47.6%
Scrappy's Bitters

Chocolate Bitters from the Scrappy's Bitters range, made with toasted cacao nibs. Ought to be great for chocolate and rum cocktails...  More info

Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
$24.19

Scrappy's Lime Bitters

15cl, 47.5%
Scrappy's Bitters

Spectacular Lime Bitters from Scrappy's Bitters range, made with organic limes. Should be great in a cocktail, and ought to be rather handy when making guacamole, too.  More info

Scrappy's Lime Bitters
$24.19

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Red Vineyard Peach - Hops

10cl, 44%
Ferdinand

You've got to be pretty proud of yourself when you name your range of cocktail bitters 'Bitters Sweet Symphony', which is exactly what the German producers of Ferdinand's Saar Dry Gin have done.…  More info

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Red Vineyard Peach - Hops
$26.87

Bitter Bastards Manhattan Meta-Bitters

5cl, 38.4%
Bitter Bastards

Bitter Bastards Manhattan Meta-Bitters. Bet you can't say that 10 times really fast. These ingenious, rapidly-macerated, centrifugally-extracted bitters aren't just perfect for using in a…  More info

Bitter Bastards Manhattan Meta-Bitters
$20.55

Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6

15cl, 45%
Regans'

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

Regans' Orange Bitters No. 6
1
$12.11

Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

15cl, 27.7%
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
1
$16.25

Scrappy's Orleans Bitters

15cl, 47%
Scrappy's Bitters

The Scrappy's Bitters chaps have tried to evoke the flavours and personality of New Orleans with their Orleans Bitters, using notes of anise, cinnamon, citrus and floral wafts. Sazeracs at the…  More info

Scrappy's Orleans Bitters
$26.98

Scrappy's Celery Bitters

15cl, 51%
Scrappy's Bitters

Here we have some Celery Bitters from Seattle bartender Miles Thomas' very own Scrappy's Bitters range. Evoking the flavours of forgotten years, these bitters can be used in a number of classic…  More info

Scrappy's Celery Bitters
$24.19

Bittered Sling Plum & Rootbeer Bitters

12cl, 40%
Bittered Sling

Delicious Canadian bitters made by chef Jonathan Chovancek and mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote. This plum and rootbeer blend does exactly what it says on the tin: a balance of sweet and savoury that…  More info

Bittered Sling Plum & Rootbeer Bitters
3
$25.29

Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

The Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic is a fascinating combination of some of the great bitters of the world, influenced by the aromatic bitters of Venezuela and Trinidad; with flavours of gentian,…  More info

Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic
$21.10

Jerry Thomas Instant Age Toasted Oak Bitters

10cl, 44%
Jerry Thomas

Jerry Thomas is seen as the father of American mixology, so of course there is a range of inventive cocktail bitters named after him. These particular bitters feature the warming, spicy, vanilla-rich…  More info

Jerry Thomas Instant Age Toasted Oak Bitters
$32.01

Ms. Better's Aromatic Bitters Batch 42

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

These Canadian aromatic cocktail bitters from Ms. Better's selection have been made using a hearty selection of spices and botanicals which you would have found on trade route ships throughout…  More info

Ms. Better's Aromatic Bitters Batch 42
$27.27

Bob’s Lavender Bitters

10cl, 33.2%
Bob's Bitters

These are the Lavender Bitters from Bob's Bitters collection. Focussing on single botanicals rather than mixtures of ingredients, these allow for bartenders to craft the flavours of their cocktails…  More info

Bob’s Lavender Bitters
$14.34

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

15cl, 2.6%
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
$15.75

Scrappy's Lavender Bitters

15cl, 50.8%
Scrappy's Bitters

Excellent Lavender Bitters from Scrappy's Bitters range, not invented by a crime-fighting puppy but by Seattle bartender Miles Thomas.  More info

Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
$24.19

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