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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 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
$12.71

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

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

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Spanish Bitters
3
$13.63

Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamon Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Two particularly spicy botanicals combine their powers to create Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamom Bitters! Rather versatile indeed, these bitters suit gin-based cocktails just as well as…  More info

Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamon Bitters
$28.87

Kamm & Sons Islay Cask

70cl, 40%
Kamm & Sons

We already loved Kamm & Sons British Aperitif, made with 45 botanicals such as grapefruit peel, ginseng, juniper, fennel seeds, hibiscus and goji berries. This limited edition has us very excited,…  More info

Kamm & Sons Islay Cask
$45.72

Bittermens Krupnik Herbal Honey Bitters

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

Inspired by the popular Belarusian tipple known as Krupnik, the chaps at Bittermens have created some cocktail bitters featuring ingredients along the lines of black tea, pine, juniper and honey,…  More info

Bittermens Krupnik Herbal Honey Bitters
$17.18

Campari Bitters 3L

300cl, 25%
Campari

A three litre bottle of Campari Bitters. Our Ben says that Campari would be his desert island drink - so if you want to get your hands on this big ol' bottle of the classic Italian aperitif, you'll…  More info

Campari Bitters 3L
$97.22

The Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters

6cl, 45%
The Bitter End

The Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters add a burst of sweet heat to your mixed drinks and cocktails, using a combination of habanero, quassia, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and thyme. Truly awesome stuff.  More info

The Bitter End Jamaican Jerk Bitters
$25.49

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
$12.71

Bitter Bastards Coffee Bitters

5cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

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,…  More info

Bitter Bastards Coffee Bitters
$12.71

The Bitter Truth Rose Water

12cl, 0%
The Bitter Truth

The Bitter Truth Rose Water is flavoured with organic blossoms, and undergoes an intricate distillation process. As you might imagine the scent is flowery and very natural.  More info

The Bitter Truth Rose Water
1
$14.65

Fee Brothers - Cardamon Bitters (Boker's Style)

15cl, 8.4%
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)
$16.00

Amargo Chuncho Bitters

8cl, 40%
Amargo Chuncho

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

Amargo Chuncho Bitters
$10.72

Jerry Thomas Instant Age Classic Oak Bitters

10cl, 44%
Jerry Thomas

Interesting cocktails bitters here from the Jerry Thomas range (named after the legendary bartender, of course). These will add a robust core of oak-y notes to your drink, and accentuate the…  More info

Jerry Thomas Instant Age Classic Oak Bitters
$28.04

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
$21.65

Bitter Bastards Cask-Aged Whisky Bitters

5cl, 48.8%
Bitter Bastards

Bitter Bastards use innovative rapid-maceration and centrifugal extraction to eliminate unwanted flavours and preserve the tasty ones, with vanilla, cinnamon, clove and two types of orange peel used.…  More info

Bitter Bastards Cask-Aged Whisky Bitters
1
$20.38

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
$28.87

Copperhead Blends Digestivum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

These 'blends' are cool little specially formulated bitters or tinctures designed to bring out different aspects of Copperhead Gin. The Digestivum Blend contains ginger to aid digestion, perfect for…  More info

Copperhead Blends Digestivum
$12.71

Droplets Darjeeling Tea & Chamomile

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Javier de las Muelas' Droplets are a great way to add consistent flavour to drinks and food. Darjeeling Tea & Chamomile works well with apple and other fruit in cocktails, desserts and sorbets or…  More info

Droplets Darjeeling Tea & Chamomile
$22.18

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
1
$18.69

Bitter Bastards Ginger Bitters 10cl

10cl, 50%
Bitter Bastards

Making the cocktail-equivalent of a gingernut biscuit, or simply looking to boost the ginger notes of a whisky/rum cocktail? You'll want to grab a 10cl bottle of Bitter Bastards Ginger Bitters, made…  More info

Bitter Bastards Ginger Bitters 10cl
$19.10

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Roots

10cl, 42%
The Bitter Truth

A rich, aromatic expression from The Bitter Truth's Drops & Dashes range, launched in 2016 in celebration of their 10th anniversary. Delicious stuff, and very well presented too.  More info

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Roots
$15.75

Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters

12cl, 40%
Bittered Sling

Intriguing Canadian bitters made with Malagasy cocoa beans all the way from Malaysia! Dry, aromatic and slightly smoky, these bitters work incredibly in oak-aged spirits, mezcals and vermouths.  More info

Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters
$25.50

Ms. Better's Mt. Fuji Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Taste the flavours of Japan by way of Canada. Ms. Better's Mt. Fuji Bitters take inspiration from the crops you can find at the base of famous mountain, featuring ingredients including White Peach,…  More info

Ms. Better's Mt. Fuji Bitters
$28.87

Copperhead Blends Energeticum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

Add a few drops to help highlight different sides of Copperhead Gin. The Energeticus Blend contains plenty of guarana for a pick-me-up!  More info

Copperhead Blends Energeticum
$10.16

Ms. Better's Orange Tree Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Canadian bitters from the Ms. Better's range, showing off plenty of fruity notes - and more. You'll find floral wafts of citrus blossom, herbaceous touches of orange tree leaves and a hint of oak-y…  More info

Ms. Better's Orange Tree Bitters
$28.87

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