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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 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
$12.71

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Winerose - Lavender

10cl, 44%
Ferdinand

Part of the Bitters Sweet Symphony range from German distillers Ferdinand, comes the Winerose Lavender bitters, sure to add delicate, though complex notes to your cocktails and mixed drinks. And yes,…  More info

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Winerose - Lavender
$25.58

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
$18.22

Ms. Better's Chocolate Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Ms. Better's Chocolate Bitters all the way from Canada, made by slow roasting cacao nibs with three types of chilli and a few other botanicals. Don't expect this to taste like an chocolate Easter…  More info

Ms. Better's Chocolate Bitters
1
$28.87

Ms. Better's Cucumber Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Rather intriguing cocktail bitters from the Ms. Better's range, produced in Vancouver, Canada. These will add a vegetal and refreshing (though enjoyably bitter) hint of freshly sliced cucumber to…  More info

Ms. Better's Cucumber Bitters
$28.87

Bitter Bastards Curaçao Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

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

Bitter Bastards Curaçao Bitters
$12.71

Fee Brothers Celery Bitters 15cl

15cl, 1.3%
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
$15.77

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
$17.18

Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters

10cl, 32.7%
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
$15.54

Copperhead Blends Aperitivum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

The Copperhead Blends range helps you get the most out of this Belgian Gin and the different times you may wish to enjoy it. Aperitivum contains palate-cleansing angelica and grapefruit, perfect for…  More info

Copperhead Blends Aperitivum
$12.71

Bob’s Cardamon Bitters

10cl, 33.3%
Bob's Bitters

Some the Bob's range of single-botanical bitters range comes their Cardamom Bitters. Massive, authentic spice notes coming through with these, perfect for cocktails that need an intense boost of…  More info

Bob’s Cardamon Bitters
$15.54

Bitter Bastards Fennel Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Bitter Bastards Fennel Bitters will add a little fennel seed spice and zing to those cocktails of yours. Ideal. Made using a carefully considered recipe where only high-proof dark rum and a bittering…  More info

Bitter Bastards Fennel Bitters
$12.71

Ms. Better's Lime Leaf Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Single botanical bitters from Canada's Ms. Better's collection - this time based around the tantalising tastes of lime leaf. Ought to add an earthy complexity to a Gimlet...  More info

Ms. Better's Lime Leaf Bitters
$28.87

Ms. Better's Cypress Bowl Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Refreshing though subtly oak-y bitters from Ms. Better's selection in Canada. These go brilliantly in gin-based drinks, boosting the pine-y juniper elements gracefully.  More info

Ms. Better's Cypress Bowl Bitters
$28.87

Bitter Bastards Wormwood Bitters

5cl, 49.5%
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
$12.71

Dale Degroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters

15cl, 45%
Dale DeGroffs

Pleasingly spicy Pimento Aromatic Bitters created for Dale Degroff's range by King Cocktail himself along with T. A. Breaux, the well-known absinthe distiller. Dale Degroff is known for his work at a…  More info

Dale Degroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters
$13.96

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
$28.31

Ms. Better's Grapefruit Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Zesty grapefruit-flavoured bitters from Vancouver-based producer, Ms. Better's. Great in refreshing cocktails, and the name is a rather good tongue twister, too.  More info

Ms. Better's Grapefruit Bitters
$28.87

Miracle Mile Redeye Bitters

12cl, 45%
Miracle Mile Bitters

The Miracle Mile Bitters range was created by Louis Anderman out in LA - you know, where the Miracle Mile actually is. The Miracle Mile Redeye Bitters are rather interesting indeed, which have been…  More info

Miracle Mile Redeye Bitters
$30.85

Bittered Sling Moondog Latin Bitters

12cl, 40%
Bittered Sling

An original concoction from chef Jonathan Chovancek and sommelier Lauren Mote, Moondog is bursting with spicy, smoky flavours, set to liven up all kinds of drinks made with oak-matured spirits. Give…  More info

Bittered Sling Moondog Latin Bitters
$25.50

The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters

20cl, 39%
The Bitter Truth

Old Time Aromatic Bitters are some astonishing bitters from the Bitter Truth. These work brilliantly in whisky and rum cocktails and add superb, spicy complexity.  More info

The Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
$18.22

Bitter Bastards Coriander Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Aromatic, perfumed and altogether awesome Coriander Bitters, for the cocktails that desire intriguing flavours which urge you to take another sip. Rapidly macerated, centrifugally extracted and…  More info

Bitter Bastards Coriander Bitters
$12.71

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
$18.69

Scrappy's Firewater Bitters

15cl, 44.3%
Scrappy's Bitters

Scrappy's Firewater Habanero Tincture is a neat way to add a fiery burst of heat to your cocktails (or perhaps your burrito if you're feeling hungry).  More info

Scrappy's Firewater Bitters
$23.17

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters

10cl, 41.8%
Bob's Bitters

Back in the day, any barkeep worth their salt would have some Abbotts Bitters in their arsenal. They went out of style during the 1950s and came perilously close to being lost in the ravages of time,…  More info

Bob’s Abbotts Bitters
$17.26

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