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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!

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Blossom

10cl, 42%
The Bitter Truth

A deliciously floral expression from The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes range, released in celebration of their 10th anniversary - here's to many more, chaps!  More info

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Blossom
$15.51

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
$21.32

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
$20.42

Scrappy's Bitters Classic Flavours Mini Set

6cl, 46.9%
Scrappy's Bitters

Fill out your bitters collection with this neat gift pack of Scrappy's Bitters! This includes a little 1.5cl bottle of each of the following Scrappy's Bitters - Aromatic Bitters, Celery Bitters,…  More info

Scrappy's Bitters Classic Flavours Mini Set
$19.90

The Bitter End Thai Bitters

6cl, 45%
The Bitter End

Made with a mixture of Thai chilli, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander, quassia, galangal and spearmint, the Bitter End's Thai Bitters will add a burst of sweet spice to your drinks.  More info

The Bitter End Thai Bitters
$22.20

The Bitter End Moroccan Bitters

6cl, 45%
The Bitter End

Some particularly zesty bitters here from The Bitter End range, evoking the flavours of Moroccan cooking! These are made with mint, lemon, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and more.  More info

The Bitter End Moroccan Bitters
$22.20

The Bitter End Chesapeake Bay Bitters

6cl, 45%
The Bitter End

Some marvellous cocktail bitters here from The Bitter End range - their Chesapeake Bay Bitters are packed with great savoury flavours, made with the likes of mustard seed, cayenne pepper, celery…  More info

The Bitter End Chesapeake Bay Bitters
$22.20

Clark & Co. Orange Bitters

10cl, 28%
Clark & Co.

Orange bitters created by Clark & Co., presented in an atomiser bottle to allow for them to be sprayed atop your cocktail, which can boost the aroma of your beautiful beverage.  More info

Clark & Co. Orange Bitters
$17.87

Droplets Indian Spices

5cl, 0%
Droplets

As at home in gastonomy as mixology, Javier de las Muelas' Droplets is an adaptable, alcohol-free range. These Indian Spices Droplets add spice flavour without affecting the texture or salinity of a…  More info

Droplets Indian Spices
$17.03

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
$19.64

Droplets Van Gogh Absinthe

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Add absinthe flavour to drinks and dishes without adding alcohol with Javier de las Muelas' Van Gogh Absinthe Droplets. As suited to a Sazarac as a salad dressing!  More info

Droplets Van Gogh Absinthe
$15.67

Suze Aromatic Bitters

20cl, 45%
Pernod

Suze Aromatic Bitters are crafted using a combination of gentian, cardamom and cinnamon, resulting in big, bold, exciting bitters. Surely these will work well with rum, whisky and perhaps even…  More info

Suze Aromatic Bitters
$30.54

Miracle Mile Celery Bitters

12cl, 45%
Miracle Mile Bitters

What we've got here is some Celery Bitter from the LA-based Miracle Mile Bitters range. Though celery may not be the first flavour you think of when it comes to cocktail craft, but a subtly-sweet,…  More info

Miracle Mile Celery Bitters
$30.39

Gordon's Orange Bitters - 1950s

19cl, 23%
Gordon's

Something quite special here, a rare bottle of Gordon's Orange Bitters from the 1950s!  More info

Gordon's Orange Bitters - 1950s
$251.53

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
$20.66

The Bitter End Curry Bitters

6cl, 45%
The Bitter End

Some rather delicious bitters here from The Bitter End (you have to be pretty pleased with yourself when you claim that name for your bitters brand), featuring spices you'll be very familiar with if…  More info

The Bitter End Curry Bitters
$22.15

The Bitter Truth Thomas Henry Bitters

20cl, 43%
The Bitter Truth

These bitters from The Bitter Truth are made using oranges, lemons and grapefruit from Sicily, perfect for giving a drink a balanced citrus component.  More info

The Bitter Truth Thomas Henry Bitters
$18.80

Curacao Bitters

5cl, 75%
Master of Malt

Made using small, Green, Bitter oranges from the Island of Curacao (just off Venezuela). These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (High-proof Dark Rum) and…  More info

Curacao Bitters
$12.51

Dale DeGroff's Bitters

25cl, 45%
Dale DeGroffs

Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Bitters. Pimento is the Jamaican word for allspice, as such these bitters have a delicious layering of anise and other herbs that work excellently in a Piña Colada or…  More info

Dale DeGroff's Bitters
$23.52

Miracle Mile Castilian Bitters

12cl, 45%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Created out in LA by Louis Anderman, Miracle Mile Bitters explore some very inventive flavours - their Castilian Bitters, for example, features notes of liquorice, dandelion root, gentian, grains of…  More info

Miracle Mile Castilian Bitters
$30.37

Cumin Bitters

5cl, 40%
Master of Malt

A superb extraction of the very finest Cumin Seeds money can buy. These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (Grain Vodka) and Cumin Seeds with natural…  More info

Cumin Bitters
$12.51

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
$23.27

Suze Orange Bitters

20cl, 45%
Pernod

From the Suze bitters range comes some classic Orange Bitters. These are produced using gentian, sweet and bitter oranges and bergamot too. We think these bitters would pair excellently with drinks…  More info

Suze Orange Bitters
$30.36

Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub

12cl, 44%
Bittermens

Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub was partially inspired by a pickle seller in New York, partially inspired by a vintage soda which was made with celery and partially inspired by picklebacks.…  More info

Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub
$30.49

London Cocktail Society Bitters #1

5cl, 75%
Master of Malt

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…  More info

London Cocktail Society Bitters #1
$12.51

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