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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!

Bitters

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Maple Whiskey Liqueur
Produced in Germany by The Bitter Truth, these delicious bitters are flavoured with peach. The result is the perfect addition to a variety of fruity cocktails.  More info
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A 100cl bottle of Campari bitters produced in the 1970s. A neat little antique that isn't all that little at all. Like I said, it's a 100cl bottle.  More info
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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
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Cardamom has been a handy tool in a bartender's tool-belt for years, and these Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters will surely find their way into the tool-belts of many bartenders and, consequently...  More info
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The Bitter Bastards range features all sorts of top quality bitters in a rainbow of flavours, all made with innovative (and awesome) centrifugal extraction and rapid-maceration to reduce unwanted...  More info
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Brilliant peach bitters from Free Brothers. Try adding a few drops to a Mai Tai cocktail, it adds a luscious peach flavour that works really well.  More info
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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
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Made with tuber magnatum pico (white truffles) these are magnificently earthy, perfumed bitters. We produce these simply by macerating top-quality white truffles in fine grain spirit. Very good in all...  More info
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Fantastic spicy, rich tasting bitters from Fee Brothers. This are the crème de la crème from their range, bottled once yearly in the Spring. They aged this in fresh Tennessee whiskey barrels.  More info
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Handcrafted bitters with a Christmas twist, Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Christmas Bitters are the perfect addition to seasonal cocktails requiring a botanical lift.  More info
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These were created in 1828 by John G Boker. They became very popular in New York and they were synonymous with the "golden age" of cocktail making. They were used throughout Jerry Thomas's book "How...  More info
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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, only...  More info
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Stunning Cherry bitters from Fee Brothers. A classic ingredient in pre-Prohibition era cocktail making. These work fantastically with whiskey cocktails…  More info
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Now where would an Old-Fashioned, or a Manhattan be without some decent Orange bitters. These are made by Fee Brothers using West Indian oranges.  More info
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If you're looking to add some fantastic citrus zestiness to your cocktails, the Bitter Bastards Sweet Orange Bitters have got you covered. They're are made with the finest Spanish orange peels...  More info
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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
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These excellent grapefruit bitters from Fee Brothers work really well in cocktails with a tangy citrus element. They add a little extra spice and depth. Try them in your next Margarita or Sour…  More info
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Superb chocolate bitters from top Austrian-based, chocolate-drink-producers Mozart. These are created by macerating top quality cocoa in sugar cane spirit, to which spices are added. Great in a...  More info
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Say you've got a cocktail, but you feel it's lacking some 'shazam' or 'ka-pow' or another onomatopoeic word to suggest excitement. What's the remedy for this lack of 'ta-daa'? Bitters. Perhaps...  More info
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Bitters are said to be the seasoning of the cocktail world, so naturally there has to be Bitter Bastards Black Pepper Bitters (just don't go looking for salt bitters to go on your fish and...  More info
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These Bitter Bastards Sour Cherry Bitters have been made using cherries (obviously), a carefully selected spirit, well-measured amounts of bittering agent (gentian root), rapid-maceration and...  More info
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These chipotle bitters are made with delicious smoke-dried jalapeño peppers, gentian root and specially selected spirit. The yummy, highly-desirable flavours gained through rapid-maceration are then...  More info
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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
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