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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 Cumin Bitters

5cl, 40.0%
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
$10.75

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters

5cl, 49.5%
Bitter Bastards

Brian's mother may not have been too enamoured by myrrh, but there's nothing she enjoyed more than a gift of gold or frankincense. Despite being promised as much gold as she could eat by the…  More info

Bitter Bastards Frankincense Bitters
$10.75

Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan Bitters

12cl, 45.0%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Toasted Pecan Bitters do sound particularly mouthwatering, don't they? These come to us from the LA-based Miracle Mile range, created by Louis Anderman. Not only do they feature notes of toasted…  More info

Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan Bitters
$26.08

Kamm & Sons Islay Cask Limited Edition

70cl, 43.0%
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 Limited Edition
$46.39

The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters

20cl, 44.0%
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
$20.47

Marka Nordic Bitter

50cl, 35.0%
Oslo Håndverksdestilleri

The first product from Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (which will be the first production distillery to open in Norway since 1927), offering a taste of the Norwegian forest! These bitters are made with 16…  More info

Marka Nordic Bitter
$31.27

The Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters

6cl, 45.0%
The Bitter End

From New Mexico's Bitter End cocktail bitters series comes some absolutely fantastic Mexican Mole Bitters! Made with the same spices you'd find in a Mole Poblano, including Cayenne pepper, allspice,…  More info

The Bitter End Mexican Mole Bitters
$19.07

Bob’s Peppermint Bitters

10cl, 30.0%
Bob's Bitters

Intensely refreshing and subtly spicy Peppermint Bitters from the Bob's Bitters selection. We reckon these will work well in gin cocktails, but might also make for a good ingredient in cooking and…  More info

Bob’s Peppermint Bitters
$13.13

Bob’s Cardamon Bitters

10cl, 30.0%
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
$13.13

Bob’s Liquorice Bitters

10cl, 30.0%
Bob's Bitters

Vibrantly flavoursome Liquorice Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range. Focussing on the intense though subtly sweet flavours of liquorice, these bitters will pair well with all manner of gin-based…  More info

Bob’s Liquorice Bitters
$13.13

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion and Burdock Bitters

10cl, 42.0%
Dr. Adam Elmegirab

This was released in 2009 as a unique addition to the growing Bitters sector. These bitters are superb in cocktails and have a brilliantly sweet and spicy flavour.  More info

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion and Burdock Bitters
$11.91

Bob’s Ginger Bitters

10cl, 30.0%
Bob's Bitters

Ginger Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range. Bob focuses more on single-botanical expressions rather than mixtures of ingredients, resulting in bitters which can let cocktails enthusiasts craft the…  More info

Bob’s Ginger Bitters
$13.13

Bob’s Grapefruit Bitters

10cl, 30.0%
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
$13.13

Van Wees Authentique Angostura Bitters

4cl, 45.0%
A. van Wees de Ooievaar

Dutch bitters from a recipe developed during the times of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or Dutch East India Company. Apparently they were often added to flavour geneva.  More info

Van Wees Authentique Angostura Bitters
$7.44

Droplets Hot Chili Pepper

5cl, 0.0%
Droplets

Add chilli to drinks (and food) with ease and accuracy with Javier de las Muelas' Hot Chilli Droplets. They have been created to add clean flavour, rather than any vinegary notes that some…  More info

Droplets Hot Chili Pepper
$16.73

Droplets Oak Smoke

5cl, 0.0%
Droplets

Oak Smoke Droplets from Javier de las Muelas, made without alcohol, for controlled, consistent addition of smoky flavour to food and drink. Great with cola, try with rum and whisky based cocktails,…  More info

Droplets Oak Smoke
$16.15

Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters 15cl

15cl, 4.1%
Fee Brothers

Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters does exactly what it says on the tin (or bottle, in this case) - tastes like cranberry with a good helping of bitterness. Sure, you could add it to a Cosmopolitan for…  More info

Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters 15cl
$11.39

Bitter Bastards Naga Chilli Bitters

5cl, 49.5%
Bitter Bastards

The Naga Jolokia chilli, the hottest chilli in the world, is a terrifying beast, one that could bring tears to the eyes of the burliest brute in the land. So obviously there needed to be some Bitter…  More info

Bitter Bastards Naga Chilli Bitters
$10.75

Clark & Co. Vermouth Rinse

10cl, 18.0%
Clark & Co.

From Clark & Co.'s selection of cocktail ingredients comes their Vermouth Rinse, which comes in an atomiser bottle which allows for bursts of flavour to be added to your cocktails. These will go…  More info

Clark & Co. Vermouth Rinse
$13.96

Bitter Bastards Gentian Bitters

5cl, 40.0%
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
$10.75

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Riesling - Quince

10cl, 44.0%
Ferdinand

Ooh, bitters from the folks behind Ferdinand's Saar Dry Gin in Germany. These bitters have a rather intriguing flavour profile - Riesling and Quince! If you remember, the Saar Dry Gin is also made…  More info

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Riesling - Quince
$21.65

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Red Vineyard Peach - Hops

10cl, 44.0%
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
$18.37

Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters

12cl, 45.0%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Miracle Mile's Forbidden Bitters are made in the style of 19th Century aromatic bitters, featuring zedoary, angelica root, galangal, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. Though they may be…  More info

Miracle Mile Forbidden Bitters
$26.08

Miracle Mile Orange Bitters

12cl, 45.0%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Some classically-styled Orange Bitters from the Miracle Mile range, created in LA by Louis Anderman. By combining bitter and sweet orange peels with lemon peels, cinchona, cinnamon, juniper and more,…  More info

Miracle Mile Orange Bitters
$26.08

The Bitter Truth Rose Water

12cl, 0.0%
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
$12.91

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