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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!

Clark & Co. Absinthe Rinse

10cl, 55%
Clark & Co.

Perfect for your Sazerac's Absinthe rinse, Clark & Co's. Absinthe Rinse comes in an atomiser bottle making is simple for adding a spritz of the herbaceous, intense tincture to your cocktail.  More info

Clark & Co. Absinthe Rinse
$14.89

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
$25.18

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Wood

10cl, 42%
The Bitter Truth

Released as part of the Drops & Dashes range from The Bitter Truth (unveiled in celebration of their 10th anniversary), these bitters are perfect for accentuating the rich wood-y notes of whisky,…  More info

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Wood
$15.51

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
$12.51

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)
$11.94

Bob’s Vanilla Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Rich, warming, delicious Vanilla Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range. Loads of authentic vanilla notes to be had here - just perfect for sweeter cocktails. These would also go great in mixed drinks…  More info

Bob’s Vanilla Bitters
$15.29

Van Wees Authentique Angostura Bitters

4cl, 45%
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
$8.67

Lejay Cassis Bitters

10cl, 39%
Lejay

Blackcurrant-flavoured bitters from Lejay, one of the most well-known producers of Creme de Cassis de Dijon. Should add a fruity twist to a Negroni, and could very well be used to add yet more…  More info

Lejay Cassis Bitters
1
$14.61

Campari Bitter 1l -1980s

100cl, 25%
Campari

This is a 1980s bottle of the classic Campari Bitter. Due to the maceration, rather than distillation, that takes place in Campari's production, oxidisation takes place in the bottle, which leads to…  More info

Campari Bitter 1l -1980s
$125.77

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
$12.51

Regency Bitters - Bourbon Oak Smoked Mango

5cl, 55%
Regency Bitters

Regency Bitters are a new range of cocktail bitters created by Brighton bartender Ben Leggett. Exciting stuff with some truly taste-bud-tantalising flavours behind them. How do Bourbon Oak Smoked…  More info

Regency Bitters - Bourbon Oak Smoked Mango
$18.80

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Nut

10cl, 42%
The Bitter Truth

The Bitter Truth celebrated their 10th anniversary in 2016, and what better way to celebrate than to release a new range of bitters! The Drops & Dashes range is that celebratory bundle of bitters -…  More info

The Bitter Truth Drops & Dashes - Nut
$15.51

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
$13.10

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
$22.20

Droplets Presentation Box

8cl, 0%
Droplets

The full set of Javier de las Muelas' Droplets, made with natural ingredients and without alcohol. Featuring many flavours that can be difficult to use consistently, now all you need to do is count…  More info

Droplets Presentation Box
$80.89

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
$12.51

Dr Adam Elmegirab's Dandelion and Burdock Bitters

10cl, 42%
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
$13.87

Fee Brothers Plum Bitters

15cl, 12%
Fee Brothers

Add a dose of dark fruit and spice to your cocktails with the Fee Brothers Plum Bitters. Ought to pair well with dark rums, we reckon.  More info

Fee Brothers Plum Bitters
$13.99

Droplets Tonka Bean

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Tonka beans have been a favourite of top chefs for years, and now you can add them with ease to your cocktails and cooking with these alcohol-free Droplets. Great with dark rum and tropical fruits so…  More info

Droplets Tonka Bean
$20.90

The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters

20cl, 43%
The Bitter Truth

Make your Gin & Tonic more Gin & Tonic-y with the Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters, which blends together notes of grapefruit, lime, Seville Orange and Sicilian lemon along with juniper, orris root and…  More info

The Bitter Truth Tonic Bitters
$21.95

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters

15cl, 17.5%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
$25.10

Droplets Oak Smoke

5cl, 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
$15.67

The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters (30%)

20cl, 30%
The Bitter Truth

A new higher ABV version of the Bitter Truth's Jerry Thomas Bitters, based on those made by the legendary bartender and professor they're named after. Perfect for a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.  More info

The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters (30%)
2
$19.18

Marka Nordic Bitter

50cl, 35%
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
1
$30.33

The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters

20cl, 39%
The Bitter Truth

Bitter Truth have long created celery bitters and now the top German bitters producers have produced cucumber bitters too! Perfect for Pimms and G&Ts especially.  More info

The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters
1
$17.97

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