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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 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
$18.47

Droplets Green Cardamom

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Droplets single varietal approach is similar to that of the Bitter Bastards range (which has its own Cardamom Bitters), except that Droplets are not actually bitters at all. They are alcohol-free,…  More info

Droplets Green Cardamom
$16.56

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
$13.81

Kamm & Sons British Aperitif

70cl, 33%
Kamm & Sons

Kamm & Sons excellent Ginseng Spirit has been relaunched as Kamm & Sons British Aperitif - still containing 45 botanicals (such as grapefruit peel, manuka honey, elderflower, juniper berries, fennel…  More info

Kamm & Sons British Aperitif
$28.16

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
$13.21

Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

15cl, 1.7%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Peach Bitters
$13.06

Copperhead Blends Energeticum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

Add a few drops to help highlight different sides of Copperhead Gin. The Energeticus Blend contains plenty of guarana for a pick-me-up!  More info

Copperhead Blends Energeticum
$9.95

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
$12.46

Copperhead Blends Digestivum

5cl, 80%
Copperhead

These 'blends' are cool little specially formulated bitters or tinctures designed to bring out different aspects of Copperhead Gin. The Digestivum Blend contains ginger to aid digestion, perfect for…  More info

Copperhead Blends Digestivum
$9.95

Droplets Sweet Violets

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Violet Droplets from Javier de las Muelas are as perfect for pastry chefs as they are for cocktail enthusiasts. Easily control the level of violet notes in your Aviation without adding sweetness, or…  More info

Droplets Sweet Violets
$14.87

Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

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

Bitter Bastards Cardamom Bitters
1
$12.46

Regency Bitters - Coffee & Ginger

5cl, 55%
Regency Bitters

The Regency Bitters selection was created by Brighton bartender Ben Leggett, featuring inventive flavours such as Juniper & Apricot bitters, Bourbon Oak Smoked Mango bitters and Coffee & Ginger…  More info

Regency Bitters - Coffee & Ginger
1
$18.72

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Aromatic Bitters

6cl, 49%
Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

From the Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. collection comes some rather wonderful Aromatic Bitters, perfect for giving a good burst of flavour to a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Made with citrus, a selection…  More info

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Aromatic Bitters
$14.96

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters

10cl, 30%
Bob's Bitters

Chocolate Bitters, you say? Yum, yum, yum... These come from the Bob's Bitters range, which features a selection of single-botanicals bitters than make it easy to match their flavours with your…  More info

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters
$15.22

Robinson and Payne Orange Bitters

1cl, 12%
The Antique Bitters Company

These Robinson and Payne Orange Bitters are thought to originate from the 1890s or 1900s, although no definitive record of their production, ingredients or method of manufacture can be found,…  More info

Robinson and Payne Orange Bitters
$24.98

Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters

5cl, 60%
Bitter Bastards

It's clear to see that these Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters are just the ticket for delicious crystal-clear cocktails made with clear spirits. Though not centrifugally extracted like the other…  More info

Bitter Bastards Crystal Bitters
$14.96

Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters

15cl, 6.4%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
$13.57

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
$9.95

The Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters

20cl, 44%
The Bitter Truth

These Grapefruit Bitters are excellent in drinks made with gin or other clear spirits. These are great in summertime favourites like a Daiquiri or a Gin and Tonic.  More info

The Bitter Truth Grapefruit Bitters
$25.36

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
$24.99

Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters

15cl, 17%
Fee Brothers

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

Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
$14.25

Bitter Bastards Black Pepper Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

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

Bitter Bastards Black Pepper Bitters
$12.46

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
$24.99

Bitter Bastards Angelica Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Angelica might sound all angelic and whatnot, but don't be fooled - it can be a right bitter bastard too! These cocktail bitters are made with intense angelica root, specially selected spirit,…  More info

Bitter Bastards Angelica Bitters
$12.46

Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters

12cl, 40%
Miracle Mile Bitters

Not only are these Sour Cherry Bitters from Miracle Mile made with sour cherries, they also feature wild cherry bark! They're also made with ginger blossom, orange blossom honey, cardamom and…  More info

Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters
$30.23

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