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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!

Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamon Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Two particularly spicy botanicals combine their powers to create Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamom Bitters! Rather versatile indeed, these bitters suit gin-based cocktails just as well as…  More info

Ms. Better's Black Pepper Cardamon Bitters
$30.33

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Riesling - Quince

10cl, 44%
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
$22.65

Bitter Bastards Clove Bitters

5cl, 75%
Bitter Bastards

Clove is wonderful stuff, whether you're adding it to some mulled wine or picking it out of a whisky's snazzy bouquet, we love this dark spice. How then, to get some of this magic into your…  More info

Bitter Bastards Clove Bitters
$12.02

Bob’s Vanilla Bitters

10cl, 35%
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
$15.40

Bitter French Rainy Harvest Bitters

10cl, 40%
Bordeaux Distilling Co.

The Bordeaux Distilling Company has turned its hand to bitters! This is the Rainy Harvest variant from the Bitter French range, made with grape pomace, grape vine leaves, cardamom, and Rooibos tea,…  More info

Bitter French Rainy Harvest Bitters
$23.32

Droplets Fresh Ginger

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Javier de las Muelas' Droplets provide a way of adding consistent quantities of fresh ginger to drinks and food. They're made without alcohol from natural ingredients.  More info

Droplets Fresh Ginger
$23.72

Bitter Bastards Juniper Bitters 10cl

10cl, 40%
Bitter Bastards

"More Juniper Bitters!", we hear you call. The Bitter Bastards folks are happy to oblige - presenting their Juniper Bitters, now available in 10cl bottles! These rapidly-macerated,…  More info

Bitter Bastards Juniper Bitters 10cl
$16.86

Bob’s Orange & Mandarin Bitters

10cl, 35%
Bob's Bitters

These Orange & Mandarin Bitters from the Bob's Bitters range are just the thing if your cocktails need a juicy boost of citrus notes. Go on, add a few drops to your Old Fashioned...  More info

Bob’s Orange & Mandarin Bitters
$17.36

Ms. Better's Smoke & Oak Bitters

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

Intriguing smokey bitters from Canada's Ms. Better's range, brilliant for use in rum and whisky cocktails. Impressive stuff.  More info

Ms. Better's Smoke & Oak Bitters
$27.43

Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters

15cl, 52%
Scrappy's Bitters

Spicy Cardamom Bitters from the Scrappy's range (founded in Seattle by Miles Thomas), which has been handsomely well-balanced with a deft squeeze of citrus added into the mix. Ought to be good for…  More info

Scrappy's Cardamom Bitters
$24.11

Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters

15cl, 47.6%
Scrappy's Bitters

Chocolate Bitters from the Scrappy's Bitters range, made with toasted cacao nibs. Ought to be great for chocolate and rum cocktails...  More info

Scrappy's Chocolate Bitters
$24.11

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)
$16.30

Ferdinand's Bitters Sweet Symphony Red Vineyard Peach - Hops

10cl, 44%
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
$26.78

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
$20.48

Dashfire Cardamom Bitters

10cl, 38%
Dashfire

Another effort from Dashfire’s unique and varied line of tinctures, handcrafted in small batches in St. Paul, Minnesota. This release uses the power-pod of intense aromatic flavour that is cardamom…  More info

Dashfire Cardamom Bitters
$14.90

Scrappy's Lavender Bitters

15cl, 50.8%
Scrappy's Bitters

Excellent Lavender Bitters from Scrappy's Bitters range, not invented by a crime-fighting puppy but by Seattle bartender Miles Thomas.  More info

Scrappy's Lavender Bitters
$24.11

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
$26.89

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters

10cl, 35%
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
$14.30

Droplets Fresh Cut Celery

5cl, 0%
Droplets

Freshly cut celery Droplets from Javier de las Muelas, which can be used like bitters in cocktails as well as in in other drinks and cooking. They contain no alcohol and are 100% natural. Try a few…  More info

Droplets Fresh Cut Celery
$19.64

Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic

15cl, 45%
Bittermens

The Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic is a fascinating combination of some of the great bitters of the world, influenced by the aromatic bitters of Venezuela and Trinidad; with flavours of gentian,…  More info

Bittermens Transatlantic Aromatic
$21.03

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
$24.11

Scrappy's Lime Bitters

15cl, 47.5%
Scrappy's Bitters

Spectacular Lime Bitters from Scrappy's Bitters range, made with organic limes. Should be great in a cocktail, and ought to be rather handy when making guacamole, too.  More info

Scrappy's Lime Bitters
$24.11

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

15cl, 2.6%
Fee Brothers

A superb dark chocolate bitters inspired by the cacao lusting Aztecs of yore who would drink a bitter version of hot chocolate made from cacao, peppers and spices. Fee Brothers' bitters are fantastic…  More info

Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters
$15.70

Ms. Better's Aromatic Bitters Batch 42

12cl, 40%
Ms. Better's

These Canadian aromatic cocktail bitters from Ms. Better's selection have been made using a hearty selection of spices and botanicals which you would have found on trade route ships throughout…  More info

Ms. Better's Aromatic Bitters Batch 42
$27.18

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
$17.47

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