Bitters are a special category of alcoholic beverage named for their flavor. Bitters are made by steeping aromatic herbs, tree bark, and other elements in alcohol, the result being a very concentrated spirit with intense, bitter flavor. Bitters, often known as aromatic bitters, are intended to be used in small quantities in cocktails, though that has not prevented some enterprising drinkers from consuming them as shots. Bitters should not be confused with so-called “digestive bitters,” which are classified here under the amari category (and which are intended to be consumed solo).

Top Bitters Posts:

Do Bitters Go Bad?
Tasting Comparison: Orange Bitters
The Bitter Truth Bitters Lineup
Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters vs. Angostura Bitters

Review: High Camp Campfire Bitters

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2023 |

Our friends at High Camp make some pretty awesome drinking vessels — and they also make one thing you can actually consume, their own bitters, called Campfire Bitters. Campfire is a rarity in that it lists (most of) its ingredients on the label. Those include gentian, cinchona, cinnamon, salish, pepper, and then “natural roots and spices.”…

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Review: All the Bitter Alcohol-Free Bitters, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2022 |

Bitters are traditionally made, quite simply, by steeping botanicals in alcohol for a length of time, then bottling the finished product. Bitters add a lot of flavor to a drink, but they also add a bit of booze — most bitters are actually very high in abv — so for folks looking to limit or…

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Review: Runamok Maple Syrups and Bitters

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2021 |

Runamok is a producer of traditional maple syrup in Vermont, and the company recently branched out into cocktail ingredients, where maple has long been popular. Today we take a look at six different Runamok products — four syrups and two types of bitters — all made with glorious tree juice at their core (and no…

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Review: Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum (2020) and Cantinero Coffee Bitters

By Christopher Null | December 13, 2020 |

Santa Teresa 1796 has been a top shelf rum for years. Produced in Venezuela and aged, solera-style, in bourbon and Cognac casks, it’s a well-aged rum that contains trace amounts of rums that, by this point, are upwards of 60 years old. (Most of the rum in the solera, of course, will be considerably more…

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Drinkhacker’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 26, 2020 |

At this point it feels safe to say that the 2020 holiday season will be unlike any other in our lifetimes. And while in-person gatherings may not be possible, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop exchanging gifts. In fact, in the world of booze, it’s easier than ever to ship a bottle of…

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How Much Do Bitters Matter in a Cocktail?

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2020 |

A couple of dashes of bitters swimming in a glass full of booze. How much of a difference can it make if you choose aromatic vs. creole, chocolate vs. orange, cucumber vs. rhubarb? Well, to help get to the bottom of the mystery of how much of a role bitters play in a cocktail, The…

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Review: Angostura Cocoa Bitters

By Christopher Null | October 30, 2020 |

Although Angostura makes a line of orange bitters, it’s best known for its iconic, eponymous aromatic bitters, a paper-wrapped bottle which no bar should be without. Now the Angostura bitters line expands to a whopping 3 expressions, with the launch of Angostura Cocoa Bitters. These bitters are made with Trinitario cocoa which is grown on…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters

By Christopher Null | July 30, 2020 |

Hey, Jack Daniel’s finally has its own line of bitters: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters, designed to “work hand in hand with Old No. 7.” Let’s give them a try. The nose is heavy on cloves and nutmeg, the intensity coming across a little like a funky jerk spice. Some dark cocoa powder notes emerge…

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Review: Berg & Hauck’s Bitters, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2020 |

Berg & Hauck’s is a German company based in the heart of Bavaria. The operation produces 6 varieties of bitters, all made with “superior ingredients sourced from all over the world to achieve the best flavor and enrich the taste of fine food and mixed drinks with unparalleled balance and complexity. Carefully selected herbs and…

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Review: Bitter Girl Bitters – Batch One, Bitter Rose, and Pear Jordan

By Christopher Null | April 22, 2020 |

I encountered Sonoma’s Bitter Girl Bitters at a recent event at Hanson of Sonoma, where they were paired with the company’s vodkas and whiskey in a variety of cocktails. I brought some home to try. Thoughts on a trio of products follow. (Pro tip: Shake well before using.) Bitter Girl Batch One Bitters – A…

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