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
For its tenth anniversary, Germany’s The Bitter Truth has released a series of four limited-edition bitters, each packaged in novelty bottles and including a removable dropper attachment. (Of note: I had a significant issue with stoppers spontaneously popping out of the bottles, so pay attention.) The bitters are themed around the core components of Bitter Truth’s bitters…Read More
Greenbar Distillery doesn’t just make vodka, whiskey, and a very cool liqueur, it also makes bitters, all of which are organic and bottled at 48% abv. Each was made in conjunction with a different bartender (or two), part of a series of bitters-designing competitions the company has sponsored for several years. Here’s a look at five…Read More
Unveiled for Tales of the Cocktail 2015, Jameson released its first-ever bitters, taking them to an unexpected and exotic place: the sloe berry. The sloe berry is primarily known — OK, exclusively known — for its use in sloe gin. Here, Jameson blends up sloe berry distillate, Jameson whiskey, a mix of bittering agents that includes…Read More
After aromatic bitters, orange bitters are easily the most commonly called-for bittering agents in cocktails today. There’s also a huge variety of bitters available on the market. Are they any different? Which is best? I put three big bitters brands — there are plenty more, but these are all I had on hand — to…Read More
The original Peychaud’s Bitters date back to about 1830. In New Orleans cocktailing, they’re an indispensable part of numerous drinks, including the classic Sazerac Cocktail. Now owner Sazerac (parent company of Buffalo Trace) is launching a version of Peychaud’s with a twist, aging the classic bitters in Sazerac Rye whiskey barrels for 140 days. I…Read More
Most hear “bitters” and assume Angostura — something that’s used sparingly, by the drop or dash, to give a little something extra to a cocktail. Breckenridge Bitters — produced by one of our favorite vodka makers — isn’t the same stuff. More in line with Italian amari, this is a bittersweet liqueur designed for sipping…Read More
I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for a whiskey company to get into the bitters business, but Woodford Reserve has finally opened that door, introducing its first bitters, barrel-aged and spiced cherry-flavored. Crafted in conjunction with Bourbon Barrel Foods, the bitters are specifically designed for use in a Manhattan cocktail (and presumably one…Read More
The line between a good cocktail and a great one can often be drawn with a sprinkling of bitters, staples of any serious watering hole and surely a part of any high-end home bar, too. Traveling, however, poses a particular challenge. It’s one thing to throw a bottle of rye in the car for the…Read More
Hey Mr. Sheriff, there’s a new gun in town in the bitters category. Called The Bitter Truth (get it?), this brand hails from Germany and now spans eight types of bitters. The house style is, how shall we put it, bitter. Strong on the bitterness, less of a focus on the fruit or other components…Read More
Artisanal bitters are all the rage these days, with no producer more hallowed than Fee Brothers. (I rely on their Orange Bitters religiously, so I’m a devotee.) But I’d never tried Fee’s “Old Fashion Aromatic” Bitters until recently. Angostura’s always worked for me, so why change? Well today I finally put Fee Old Fashion head…Read More