Bitters are the bartenders' secret. They are liquid concentrations of flavors. Some of them have dozens of botanicals -- spices, herbs, obscure roots, leaves, flower buds -- collected, concentrated, extracted into an alcoholic base. Liquid alchemy, steeped in history, folklore, and mythology -- these wondrous and obscure concoctions have come into their own.
A revolution that started with microwbrewed beers and then graduated to microdistilled vodkas, gins and other artisan small-batch products -- now has a new competitive ground: the bitter. The world's best restaurants and mixologists are making their own bitters and using their unique properties -- lemon bitters, spiced bitters, chocolate bitters, even sriracha bitters -- to drive a new level of signature drink.
So, can you make your own? Absolutely! Tracking down the ingredients can be somewhat of a treasure hunt. This recipe also requires a little TLC and patience.
I've tweaked the original recipe inspired by the book " Bitters" by Brad T. Parsons. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of bitters or making your own.
Keep an eye out for my signature chocolate bitters. They should be ready soon! :)
Step 1: Ingredients
2 tbsp dried orange peel
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup sour cherries
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean- seeds scraped
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 cup quassia chips
2 juniper berries
1/8 tsp cocoa nibs
pinch of black walnut leaf
1/2 tsp cassia chips
1/4 tsp wild cherry bark
1/4 tsp orris root
2 cups turbinado sugar
1 1/2 cups water
5 quart size mason jars
2 funnels- one small/ one large
12 1oz boston round bottle w/ dropper
Most of the spices and herbs can be found online at Star West Botanicals & Mountain Rose Herbs.
Bottles can be found at Speciality Bottle
Note: one of the ingredients I left out from the original recipe was cardamom. The cardamom adds a really pronounced flavor to the bitters. I definitely recommend adding 5 cracked pods to this recipe.