Bitters are the salt and pepper of the cocktail. There are scores of different bitters out there, some with rich histories, as outlined here. You know that, of course, but want to geek out making your own. You’re crazy like that. We love you for it.
Making your own bitters takes time, but can yield some very exciting results. Here is Peter‘s DIY method:
- Select the botanicals you want as forward flavours (orange, cherries, cardamom, whatever).
- Select bittering agents to add to your concoction (gentian, burdock, quassia…).
- Choose a base spirit for maceration (usually high proof vodka or whisky work well).
- Some botanicals are best macerated in high proof spirits some in lower proof. You can experiment here.
- Macerate for about a month in tight jars, agitating occasionally.
- For first tests of your own concoctions, macerate botanicals individually then blend them afterwards to get the balance right.
- Filter solids after one month. A coffee filter works well for this.
There are lots of recipes out there but be aware that some historical ingredients should be avoided, tobacco being one. Do a little research. There are some good books about bitters, their history and production. For example, check this out one by Brad Thomas Parsons.
How did it go? We would love to hear about your experiments! Get in touch.