Photo by Hep Svadja
Photo by Hep Svadja

Invigorate your newly carbonated cocktails, sodas, and aged whiskey with homemade bitters.

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151-proof grain alcohol, 375ml
100-proof bourbon, 375ml
Zest of one lemon peeled with a vegetable peeler
Quinine extract, 1⁄4tsp from a health food store
Wormwood extract, 1tsp from a health food store
Tellicherry peppercorns, 2tsp
Cinnamon stick
Fresh ginger root, 2″ piece
Allspice berries (6)
Cloves (4)
Dried cherries, 1c
Vanilla bean split in half length-wise, with its seeds scraped and reserved to add to jar
Raw sugar, 1⁄4c

Project Steps


Put all ingredients, except for sugar, in a large glass jar, closing it tightly.


Store jar in a cool, dark place for 13 days, shaking it daily.


On the thirteenth day, filter liquid into a clean jar through a sieve, reserving solids.


Place filtered solids into a sauce-pan, along with 1⁄2c of water. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, in order to extract maximum flavor.


Strain simmered liquid through sieve or cheesecloth, and then combine with other jar of liquid.


Filter liquid through a coffee filter or AeroPress to remove small particles.


Heat sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until it caramelizes and froths, then add it to bitters.


Shake jar until burnt sugar dissolves, then let bitters cool.


Bottle and apply directly to your tongue to relieve the fantods, or enjoy a dash or two in most any drink for added flavor.