Aromatic Bitters

This was such a fun experiment and the results are to die for! The ingredients I used are just a suggestion – put whatever you like in this, as long as it has an aromatic component (fruits, spices) and a bitters component (bitter roots, bark). You should be able to find the bitter ingredients at a health food store, often in loose herbal teas.

Mine turned out quite golden, so if you’re after a redder colour, I’d recommend using a darker spirit and adding a higher quantity of orange and perhaps even some berries.

Makes: about 300ml



Aromatic infusion:

250ml spirit, at least 35% alcohol – I used a mixture of Absolut Vanilia vodka and brandy
Half an orange, sliced
Half a lemon, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
Inch-long piece ginger, sliced
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Cracked black pepper

Bitters infusion:

250ml spirit, at least 35% alcohol – I used a mixture of Absolut Vanilia vodka and brandy
1 tbsp licorice root
1 tbsp dandelion root
1 tbsp juniper berries
To sweeten:

Maple syrup, to taste (I used 3 tbsp)


To make the aromatic infusion, place all fruits and spices in a clean glass mason jar and top with spirit until full. Screw the lid on tightly, give a good shake, and keep away from sunlight (in the pantry?) for at least 24 hours and ideally 2-3 weeks. Repeat with the bitters infusion.

Once steeping time has passed, strain aromatic infusion into a bowl. Add bitters infusion, a little at a time, to taste – it’s very strong and you probably won’t use all of it. Be cautious and careful so that you don’t accidentally ruin your bitters. Return any remaining bitters infusion to the pantry to use in a subsequent batch.

Once you’re happy with your bitters, add syrup to sweeten and then decant mixture into a bottle for storage. Store in a cool and dark place for use in a variety of drinks!



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