The Bitter Bite Cocktail

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February 8, 2013


Marcy Franklin

The Bitter Bite cocktail.

Just in time for the Chinese New Year, the Bitter Bite is made by Carlos Yturria of E&O Asian Kitchen in San Francisco.




Calories Per Serving

Related Recipes


  • 1 1/2 Ounce Campari
  • 2 kumquats
  • 1 Ounce lemon juice
  • 3/4 Ounces agave nectar


Muddle kumquats and lemon juice. Add Campari and agave nectar. Shake and strain over fresh ice into a Collin's glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a kumquat.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving192

Total Fat0.4g0.6%




Vitamin A6µg1%

Vitamin C28mg46%



Folate (food)12µgN/A

Folate equivalent (total)12µg3%



Niacin (B3)0.2mg1%




Sugars, added15gN/A

Have a question about the nutrition data? Let us know.


Underberg – The Unusual German Bitters and 7 Cocktails to Use It In

Imperial Bulldog Cocktail (recipe below)

The recipe for Underberg was created in 1846 by Hubert Underberg, but it wasn’t until after WWII that the brand became iconic with the introduction of their small single-serving bottles – an idea suggested by Emil Underberg, the grandson of Hubert. The small, paper-wrapped bottles with a green label provide a single portion of the post-meal elixir. The front label states, “After a good meal… to feel bright and alert.

Underberg is very similar in style to an amaro (bitter liqueur), but where it differs is that it does not contain any added sugar. Technically, it’s in a category of spirits known as Kräuterlikör (herbal liqueur), a category which includes the somewhat similar tasting Jägermeister. Two of the more popular Kräuterlikörs that cocktail enthusiasts would recognize are Bénédictine and Chartreuse. Despite similarities, Underberg falls into another classification that these other spirits to not – it’s considered non-potable just like cocktail bitters. This means that the product is not subject to liquor laws, and it’s even available on Amazon. This non-potable designation is increasingly more challenging to uphold as bartenders continue to incorporate it as a base spirit in cocktails.

If improving digestion isn’t enough, Underberg also offers a loyalty rewards program where the bottle caps can be redeemed for various Underberg products ranging from keychains and playing cards to glassware and dinner plates.

1. The Imperial Bulldog

The Imperial Bulldog is a delicious tiki cocktail that uses Underberg in a role that would normally be held by Angostura bitters. Pineapple works surprisingly well with Underberg. Seeing as to how pineapple also works well with Green Chartreuse, I think there could be a great cocktail between those three ingredients.

Five Essential Suze Cocktails

Prized for its bracing bitterness, Suze, a French liqueur dating back to 1889, has become something of a cult favorite among bartenders since making its way stateside in 2012. Identifiable by the bottle’s distinctive amber glow and its gentian-forward flavor, the timeless aperitif demonstrates unexpected versatility, equally at-home in something light and bubbly or complex and spirituous.

Traditionally consumed on the rocks or topped with soda water in its native France, a small dose can enliven a variety cocktails, adding a bitter, herbal punch. Chaim Dauermann of New York’s The Up & Up, for example, leans on Suze, alongside Angostura bitters and lime cordial, to amp up the bitter quotient in his Insanely Good Gin and Tonic. In another spin on a timeless classic, the White Negroni, Suze replaces Campari while sweet vermouth is swapped out for floral Lillet, resulting in a lighter, golden-hued variation.

In pared down, three-ingredient formulas, Suze demonstrates its ability to work in concert without stealing the show. Less than an ounce in Natasha David’s Champagne Cocktail is enough to lend color and bite, without overpowering the passionfruit liqueur or sparkling wine topper in this modern spin on the Champagne Cocktail. Paired with smoky mezcal and floral bianco vermouth in Timothy Miner’s Fumata Bianca, on the other hand, Suze shows its more herbal side.

Suze is capable of holding its own alongside bolder ingredients as well. In Seth Freidus’ The Memory Remains, Suze stacks up against rye, sweet vermouth and smoked cacao and coffee bean-infused Curaçao, for a complex cocktail that packs a punch without being thrown off balance. Like the Metallica song for which it’s named, it boasts a strong start and an aggressive end.

White Negroni: A fairer Negroni featuring Suze and Lillet Blanc. [Recipe]

Fumata Bianca: A sweet, smoky, herbal mixture of bianco vermouth, mezcal and Suze. [Recipe]

The Memory Remains: A bold blend of rye, sweet vermouth, Suze and coffee-infused Curaçao. [Recipe]

Insanely Good Gin & Tonic: Suze ups the bitter quotient in this upgraded G&T. [Recipe]

Natasha David's Champagne Cocktail: Suze shines in this modern Champagne Cocktail. [Recipe]

Scandi Gibson

A fantastic savory cocktail created by Avery Glasser

2 oz Aquavit
1 oz Cocchi Americano
10 drops Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub
20 drops Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub

Combine the Aquavit, Cocchi Americano, Habanero Shrub and Celery Shrub in a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Stir until chilled and diluted, about 20 seconds. Strain into a chilled rocks glass or coupe and garnish with a cocktail onion.

The Law Abiding Citizen

This cocktail by Ryan Gannon of Cure in New Orleans was the grand prize winner in Pama’s “Are You Indispensable?” Cocktail Competition in January 2014. This recipe was featured in an article on Food Republic.

3/4 oz Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
1.5 oz Hidalgo Napoleon Amontillado Sherry
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup (1:1)
4 drops Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Shake everything with ice and and double-strain into a coupe. Garnish with 4 drops Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters.


An adaptation of a cocktail dating back to 1903 by Jack McGarry of the Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in NYC. This recipe appeared in Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

1 oz Pernod Absinth
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Parfait Amour
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 dashes Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub
3 oz Piper-Heidsieck NV Brut Champagne
Lemon peel twist for garnish

Add Pernod, Parfait Amour, simple syrup and Celery Shrub to a mixing glass with ice. Stir well, then strain into a Champagne flute. Top with Champagne. Gently twist the lemon peel over the drink to extract the oils, and add as garnish.

Improved Tequila Cocktail

Created by Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge, The Pastry War and many other fine establishments in Houston, TX. This recipe appeared in the Washington Post.

2 oz reposado tequila (Heugel recommends Siete Leguas or Siembra Azul)
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Twist of lemon peel, for garnish

Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the tequila, maraschino liqueur, both bitters and the agave nectar. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the lemon peel over the drink, rub the rim of the glass, then drop it in as a garnish.

Gentlemen’s Nouvelle

This cocktail was created by David Ortiz, Spirits Specialist and Educator for Stacole Fine Wines in Florida.

1 oz Bittermens Amère Nouvelle
2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
2 dashes Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub

Shake hard, strain into a coupe glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with 1/2 grapefruit wheel.


Created by Eryn Reece, Miss Speed Rack 2013. This recipe was featured on Liquor.com.

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye
3/4 oz Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a slice of orange peel.

The Greenhouse

Bridge Lounge , New Orleans, LA

1.5 oz Schlichte Gin
1/2 oz Bittermens Amère Nouvelle liqueur
1 oz soda water
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
6 drops Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish by floating 1 oz of Luxardo Apricot liqueur into the bottom of the glass and sprinkle a pinch of micro basil across the top.


This apertif-style cocktail was created by Matty Durgin of the Green Russell in Denver, CO.

1.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1 oz Bonal Gentiane Quina
1/2 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 long dash Bittermens New England Spiced Cranberry

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass and add cracked ice. Long stir. Serve up in a chilled coupe with a discarded orange twist.

Jane Russell

Created by New York bartender Brian Miller, this cocktail combines two rye whiskies. This recipe appeared online in The Huffington Post.

1.5 oz Russell’s Reserve Rye
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Bénédictine
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Sleeping with Strangers

Created by Maksym Pazuniak, co-creator of Beta Cocktails. This recipe appeared online at Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

1 oz Rhum Neisson Blanc
1 oz Kronan Swedish Punsch Liqueur
1 oz Campari
7 drops Bittermens Orange Cream Citrate
Orange twist, for garnish

In a mixing glass, stir together the rhum, punsch and Campari. Add the drops of orange cream citrate. Strain over a large ice cube in a lowball glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Freudian Daiquiri

Created by Jacki Walczak of Sylvain (New Orleans) – because sometimes a banana is just a banana and sometimes a daiquiri is just a daiquiri.

2 oz El Dorado 5 yr Demerara Rum
.75 oz Lime Juice
.5 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil
1 barspoon 2:1 Simple Syrup (65 Brix)
1 pipette (a full dropper) of Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Shake and serve in a rocks glass sans ice (or an Antoinette coupe if you are so inclined).

The Bitter Monk

Created by Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Island Creek Oyster Bar in Boston, MA, this cocktail was one of the Cocktails of the Week in Esquire Magazine (full article here: Cocktail of the Week: Bitter Monk).

1.5 oz Old Monk Rum (or other dark rum)
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz Aperol
1 dash Bittemens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Mount in a mixing glass, add ice, shake, and strain into a coupe glass. No garnish.

The Woodberry Schooner

Created by Matt Ficke of the Columbia Room in Washington, DC.

1 oz Silver Tequila
1 oz Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1/2 oz simple syrup (or less to taste)
1/2 oz lemon juice
15-20 drops Bittermens Orchard Street Celery Shrub

Stir, strain into a coupe and garnish with a lemon twist.

White Port Cobbler

This modern take on a cobbler was created by Nick Detrich of Cure in New Orleans (recipe via Inside Hook).

3 oz Portal White Port
1/4 oz Small Hand Foods Orgeat Syrup
2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Combine in a shaker tin. Add 4-5 large ice cubes and shake for a few seconds. Strain over pebbled ice in a julep or cobbler tin and garnish with a gently beaten bouquet of mint and candied almonds.

Age of Reason

Created by Han Shan of B-Side in NYC, this cocktail was named as one of Gaz Regan’s 101 Best New Cocktails 2012.

2 oz Michter’s Rye Whiskey
1/2 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac Ambre
1/2 oz Cocchi Americano
1 generous barspoon Green Chartreuse (about 1/4 oz)
1 generous barspoon Yellow Chartreuse (about 1/4 oz)
10 drops Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
1 Lemon Twist

Stir over ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.Run the twist around the rim of the glass, then discard.

“Gaz says: ‘Han made some bold moves with this drink, and they paid off well—especially in the case of the Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki bitters which, on paper, make no sense. In the glass, though, they play a ukulele while the other ingredients dance like Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.'” (via gazregan.com)

South of No North

This coffee cocktail was created by Chris Langston of 1022 South in Tacoma, Washington (recipe via Imbibe).

1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz simple syrup (1:1)
1/2 oz Cynar
1 oz cold-brew coffee (Langston uses an Ethiopian Harrar)
1 fresh egg white
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Combine ingredients in a shaker, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Top with 2 dashes of Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters.

“Rum Row” Old Fashioned

Created by Dominic Venegas of the NoMad Hotel, this cocktail was the winner of the Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Official Cocktail Competition.

1.25 oz El Dorado 12 year old Rum
3/4 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
1/4 oz water
1 barspoon Muscovado Sugar
1 dash Angostura Orange Bitters
1 drop Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
Navel orange peel, squeezed over and dropped in

Place one bar spoon of Muscovado Sugar in an Old Fashioned glass. Drop Orange and Burlesque bitters in sugar, add 1/4 oz water, and add 3-4 cubes of ice. Stir for about 5-7 seconds. Pour in 3/4 oz Banks 5 Island Rum and 1.25 oz El Dorado 12 year old Rum. Garnish with a navel orange peel.

The 700 Songs Gimlet

The Shanty at New York Distilling Company, Brooklyn, NY

1.5 oz NY Distilling Co. Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz cinnamon syrup
5 drops Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Amaris

This cocktail was created by Aaron Polsky of Amor y Amargo as a grand gesture to win back the heart of his then-girlfriend, Amaris. Read the full story here.

1/2 oz Fernet Branca
1/2 oz Strega
1/2 oz Gran Classico
1/2 oz Dolin Dry Vermouth
5 drops Bittermens Burlesque Bitters

Stir, strain neat into a chilled rocks glass.

Fallow Grave

Created by Robin Kaufman of the Toronto Temperance Society (recipe via And One More For The Road)

1.75 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1 oz Amaro Nonino
1-2 barspoons Creme Yvette
2-3 dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters #6

Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a cocktail coupe. Flame a grapefruit peel over top.

Madeira Cobbler

1½ ounces Sercial Madeira
½ ounce simple syrup
2 peels orange zest
1 peel lemon zest
Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake Madeira, simple syrup and peels with cracked ice. Pour contents (including the ice) into a rocks glass. Top with a few drops of bitters and serve with a straw.

Albuquerque Old Fashioned

Created by Tristan Willey while at Amor y Amargo

2 oz Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
Barspoon of Cane Syrup
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
6 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
20 drops Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub

Stir with ice and garnish with an orange twist.

Peru Blanco

Another great Pisco cocktail from Boston’s Brother Cleve

1 oz Macchu Pisco
1 oz Bittermens Amère Nouvelle
1 oz Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Blanc
2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Regime Change Punch

Colin Shearn of The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia created this punch for one. This recipe appeared on Reuters.com.

1.5 oz Old Grand-Dad Bonded Whiskey
1 oz Fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz Tropical Fruit Black Tea
1/2 oz Lairds Bonded Applejack
1/2 oz Demerara Syrup
1/4 oz Galliano
1/4 oz Honey Syrup
1 tsp. Allspice Dram
1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into large goblet with fresh ice. Top with 1 oz seltzer. Makes 1 serving.

The Hotel Room Temperature

This recipe appeared in an article on Starchefs.com about room temperature cocktails. It was created by Kirk Estopinal of Cure in New Orleans.

1.5 oz Carpano Antica Vermouth
3/4 oz El Dorado 12 Year Rum
1/2 oz Marie Brizard Orange Curaçao
14 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Orange Peel

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass. Stir and pour between two rocks glasses a few times. Serve in one of the glasses with a peel of orange skin that has been expressed on the glass, but not into the drink. Hang the peel on the glass artfully.

Improved Tequila Cocktail

Created by Bobby Heugel of Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, TX, this cocktail recipe appeared in the Washington Post.

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Siete Leguas or Siembra Azul preferred)
1 teaspoon Maraschino Liqueur
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 teaspoon agave nectar
Twist of lemon peel for garnish

Fill a mixing glass halfway with ice. Add the tequila, maraschino liqueur, both bitters and the agave nectar. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Twist the lemon peel over the drink, rub the rim of the glass, then drop it in as a garnish.

Loose Noose

This stirred bourbon drink was created by Frank Cisneros of Dram in Brooklyn, NY. It appeared in the second edition of “Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar” by Jill DeGroff.

2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Fino Sherry
1/2 teaspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist.

Diablo Azul

Created by Bob McCoy while at Eastern Standard, Boston, MA

3/4 oz Blanco Tequila (Siembra Azul)
3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1 dash Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. No garnish.

Among Dreams

This Manhattan-inspired cocktail was created by Turk Dietrich of Cure in New Orleans, LA

2 oz Carpano Antica
½ oz Green Chartreuse
½ oz Rye Whiskey
9 drops Bittermens ’Elemakule Tiki Bitters
7 drops Fee Bros. Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters

Combine liquid ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Northern Lights

Created by Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli, the Northern Lights is one of the signature cocktails at Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA

1.5 oz Scotch
3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/4 oz Clear Creek Douglas Fir Eau de Vie
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/4 oz Demerara syrup (1:1 demerara sugar and water)
2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Combine Scotch, St. Germain, Eau de Vie, lemon juice, orange juice and syrup in a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Rum Manhattan

Created by Ed Hamilton of the Ministry of Rum, this cocktail was presented at the Diageo “Cocktails Around the World” event at Tales of the Cocktail 2011.

3/4 oz Zacapa Rum 23
1/2 oz Dolin Rouge Vermouth
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a cocktail glass. Serve straight up with either a cherry or twist of orange, lemon or lime.

Grito de Dolores

Andy Seymour of AKA Wine Geek created this cocktail, which was featured at Diageo’s “Cocktails Around the World” event at Tales of the Cocktail 2011.

3/4 oz Tanqueray No. TEN
1/2 oz Del Maguey Crema Mezcal
1 dash Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
Grapefruit Twist for Garnish

Combine ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a wide grapefruit twist.

Sadie Hawkins Sling

This bourbon-based tiki cocktail from JBird in New York City is big enough for two!

Photograph: Jessica Leibowitz

1 pineapple
2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
1/2 oz demerara syrup *
3/4 oz John D. Taylor’s Falernum
3/4 oz pear brandy
1/2 oz Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot Liqueur
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 oz pineapple juice
4 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

Core pineapple (leaving a few inches of fruit at the bottom to make an oversize vessel). Freeze overnight in a Ziploc bag.

Put a small amount of ice in a cocktail shaker. Add bitters, demerara syrup, falernum, pear brandy, apricot liqueur, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and bourbon.

Shake and strain into the cored and frozen pineapple. Add crushed ice stir with a swizzle stick or long spoon. Add more crushed ice and garnish as desired (pineapple leaves, orange slices, bendy straws, umbrella…)

* To make demerara syrup: heat sugar with water over low in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Let cool. Keep refrigerated.

Peru Negro

Created by Brother Cleve, the Godfather of Boston’s cocktail revival

1 oz Macchu Pisco
1 oz Gran Classico Bitter Liqueur
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Amaro Nonino
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir and serve up with an orange twist.

Hiram Bingham

Created by Jay Crabb of the Walnut Creek Yacht Club in Walnut Creek, CA, this cocktail appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Imbibe Magazine. It is named for the explorer who came across the ruins of Machu Picchu in 1911.

1.5 oz Quebranta Pisco
1 oz Apricot Liqueur (such as Rothman & Winter)
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/4 oz Cane Syrup
2-3 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
6 leaves fresh mint, torn
Chilled Brut Sparkling Wine

Combine ingredients in a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until chilled (about 10 seconds). Double strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a chilled flute glass. Garnish with a dried apricot and a mint sprig.


The Golden Dawn, Auckland, New Zealand (thanks to Jacob Briars for the recipe!)

“A Dickensian marriage of gin, beer and ginger beer, and lemon, finished with outrageously good grapefruit bitters.”

45 mls (1.5 oz) Beefeater gin
90 mls (3 oz) Hallertau No. 1 (The Golden Dawn’s draft house beer, which is similar to a more aromatic, fruity Brooklyn Lager)
90 mls (3 oz) Bundaberg Ginger Beer
Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters to garnish

Fill a beer glass with ice, add gin and beer, stir quickly, then top with ginger beer. Finish with 3 lemon wedges and a couple of dashes of Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit bitters atop the glass.

Boston Tea Party (Punch)

From Jim Meehan of New York’s PDT for the Wall Street Journal

1 750 ml bottle Banks 5 Island Rum
18 oz Sencha Green Tea
1 375ml bottle Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
6 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Combine all ingredients and chill in a refrigerator. Serve in a bowl with a large block of ice. Garnish each serving with grated nutmeg. Serves many.

The Smoking Gun

Winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera Cocktail Competition
Created by Lynnette Marrero – Peels, NYC

1/4 oz Cio Ciaro
1.5 oz Rittenhouse Rye
1/4 oz Smoked demerara*
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Garnish with a flamed orange zest.

* 1 tbsp Lapsong Souchong tea brewed into 8 oz water. Add tea to boiling water and let it steep for 2 hours. Add tea to 8 oz demerara over medium heat. Simmer and reduce. Chill.

East India Trading Company

Winner of the 2010 Appleton Estate Reserve “Remixology” Bartender’s Challenge
Created by Brian Miller

2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve
3/4 oz East India Solera Sherry
1/2 oz Ramazotti
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir & strain into a coupe – no garnish.


Winner of the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail Bar Room Brawl
Winning Bar: Drink, Boston
Created by Scott Holliday – Rendezvous, Cambridge, MA

1.5 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Van Oosten Batavia Arrack
1 oz Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Orange Bitters
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

– Combine all ingredients in double old fashioned glass over a large chunk of ice.
– Stir to incorporate and dilute.
– Orange Twist (expel the oil over drink, discard the twist) and sprinkle salt on the ice cube.

History (from Drink’s Facebook Page): Scott Holliday (from Rendezvous in Cambridge, MA) created this cocktail. Alicante is a city in Spain, located on the southwest coast, on the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the province of Alicante, and one of the fastest growing cities in Spain. The area has been inhabited for over 7,000 years, and was a vital trading port for early civilization. The Alicante is a unique cocktail in that the combination of ingredients allow sweet, salt, bitter & umami to all shine through in one glass. The matching of orange and chocolate balance well with the funkiness of Batavia Arrack.

Cider a la Minute

Created by Heather Mojer – Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA

1/4 of a Macoun apple, grated
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1/3 oz Becherovka
1/2 oz Velvet Falernum
1.5 oz Ron Zacapa Solera 23

Shake and strain into an ice filled collins glass. Top with 2 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters and Fevertree ginger beer

Tequila Amargo

When you ask a “barman” what he can do for a bitter tequila drink and this is what he comes up with, you know you’re at the right place. This is a creation from the legendary Fernando del Diego, owner of Del Diego in Madrid. (Jan 16, 2009).

3 of Herradura Reposado Tequila
1 golpe of Creme de Cassis
1 golpe Moet and Chandon Marc de Champagne
1 golpe Punt e Mes
4 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Now, his 𔄛” means a three count, and a “golpe” is a splash… I’d translate it like this:

2 oz Herradura Reposado Tequila
2 bar spoons Creme de Cassis
2 bar spoons Moet and Chandon Marc de Champagne
2 bar spoons Punt e Mes
4 dashes Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Stir and serve up in a cocktail glass. Finish with a wide orange peel.

Opaka Raka

Created by Brian Miller as part of the launch of the now defunct Elettaria. It’s a new Tiki classic, featured in Beachbum Berry Remixed (p. 206).

1.5 oz Junipero Gin (if not available, Tanqueray can be substituted)
1.5 oz Donn’s Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla syrup and allspice dram)
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Bittermens ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters

Shake with ice and serve in a highball glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.


A summer refresher from the team at Hungry Mother in Cambridge, MA.

2.5 oz Greylock Gin
1/4 oz Dry Vermouth
1/4 oz Honey Syrup
1 dash Bittermens Boston Bittahs

Stir and serve in a coupe glass with a lemon twist.

Right Hand

Created by Michael McIlroy of Milk and Honey and Little Branch in 2007. Executed properly, this cocktail is perfectly balanced with an amazing vanilla finish.

1.5 oz Aged Rum (Matusalem Gran Reserva)
3/4 oz Carpano Antica
3/4 oz Campari
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir and serve up in a cocktail glass

The Conference

A play on the Old Fashioned by Brian Miller at Death and Company, 2007. It’s one of those drinks that evolves as the ice slowly melts into the cocktail.

1/4 oz Demerara Sugar Syrup
1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded Rye (100 Proof)
1/2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
1/2 oz Cognac
1/2 oz Calvados
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Orange Twist (wide)
Lemon Twist (wide)

Stir all the ingredients aside from the twists in an ice filled shaker glass. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice. Add orange and lemon twists.

Latin Quarter

Joaquín Simó reinterprets the classic Sazerac with fantastic results. Death and Company, 2007.

2 oz Ron Zacapa 23 year old Rum
1/2 barspoon Sugar Cane Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
3 dashes Peychaud Bitters
Lemon Twist

Absinthe (Herbsaint or Ricard)

Fill a double old fashioned glass with ice and a small amount of Absinthe (Herbsaint or Ricard). Stir the rum, sugar cane syrup and bitters in an ice filled shaker glass. Dump the ice from the old fashioned glass and rotate the glass to ensure that the rinse coats the entire inside of the glass. Strain into the glass. Twist lemon peel over the glass and discard (do not put the twist in the glass).

The beginnings of Ago Perrone’s Dolce and Cabana

Dolce and Cabana

Ago Perrone, one of London’s amazing bartenders, created this fantastic cocktail while at Montgomery Place that showcases Cabana Cachaça.

45 ml (1.5 oz) Cabana Cachaça
20 ml (2/3 oz) Lillet Rouge
2 dashes Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters
5 ml (1/2 barspoon) Simple Syrup
Lemon Twist (discard after twisting)

Stir in a large beaker (like the one in the picture to the right) and strain into a cocktail coupe. Twist and discard lemon and garnish with a fresh cherry.

Second Sip

This is what happened when we challenged Brian Miller, then at Death and Company, to come up with a cocktail that combines scotch, bitters and Fernet Branca…

2 oz Compass Box Asyla Scotch
1/2 oz Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
1/2 oz Cockburn 20 yr old Tawny Port
1/4 oz Fernet Branca
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir, strain and serve in a coupe. Please, no garnish!

New England Daiquiri

A modification of a classic cocktail by Joaquín Simó at Death and Company, 2007.

2 oz Ron Zacapa 23 year old Rum
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
2 tsp Maple Syrup
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Shake and serve up in a cocktail glass.


Created by Paul Clarke while reviewing Bittermens for the Cocktail Chronicles.

2 oz Reposado Tequila (Don Julio)
3/4 oz Amer Picon
1/4 oz Licor 43
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Neisson Negroni

Created by Avery Glasser while at Death and Company with Ed Hamilton, the Minister of Rum. Though the contents are remarkably similar to the Right Hand, the different proportions create a remarkably different drink.

1 oz Neisson Reserve Agricole Rum
1 oz Campari
3/4 oz Carpano Antica
1 dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stir and serve up in a cocktail glass with an orange twist.

Chocolate Martica

1 oz Appleton V/X Rum
1 oz Cognac (Courvoisier VS)
1 oz Carpano Antica
1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Stirred and served up in a cocktail glass.

Young Laddie

Joaquín Simó riffs on an Old Fashioned, substituting scotch for the more common bourbon. The resulting drink is extremely complex yet surprisingly refreshing. Death and Company, 2007.

2 oz Bruichladdich “Rocks” Scotch Whisky
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Peychaud Bitters
1 dash Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters

Orange Twist (wide)
Grapefruit Twist (wide)

Stir all the ingredients aside from the twists in an ice filled shaker glass. Strain into a double old fashioned glass over ice. Add orange and grapefruit twists.

South of North

A Brian Miller original – crisp, fruity and positively habit forming. Death and Company, 2007.

1 oz Herradura Silver Tequila
3/4 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz Lime
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
1 dash Bittermens Hopped Grapefruit Bitters
2 oz Champagne (Pol Roger)

Shake all ingredients aside from the Champagne. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Top with Champagne.

How To Make Cocktail Bitters.

Ever since the scene in Crazy, Stupid Love… the scene where Ryan Gosling makes a cocktail for Emma Stone… I’ve wanted to make bitters.

That’s been my driving force.

I mean, I’ve had bitters in my cocktails for years and have enjoyed them, but it was that – a freaking movie scene! – that sealed the deal. I was making them.

So bitters are occasionally described as the “salt and pepper” of cocktails or something like that. They add a little kick to some drinks and are staples in others like manhattans and the old fashioned. The most common bitters and the ones you’ve probably had before are angostura bitters, but the recipe is a big time secret and apparently only known by a handful of people in the universe. Fancy!

SO we just make our own. Cool? Cool.

[my glass is smudged. i fail.]

In all my hours of bitter research (and boy, do I mean hours), I learned a few things. Minor things but major things. For instance, there isn’t really a “true recipe” for creating bitters. It’s a lot of trial and error, it depends on your own palette, it depends on the herbs you have access to and things like that.

I discovered multiple methods that called for bittering agents (herbs and barks that you purchase) to sit for two days up until two months methods that called for bitters to be made in one jar and one jar only methods that called for six or seven separate jars for one ultimate flavor.

My brain was in complete bitter overload and about to explode.

I decided to just go with it. I knew I wanted to make a bunch of crazy flavors because, well… it’s me and nothing can even be classy and simple. Cherry vanilla topped the list, but so did chocolate. I decided to make both of those and used three separate jars: one for the main flavor (cherry and chocolate, respectively), one for the spice undertones and one for the bittering agents.

I also made some grapefruit bitters which only required two jars, and for the hell of it… made one-jar bitters at the last minute. The craziest thing is that I ended up LOV.ING. them.

The other thing about bitters is that once you have your flavored liquid and your bittering liquid (aside from the one-jar bitters mentioned above), they can become as sweet or as bitter as you’d like. This obviously takes a lot of (fun!) play time, taste testing and edits. There is no wrong answer – if it’s too sweet, add more of the bittering liquid. If it’s too bitter… more sweet flavor.

There are a few cases (the grapefruit and the chocolate) where I added a hint of simple syrup to really bring out the flavor. I loved the result with this. Oh and one thing I didn’t do was add any water to my mixtures. I found some methods did and some did not, and after lots of tasting I decided to forgo that option.

That means they are STA-RONG. Strong strong strong.

But it’s cool. You only need a few drops.

OMG. are you so totally bored? Hope not.

I’m almost done anyway. Then I will leave you to read the longest recipe in the universe. I’m still trying to figure out a way to shorten that list somehow (maybe with a clickable link to the other recipes?) so it isn’t so obnoxiously long, but this is what we’re working with today.

If you aren’t familiar with bitters but they sound cool, here are my thoughts. Head to a crafty bar or gastropub and taste taste taste. It’s all in the name of research. Even buy a bottle of bitters and make some of your own cocktails. Determine if you actually enjoy bitters and drinks made with bitters. Don’t be afraid of these recipes below if you haven’t tried bitters before. Example: if you don’t care for vodka, don’t shy away from the grapefruit bitters completely just because they are made with vodka. A few drops in a different cocktail? You won’t even be able to tell it’s vodka and you may love them.

To make a long story long, below are the combinations I used. They are by no means a perfect “recipe,” but my first method. I’m super happy with the results and can’t believe I had the patience to do something like this. I must be growing up.

Oh and as a final note, I found the best places to order these crazy herbs were from dandelion botanical and mountain rose herbs. Sure, I felt like I was having a box full of drugs delivered to my door (do not fear, I wasn’t and I’m just ignorant) but hey… gotta do what you gotta do. Now get to work! You can have these done by Christmas. Hint hint.

Homemade Bitters Put The Local Bite Back Into Cocktails

Homemade bitters with medicinal herbs and roots at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, N.H.

Emily Corwin/New Hampshire Public Radio

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.

Calamondin orange, an ingredient in chef Evan Mallett's bitters, inside a Victorian-era hothouse in Portsmouth, N.H. Emily Corwin/New Hampshire Public Radio hide caption

Calamondin orange, an ingredient in chef Evan Mallett's bitters, inside a Victorian-era hothouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Emily Corwin/New Hampshire Public Radio

From Prohibition until just a few years ago, almost every bartender in the country relied on just one brand of bitters. It's so ubiquitous, you'll probably recognize the name: Angostura.

After Prohibition, locally made bitters almost disappeared. Mallett says only New Orleans retained a cocktail culture that includes a variety of bitters brands and recipes.

"We were robbed of that for so long that now the idea of having more than just this one standard bitters is just world opening," says Mallett.

In 2007, the historian David Wondrich published a book of pre-Prohibition cocktail recipes called Imbibe! Now, bartenders across the country are experimenting with these bittersweet infusions.

Evan Mallett's own bartender, Charlie Coykendall, shakes a glass mason jar with bits of root floating around in a brownish liquid.

"You always start with a base spirit. Usually, the higher the alcohol, the better — because it'll do a better job of extracting the flavors," says Coykendall.

If you're into instant gratification, making bitters may not be for you: It's a three- to six-week process. You slowly add roots or bark, zest, leaves, even petals. Then you reduce and strain it, and add sugar or maple syrup.

This one is made with ginger root. But, of course, it's generally not a good idea to drink bitters straight — unless you're a fan of Fernet Branca or Jeppson's Malort.

Coykendall likes to muddle some lemon into simple syrup, bitters, and two ounces of rye whiskey, and shake it over ice and fresh mint.

It's called a whiskey smash, a drink he says is perfect for that summer picnic.

How to Add Bitters to a Cocktail

Bitters won't make your cocktail bitter unless you add a lot. Instead, they add interesting aromatics and pull the cocktail together to make it more composed and flavorful. One easy way to discover how bitters affect a cocktail is to make two old fashioned cocktails - one made with bitters and one without it. By tasting each of these, you can easily see how bitters affect the flavor of a cocktail.

Most cocktail recipes tell you how to add the bitters, but you can add them to any cocktail you wish. Just add a dash or two and stir the cocktail unless otherwise indicated in the recipe. Typically, recipes call for 2 to 3 dashes, or if you're using a dropper, about 7 to 8 drops per dash.

Cocktails That Use Bitters

One simple way to begin creating your own cocktails is to use a different flavor of bitters in a classic cocktail that already contains them. Some cocktails that use bitters and some simple substitutions are listed below.

  • Replace Angostura bitters in an old fashioned with cardamom bitters or replace the whiskey with a good reposado tequila and the bitters with a dash of mole bitters.
  • Add a dash or two of ginger bitters to a classic vodka martini
  • Replace Peychaud's bitters with orange bitters in a Sazerac.
  • Replace the Angostura bitters in a Manhattan with grapefruit bitters.
  • Replace the Angostura bitters in a Champagne cocktail with lemon, cinnamon, or nutmeg bitters.


On the snout expect hints of vanilla, pear and freshly cracked black pepper.

50ml Ardbeg Wee Beastie
20ml fresh lemon juice
10ml vanilla syrup
15ml blackberry liqueur
Mint sprig and blackberry, to garnish

1 Add the Ardbeg Wee Beastie, lemon juice and syrup to a stemmed water goblet, half-filled with a scoop of crushed ice.
2 Muddle the ingredients before hurling in more crushed ice.
3 Drizzle with the blackberry liqueur, then garnish with

Old Fashioned Cocktail Cupcakes

An Old Fashioned is a classic cocktail that is usually made with whiskey, sugar, bitters and orange. It is a delicious cocktail but it is also very distinctive thanks to its simple ingredient list. I used the flavors of the cocktail to make a batch of Old Fashioned Cocktail Cupcakes in honor of some spirits-loving friends (some of whom are in the bar industry) who came into town for a visit the other day.

I used a vanilla cupcake base, which is like a blank canvas for other flavors, as my starting point. I added orange zest and whiskey into the cake batter to start building the cocktail’s flavor profile. When you glance at the recipe, you’ll notice that it calls for a lot of whiskey. A portion of the whiskey is incorporated into the cake batter itself, while another portion is brushed onto the cakes after baking. While there isn’t enough whiskey to completely saturate the cake (unlike, say, a rum cake or fruit cake), adding spirits after baking ensures that you’ll be able to get a good whiskey flavor in every bite – and that flavor is an important part of the cocktail! You can use bourbon or rye in this recipe. I used a rye whiskey (Bulleit Rye, to be precise) because it has a nice spiciness to it that helps it to stand out in the cake.

The cupcakes are topped with a frosting made with orange juice, whiskey and bitters. Bitters are intensely flavored liquors infused with various seeds, herbs, roots and other botanicals. They are so pungent that they are only used a few drops at a time. There are a wide variety of bitters out there, but aromatic bitters – Angostura and Peychauds are two well-known brands – are most often used in Old Fashioneds. Be generous with the bitters and you’ll end up with a frosting that has a fantastic spice to it and really rounds out the “old fashioned” feel of the cupcake. The bitters will also give the frosting a pleasant pink tint – and if you can’t see any of the color, add in a few more dashes of bitters before spreading the frosting on the cupcakes.

These cupcakes are a great dessert for a cocktail party, especially if you already have some bourbon drinks on the menu. The cupcakes are at their best within a day or two of baking.

Old Fashioned Cocktail Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tbsp orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whiskey (bourbon or rye), divided
3/4 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp whiskey (bourbon or rye)
8-10 dashes aromatic bitters, such as Angostura or Peychauds
2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Place liners in a 12 cup muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and orange zest until mixture is smooth.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then stir in the whiskey and buttermilk. Add the rest of the flour and stir just until all ingredients are combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350F, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
After removing them from the oven, use a toothpick to poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake. Brush the cupcakes with remaining 1/4 cup of whiskey while they are still warm. This should add approximately 1 tsp whiskey to each cupcake.
Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the muffin pan. Cool completely before frosting.

Make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat butter until softened and creamy. Blend in orange juice, whiskey and bitters, then gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting comes together and has a thick, spreadable consistency. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional orange juice a few teaspoons at a time. If the frosting is too thin, beat in additional sugar.
Spread generously onto the cooled cupcakes.

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