The perfect bitter can be just what your cocktail needs to go to the next level. Bitters are made from high-proof alcohol that have been infused with things like spices, bark, herbs, and flowers. Think of them as the salt and pepper of the cocktail world, where just a small dash can go a long way. Bitters have been around for a long time, making their way into cocktails in the United States for the first time in the 1850s.
Today when it comes to bitters, there are a ton of different options out there. While Angostura and the like are fairly standard, a number of craft bitters have started to pop up during recent years that can add a unique twist to your favorite cocktail.
Check out the gallery for a look at some of the interesting options out there.
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Strawberry and rhubarb may evoke memories of pie, but the flavors can also pack a punch in a cocktail. These strawberry rhubarb bitters by Napa Valley Bitters include orange, lime, and grapefruit zest as well as a number of spices to give the bitters a great depth of flavor.
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If you love Mexican Mole, then this one is a must-have in your home bar. Made by the Bitter End, this one is "a distillation of the spices used to make Mole Poblano. The flavors of cocoa, sesame, and cinnamon will bring a rich complexity to your cocktails, especially your fall and winter drinks."
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Hella Bitter actually started as a Kickstarter back in 2011. The company originally only sold two types of bitters, citrus and aromatic, but has since expanded into a ton more, including smoked chili bitters that add a little kick to whatever cocktail you might be making.
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Bloody Mary fans will love these black pepper bitters from Master of Malt. From their website: "These Single-Varietal bitters are made using only three ingredients; the spirit (High-proof Dark Rum) and Black Peppercorns with natural bittering agents."
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Palo Santo wood is typically used for incense, but Dram has used the "holy wood" to create a unique bitter than adds the flavor of freshly cut woof, spice, smoke, and vanilla to your favorite cocktails. Perfect for winter!
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We love Seven Stills unique spirits distilled from craft beer. The company also makes some great bitters, each focusing on a different distinct flavor: Prickly Pear, Cranberry, Blood Orange, or Meyer Lemon.
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Jamaican Jerk Bitters? Yes, please!
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Bitters are known for their ability to help settle an upset stomach. Urban Moonshine's Chamomile digestive bitters can be great for settling nausea (they've got extra finer to help ) and can even be used to help ease heartburn or morning sickness during pregnancy.
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These delicious bitters by Fee Brothers blend together spicy blackstrap molasses, nutmeg, and coffee perfect for adding to a rum or bourbon cocktail.
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Dale DeGroff's Pimento Aromatic Cocktails are the perfect blend of Pimento and Allspice berries, making them a wonderful addition to tropical cocktails.