Today, we’re going to make our very first bitters, and since it’s winter I thought we could focus on a bitters that reflects the season and will hopefully get us through the winter!

We’re going to use the tinctures we prepared in our Flavor Library video!

Before creating your own bitters, make sure to read Darcy O’Neills Warnings on Infusing Tobacco. The warnings can apply to the most seemingly harmless ingredients as well, like cherry and peach pits. Be careful when making any infusions or extractions and know the ingredients you are working with especially if you are serving these to guests.

professional bottles in matte black glass make for lovely bottles on a bar next to a purple cocktail

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Watch us create our first batch of bitters:

How to Make Bitters:

  • I recommend starting with several tinctures made with flavors that you want in your bitters.
  • Use an eye dropper to add the different flavored tinctures, tasting and recording as you go.
  • When you reach the flavor profile you’re looking for, then  use your recorded notes to make another very small batch.  This will give you another opportunity to adjust if needed.
  • Create your full-sized batch using the formula that you have now refined.
  • Finally, add simple syrup to reduce the overall proof down to 44%.  In my example, I added about 30-40% by volume.
Refilling an Amber color bottle neck with liquid, with an oversized label on the bottle for extra label space

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Creating your bitters in small batches to start will give you a chance to refine the flavor without investing a lot of product. Just don’t forget to write everything down!

After making your bitters, you can use them to create gorgeous cocktails like these— using our brand new cocktail atomizer and mister set!

Adding bitters to a cocktail with refillable glass dropper bottles

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Our Bitters in Action:

Check out our Mixology Monday post on Anise.

Your Thoughts?

What ingredients would you like to see in a bitters? Let us know in the comments!

Chris Tunstall

Co-Founder of A Bar Above and career bartender and mixologist. I love experimenting, creating cocktails, and drinking Green Chartreuse.