Bitters

Why homemade bitters are better

Making your own bitters is a thrilling experience. Don’t believe me? Savor that first taste once the months-long infusion is complete. Isn’t it fascinating how the various components, from the base spirit to the spices, have melded?

In my next couple of blogs on how to make various homemade bitters, you may notice that my recipes yield much larger quantities than what you are used to seeing in the specialty stores, which sell very small bottles of bitters. I have purposefully created mine to be “longer”: Rather than call for a couple of drops of an extremely strong store-bought bitter, I prefer to go with 1/4 oz or 1/2 oz (5 ml or 15 ml) of a more complex, less-distilled homemade bitter. A bitter with length allows for more than just hints of flavor throughout-it adheres to the cocktail, acting almost as a glaze that reappears with every sip.

So don’t worry about the yields-these bitters are good almost indefinitely and only improve with age. (Plus, they make wonderful gifts!) Just be sure to follow the exact measurements and double-check that the filled jar is tightly sealed and kept away from direct sources of light and heat.

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