Channel your inner alchemist with herbs, roots, and very high-proof booze.
By Dan Souza | December 9, 2011
<< Back to Article: How to Make Cocktail Bitters
It sounds like witches brew…very intriguing. Now if I can just find all of the ingredients!
any advice on toasting the anise, cardamom, etc? Would you suggest using the oven or stovetop? I’m planning to make these for Christmas gifts, thanks for the recipe!
Is “quassia” the same as “cassia”?
@alyssa.tsagong – I think oven toasting is always a bit more thorough, but given the small quantities in these recipes, you would be fine doing it stovetop. Either way use moderate heat (350 in the oven; medium on stovetop) and toss/shake until fragrant, but not dark.
@beejay45 – cassia is actually the cinnamon we often find here in the states (not true ceylon cinnamon). So no, quassia, is not the same as cassia.
Thanks so much! I am absolutely enjoying feeling like a potion maker. Our annual family Christmas brandy old-fashioned toast will be all the more pleasurable.
Quite fun! Now I just need to figure out how to incorporate some of my newly made bitters into some jams or syrups I make for over the winter
what happens to an infusion if herbs are left in spirit longer than recommended?
I am excited to make these. I put a few drops of bitters in a tall glass of soda water and pretend I am having a drink . It’s great for those of us who really don’t want the alcohol but want to have a festive beverage along with everyone else. A mocktail.
hello. i am a cocktail bartender and i wanted to find a way to make my own bitters.i will give it a try and i will let you know.thank you!
Dan, I’m a little confused by your time schedule in the recipe. It names ingredients that don’t match the brew. Which brews sit for what time? Thanks in advance.
@sdreyer – They will be more potent. Not necessarily a bad thing for stuff like citrus peels, but not great for the more intense stuff like gentian, etc.
@joe – Each ingredient is infused separately (I mean completely separately in its own jar with it’s own booze) and the schedule outlines when each one should be strained. Let me know if that clears it up.
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