Bitters Kits and Cocktail Recipes

bitterskitAlways a hot holiday gift, I’ve expanded my offering of DIY Cocktail Bitters Kits to include new flavors and Mini Bitters Booster Kits. (Underlined text all links to the corresponding item in my online store if you are looking to purchase)

If you’re wondering how to use them, you can start off by replacing the Angostura, orange or Peychaud’s bitters in most any classic cocktail, and here are three excellent drink recipes (1 strong, 1 light and 1 bowl of punch) for each of the flavors I offer.

Classic Aromatic Bitters (booster):

Dark Emerald (strong)

  • 2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes Aromatic Bitters

 

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a burnt ornage peel.

 

Tequila Refresco (light)

  • 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • Sparkling wine

 

Shake first 4 ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass. Top with wine and garnish with a lemon twist.

 

Shanty Punch

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups strong black tea
  • 3 cups London dry gin
  • 2 tablespoons aromatic bitters

 

In a large pitcher, dissolve sugar in lemon juice and tea, add gin and bitters, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. Pour into a punch bowl, over a block of ice containing lemon slices, star anise and sprigs of rosemary.

Cranberry Bitters (booster):

Cran-hattan (strong)

  • 2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce Italian sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes Cranberry Bitters

 

Stir all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a couple of cranberries or an orange twist.

 

Massachusetts Mule (light)

  • 1/4 ounce lime juice
  • 2 ounces vodka (or tequila)
  • 2 dashes Cranberry Bitters
  • 4 ounces ginger ale (or ginger beer)

 

Squeeze lime juice into a collins glass and drop in the spent wedges. Add 3 ice cubes, then the vodka and bitters. Stir and top with cold ginger ale.

 

Fireplace Punch

  • 10 clementines
  • 1/3 cup whole cloves
  • 1 750-ml bottle Puerto Rican rum
  • 1/4 cup Cranberry Bitters
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 gallon fresh-pressed apple cider

 

Stud the clementines with cloves and bake at 350 until soft. In a large pot over low heat, stir together rum, bitters and sugar, then add cinnamon and clementines. Set aflame and slowly add cider (it will eventually put out the fire). Serve in a mug with vanilla ice cream and dust with nutmeg.

 

Grapefruit Bitters (booster):

Toronja  (strong)

  • 1 ounce reposado tequila
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • 3 dashes Grapefruit Bitters

 

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish w/ a grapefruit twist.

 

Citrus Fizz (light)

  • 1 1/2 ounces London dry gin
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Grapefruit Bitters
  • Club soda

 

Shake first four ingredients with ice and strain into a highball glass. Top with club soda. No garnish.

 

Lunch Punch

  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Grapefruit Bitters
  • 1/2 cup whiskey
  • 1 1/2 cups brandy
  • 1 bottle Brut champagne

 

Dissolve sugar in juice & water. Add bitters, whiskey and brandy, and refrigerate for a half-hour. When serving time is at hand, add the champagne, and load the bowl with a large block of ice.

 

Chocolate Bitters (booster):

Aztec Sacrifice (strong)

  • 1 ounce 100% agave blanco/white/silver tequila
  • 3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (or other orange liqueur)
  • 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 drop hot sauce

 

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

Chocolate Caucasian (light)

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlua
  • 1.5 ounces cream
  • 3 dashes Chocolate Bitters

 

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into to either a chilled old-fashioned glass or an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.

 

Hot Love Punch

  • 6 small oranges
  • 1/4 cup whole cloves
  • 1 750-ml bottle aged rum
  • 2 tablespoons Chocolate Bitters
  • 1/3 cup sugar 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 gallon fresh-pressed apple cider

 

Stud the oranges with cloves and bake at 350 until soft. In a large stockpot over low heat, stir to combine the rum, bitters and sugar, then add the cinnamon and oranges. Set it aflame, sprinkle with allspice and very slowly pour in the cider, to extinguish the fire. Serve in a mug with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.

 

Orange Bitters (booster):

 

Enemigo Más Antiguo (strong)

  • 3 ounces Añejo tequila
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1/4 orange, chopped (not peeled)
  • 3 dashes Orange Bitters

 

Shake all ingredients thoroughly with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange wheel.

 

Chaque Orange (light)

  • 1/2 ounce London Dry Gin
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce Campari
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau (optional)
  • 2 dashes Orange Bitters
  • Sparkling wine

 

Stir first 4 ingredients (and Cointreau if you like your drinks sweeter), then pour into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with an orange twist.

 

Planter’s Punch

  • 6 ounces dark rum
  • 6 ounces white rum
  • 16 ounces seasonal tropical juices (guava, pineapple, passion, mango, orange etc.)
  • 4 ounces lime juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Orange Bitters

 

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Garnish with fresh fruit and lime wedges.

 

 

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