Difference between revisions of "Bitters"

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When the [[cocktail]] first came onto the scene (circa. 1800) bitters were used as a defining ingredient, and were considered as required for over a hundred years. According to "[[Old Waldorf Bar Days]]" (1931, by [[Albert Stevens Crockett]]):
 
When the [[cocktail]] first came onto the scene (circa. 1800) bitters were used as a defining ingredient, and were considered as required for over a hundred years. According to "[[Old Waldorf Bar Days]]" (1931, by [[Albert Stevens Crockett]]):
  
In the Old Waldorf Bar Book, bitters of one kind or other was considered a necessary ingredient of most Gin cocktails. The favorite was [[Orange Bitters]], which appears in something like one hundred different recipes. A distant second was [[Angostura Aromatic Bitters | Angostura]]. Then there were [[Calisaya]], [[Boonekamp]], [[Boker's]], [[Amer Picon]], [[Hostetter's]], [[Pepsin]], [[Peychaud]], [[Fernet Branca]], and so on. The Bitters was used in small quantities, ordinarily described as "one dash" or "two." But Bitters used to contain alcohol and prohibition made most brands illegal to import. One well known firm which specialized during prohibition in importing liquors whose alcoholic content had been reduced until they could be brought in as "flavoring extracts," told me it had not imported [[Orange Bitters]] in fourteen years.
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{|class=wikitable style="padding: 10px;font-family:'Modern No. 20', serif;font-size:larger;"
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| In the Old Waldorf Bar Book, bitters of one kind or other was considered a necessary ingredient of most Gin cocktails. The favorite was [[Orange Bitters]], which appears in something like one hundred different recipes. A distant second was [[Angostura Aromatic Bitters | Angostura]]. Then there were [[Calisaya]], [[Boonekamp]], [[Boker's]], [[Amer Picon]], [[Hostetter's]], [[Pepsin]], [[Peychaud]], [[Fernet Branca]], and so on. The Bitters was used in small quantities, ordinarily described as "one dash" or "two." But Bitters used to contain alcohol and prohibition made most brands illegal to import. One well known firm which specialized during prohibition in importing liquors whose alcoholic content had been reduced until they could be brought in as "flavoring extracts," told me it had not imported [[Orange Bitters]] in fourteen years.
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|}
  
 
After [[American Prohibition]], bitters all but disappeared from the scene. [[Angostura Aromatic Bitters]] became the only bitters that was readily available, and even so, it was rarely used.
 
After [[American Prohibition]], bitters all but disappeared from the scene. [[Angostura Aromatic Bitters]] became the only bitters that was readily available, and even so, it was rarely used.
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===Stoughton's Bitters===
 
===Stoughton's Bitters===
Apparently originating as "Elixir Magnum Stomachicum", being sold by Richard Stoughton from his apothecary shop south of London Bridge in the 1690's, it soon became known as "Stoughton's Bitters" and gained considerable fame<ref>David Wondrich, [https://www.saveur.com/how-the-cocktail-got-its-name/ ''Ancient Mystery Revealed! The Real History (Maybe) of How the Cocktail Got its Name''], Saveur (January 14, 2016)</ref>. So much fame that the recipe (and/or name) were regularly plagiarized, to the point that the brand became almost worthless.<ref>Mark Ellwood, [https://www.departures.com/lifestyle/wine-spirits/bitters-truth ''The Bitters Truth''] Departures (March 30, 2010)</ref>
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Apparently originating as "Elixir Magnum Stomachicum", being sold by Richard Stoughton from his apothecary shop south of London Bridge in the 1690's, it soon became known as "Stoughton's Bitters" and gained considerable fame<ref>David Wondrich, [https://www.saveur.com/how-the-cocktail-got-its-name/ ''Ancient Mystery Revealed! The Real History (Maybe) of How the Cocktail Got its Name''], Saveur (January 14, 2016)</ref><ref>Darcy O'Neil, [https://www.artofdrink.com/bitters/stoughton-bitters Stoughton Bitters], TheArtofDrink.com</ref>. So much fame that the recipe (and/or name) were regularly plagiarized, to the point that the brand became almost worthless.<ref>Mark Ellwood, [https://www.departures.com/lifestyle/wine-spirits/bitters-truth ''The Bitters Truth''] Departures (March 30, 2010)</ref>
 
 
  
 
===Hostetter's Bitters===
 
===Hostetter's Bitters===
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Known as "Dr. Hostetter's Celebrated Stomach Bitters", this product was developed in 1853 by David Hostetter along with his father Dr. Jacob Hostetter.<ref>[https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22424 Dr. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters] California Department of Parks and Recreation</ref>
  
 
===Boker's Bitters===
 
===Boker's Bitters===

Latest revision as of 14:10, 28 January 2020

Bitters in one form or another, have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. They are essentially a concentrated extract of herbs and/or spices, typically with a high alcohol content. Originally intended to be used for their alleged medicinal value, they evolved over time to become alcoholic elixirs in their own right.

When the cocktail first came onto the scene (circa. 1800) bitters were used as a defining ingredient, and were considered as required for over a hundred years. According to "Old Waldorf Bar Days" (1931, by Albert Stevens Crockett):

In the Old Waldorf Bar Book, bitters of one kind or other was considered a necessary ingredient of most Gin cocktails. The favorite was Orange Bitters, which appears in something like one hundred different recipes. A distant second was Angostura. Then there were Calisaya, Boonekamp, Boker's, Amer Picon, Hostetter's, Pepsin, Peychaud, Fernet Branca, and so on. The Bitters was used in small quantities, ordinarily described as "one dash" or "two." But Bitters used to contain alcohol and prohibition made most brands illegal to import. One well known firm which specialized during prohibition in importing liquors whose alcoholic content had been reduced until they could be brought in as "flavoring extracts," told me it had not imported Orange Bitters in fourteen years.

After American Prohibition, bitters all but disappeared from the scene. Angostura Aromatic Bitters became the only bitters that was readily available, and even so, it was rarely used.

Historical Bitters

This will be a section which will provide some details about some of the "original" bitters. If possible, perhaps some sort of timeline of when different products came onto market, and when possible when they disappeared?

Stoughton's Bitters

Apparently originating as "Elixir Magnum Stomachicum", being sold by Richard Stoughton from his apothecary shop south of London Bridge in the 1690's, it soon became known as "Stoughton's Bitters" and gained considerable fame[1][2]. So much fame that the recipe (and/or name) were regularly plagiarized, to the point that the brand became almost worthless.[3]

Hostetter's Bitters

Known as "Dr. Hostetter's Celebrated Stomach Bitters", this product was developed in 1853 by David Hostetter along with his father Dr. Jacob Hostetter.[4]

Boker's Bitters

Peychaud's Bitters

Angostura Bitters

Abbott's Bitters

Modern Bitters

This will discuss how bitters re-emerged onto the scene starting in the early 2000's with a few key products/dates/etc to help provide the right back-story.

Available Bitters

Here is a valiant attempt at trying to list all of the currently available bitters. No attempt yet has been made to organize this listing aside from being grouped by manufacturer. I had NO idea how many bitters there were before embarking on doing this, and I'm sure I've probably missed some.



  • Fee Brothers: (http://feebrothers.com/products/bitters)
    • Aztec Chocolate Bitters
    • Black Walnut Bitters
    • Cardamom Bitters
    • Celery Bitters
    • Cherry Bitters
    • Cranberry Bitters
    • Gin Barrel-Aged Orange Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • Lemon Bitters
    • Lime Bitters
    • Mint Bitters
    • Molasses Bitters
    • Old Fashion Aromatic Bitters
    • Peach Bitters
    • Plum Bitters
    • Rhubarb Bitters
    • West Indian Orange Bitters
    • Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters


  • The Sazerac Company:
    • Peychaud's Bitters
    • Peychaud's Barrel Aged Bitters
    • Regans' Orange Bitters #6



  • The Bitter Truth: (https://the-bitter-truth.com/ aka. https://www.berg-and-hauck.com/)
    • Aromatic Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Orange Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Lemon Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Celery Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Jerry Thomas Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Creole Bitters (also available as Berg & Hauck)
    • Chocolate Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • Peach Bitters
    • Tonic Bitters
    • Cucumber Bitters
    • Olive Bitters
    • Bogart's Bitters


  • Scrappy's: (http://scrappysbitters.com/products/)
    • Lavender Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Cardamom Bitters
    • Orleans Bitters
    • Chocolate Bitters
    • Celery Bitters
    • Lime Bitters
    • Aromatic Bitters
    • Black Lemon Bitters
    • Firewater Tincture
    • Seville Orange (seasonal availability)
    • Peach Bitters (no longer produced)
    • Coffee Bitters (no longer produced)
    • Cranberry Spice Bitters (no longer produced)
    • Rye Barrel Spice Bitters (no longer produced)
    • Special Run Bitters (no longer produced)


  • BitterCube: (https://store.bittercube.com/)
    • Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters
    • Bolivar Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Trinity Bitters
    • Root Beer Bitters
    • Jamaican No. 1 Bitters
    • Jamaican No. 2 Bitters
    • Blackstrap Bitters
    • Chipotle Cacao Bitters
    • Ginger Spiced Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters (Limited Edition)


  • Bittermans: (http://bittermens.com/products/)
    • Xocolatl Mole Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • ‘Elemakule Tiki Bitters
    • Boston Bittahs
    • Burlesque Bitters
    • Orange Cream Citrate
    • Orchard Street Celery Shrub
    • Hellfire Habanero Shrub
    • Scarborough Savory Herbal Bitters
    • Transatlantic Modern Aromatic Bitters
    • Buckspice Ginger Bitters
    • New England Spiced Cranberry
    • Крупнік (Krupnik) Herbal Honey Bitters
    • Winter Melon Bitters
    • Squirrel Nut Bitters (out of production)


  • Strongwater: (https://www.strongwater.com/)
    • Cherry Bourbon Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Golden Aromatic Bitters
    • Floral Lavender Wildflower Bitters
    • Virtue Rose Alpine Sage Bitters
    • Wildfire Spicy Pepper Bitters
    • Amores Chocolate Vanilla Bitters
    • Tamer Ginger Citrus Bitters


  • CocktailPunk: (http://cocktailpunk.com/bitters/)
    • Oak Aromatic Bitters
    • Cherry Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Aromatic Bitters
    • Smoked Orange Bitters
    • Pastiche Bitters
    • Alpino Bitters
    • Colorado Cherry Bitters
    • Palisade Peach Bitters
    • Colorado Lavender Bitters
    • Morning Grapefruit Bitters
    • Saturnalia Bitters



  • Elguapo Bitters Company (https://www.elguapobitters.com/collections/bitters)
    • Chicory Pecan Bitters
    • Polynesian Kiss Bitters
    • Holiday Pie Bitters
    • Cucumber Lavender Bitters
    • Crawfish Boil Bitters
    • Love Potion #9 Bitters
    • Fuego Bitters
    • Cuban Bitters
    • Spiced Cocoa Bitters
    • Gumbo Bitters
    • Tricentennial Bitters



  • Dashfire Bitters: (https://www.dashfirebitters.com/products)
    • Orange Bitters
    • Lemon Bitters
    • Star Anise Bitters
    • Cinnamon Bitters
    • Sichuan Bitters
    • Cardamom Bitters
    • Lime Bitters
    • Bay Leaf Bitters
    • Clove Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • Hibiscus Bitters
    • Lavender Bitters
    • Allspice Bitters
    • J. Thomas Decanter Bitters
    • Creole Bitters
    • Old Fashioned Bitters
    • Spiced Apple Bitters
    • Dashfire Vintage Orange No. 1
    • Mr. Lee's Chinese Bitters
    • Mole Bitters
    • Chai'Walla Bitters


  • King Floyd's: (https://www.kingfloyds.com/)
    • Aromatic Bitters
    • Barrel Aged Aromatic Bitters
    • Cherry Cacao Bitters
    • Cardamom Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Ginger Bitters
    • Scorched Pear & Ginger Bitters
    • Grapefruit Rosemary Bitters


  • The Cocktail Experiment: (http://thecocktailexperiment.com/shop?category=Bitters)
    • Black Pepper Bitters
    • Blood Orange & Ginger Bitters
    • Celery Bitters
    • Chicory Bitters
    • Chocolate Bitters
    • Lavender Bitters
    • Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
    • Orange Bitters
    • Star Anise Bitters
    • Wild Cherry Bitters




  • Crude Bitters: (https://www.crudebitters.com/shop)
    • Hobo Bitters
    • Booty Bitters
    • Rizzo Bitters (Rosemary, Grapefruit, Peppercorn)
    • Big Bear Bitters (Coffee and Cocoa)
    • Bitterless Marriage Bitters (Hibiscus, Lavender, Oak)
    • Sychophant Bitters (Orange and Fig)
    • Pooter Bitters (Smoke and Salt)
    • Lindsay Bitters (Pecan, Magnolia, Habanero)
    • Attawanhood #37 Bitters (Cherry, Clove, Cinnamon)
    • No-No Bitters (Hot Pepper Blend)


  • Modern Bar Cart / Embitterment (https://www.modernbarcart.com/products?category=Bitters)
    • Liquid Gold Ancient Trade Bitters
    • Iki Japanese Bitters
    • Frontier Sarsaparilla Bitters
    • Typhoon Tiki Bitters
    • Embitterment Aromatic Bitters
    • Embitterment Orange Bitters
    • Embitterment Lavender Bitters
    • Embitterment Chocolate Bitters




  • Dr. Adam Elmegirab's Bitters (https://www.doctoradams.co.uk/cocktail-bitters/)
    • Boker's Bitters
    • Dandelion & Burdock Bitters
    • Spanish Bitters
    • Aphrodite Bitters
    • Teapot Bitters
    • Orinoco Aromatic Bitters
    • Winter Spice Bitters
    • Brazilian Bitters


  • Bob's Bitters (https://www.bobsbitters.com/products)
    • Abbott's Bitters
    • Cardamon Bitters
    • Chocolate Bitters
    • Coriander Bitters
    • Ginger Bitters
    • Grapefruit Bitters
    • Lavender Bitters
    • Liquorice Bitter
    • Orange & Mandarin Bitters
    • Peppermint Bitters
    • Vanilla Bitters
    • Difford's Daiquiri Bitters
    • Difford's Margarita Bitters





  • 18-21 (https://www.1821bitters.com/)
    • Barrel Aged Havana & Hide Bitters
    • Baltimore Bitters
    • Chamomile Bitters
    • Earl Grey Bitters
    • Ginger Lemon Tincture
    • Grapefruit Lavender Bitters
    • Hibiscus Bitters
    • Japanese Chili and Lime Bitters
    • Prohibition Aromatic Bitters
    • Tart Cherry and Saffron Bitters


  • Addition (https://www.drinkaddition.com/cocktail-spice)
    • Tasmanian Pepperberry Cocktail Spice
    • Allspice Cocktail Spice
    • Black Pepper Cocktail Spice
    • Cardamom Cocktail Spice
    • Chipotle Cocktail Spice
    • Cinnamon Cocktail Spice
    • Clove Cocktail Spice
    • Cubeb Pepper Cocktail Spice
    • Cumin Cocktail Spice
    • Curry Cocktail Spice
    • Filthy Dirty Cocktail Spice
    • Fenugreek Cocktail Spice
    • Garlic Cocktail Spice
    • Habañero Cocktail Spice
    • Horseradish Cocktail Spice
    • Jalapeño Cocktail Spice
    • Long Pepper Cocktail Spice
    • Pink Pepper Cocktail Spice
    • Piri-Piri Cocktail Spice
    • Rosemary Cocktail Spice
    • Sage Cocktail Spice
    • Star Anise Cocktail Spice
    • Szechuan Pepper Cocktail Spice
    • Tarragon Cocktail Spice
    • Thai Green Chili Cocktail Spice
    • Thyme Cocktail Spice
    • Turmeric Cocktail Spice






  • Bitter Queens (http://www.thebitterqueens.com/)
    • Sassy Sally / Sarsaparilla
    • Marie Leveau / Tobacco
    • Norcal Nancy / Eucalyptus
    • Opulent Odessa / Orang
    • Joker Judy / Chocolate
    • Bangkok Betty / Thai Spice
    • Shanghai Shirley / Chinese 5-Spice


  • Bittered Sling (https://www.bitteredsling.com/flavours/)
    • Arabica Coffee
    • Autumn Bog Cranberry
    • Cascade Celery
    • Clingstone Peach
    • Grapefruit & Hops
    • Kensington Aromatic
    • Lem-Marrakech
    • Malagasy Chocolate
    • Moondog Latin
    • Orange & Juniper
    • Plum & Rootbeer
    • Suius Cherry
    • Western Haskap
    • Zingiber Crabapple


External Links

References

  1. David Wondrich, Ancient Mystery Revealed! The Real History (Maybe) of How the Cocktail Got its Name, Saveur (January 14, 2016)
  2. Darcy O'Neil, Stoughton Bitters, TheArtofDrink.com
  3. Mark Ellwood, The Bitters Truth Departures (March 30, 2010)
  4. Dr. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters California Department of Parks and Recreation