Bitters are small bottles of spirits infused with botanicals (herbs and spices)
that are used to flavor cocktails. In other words, Bitters are made by infusing
a neutral spirit with any number of aromatics (botanicals), such as herbs, spices,
roots, fruits, flowers, tree bark, and seeds. The alcohol acts as a solvent for
the botanicals, as well as a preservative (similar to why grandma used to drink
from the vanilla extract bottle!).
Where did the name bitters come from?
The simple version is that the word bitters comes
from the Old English word biter "having a harsh taste, sharp, cutting; angry, cruel", as well as some German words.
Why use bitters?
Often times, cocktails contain sour and
sweet flavors, bitters are used to stimulate other taste buds to balance out the drink giving it a more complete flavor
Angostura bitters are the most popular type of cocktail bitters, manufactured
by the House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. The bottle is easy to
recognize with its oversized white label.
What are Peychaud’s bitters?
Peychaud’s bitters are cocktail bitters most popularly known for their
inclusion in the Sazerac
cocktail, the official drink of
Peychaud’s bitters were invented in the 1830s by an apothecary in New Orleans
named Antoine Peychaud. The brand is now distributed by the Sazerac Company.
What is the difference between Peychaud’s bitters and Angostura bitters?
The Peychaud's is sweeter
than Angostura, with hints of anise and mint.
Where To Find Bitters
Bitters contain alcohol, but it is considered non-alcoholic. Because of this, liquor stores in New York State
sell them. But
, you can buy bitters in a grocery store, and because they are non-alcoholic, you can give that errand
to your teenager that promised to do errands when they got their license.
Although bitters may not be located all together at the grocery store, usually you can
find the bitters near the essential oils section. (Essential oils are used to make bitters!)
You can also buy Bitters at
Jump to Bitters
Grenadine — what is it?
Grenadine is an ingredient used in many cocktails. It is basically a simple syrup made from pomegranate juice and sugar, with many variations. Store-bought bottles are the easiest way to get it, but most (at least cheaper) bottles use corn syrup and food coloring instead of pomegranate juice. Put in a tiny bit of work, and you can produce a homemade pomegranate grenadine that tastes delicious. You can use our recipe,
or search for others on the internet.
Why use Grenadine?
Grenadine adds a sweet and fruity taste to the drink. It also adds a bright red color.
Where To Find Grenadine?
Because grenadine has no liquor in it, liquor stores in New York State are not allowed to carry it.
Grenadine is available in most grocery stores, look in the area where the cocktail mixes are, or look in the beer aisle.