To create and explore various types of bitters, you must first understand what bitters are and what they’re composed of. Bitters are very potent flavors, added in small amounts to cocktails to create a unique taste. Starting with an Everclear® base, they are made by steeping ingredients with two main flavor profiles: bittering agents and flavor agents.
Bittering agents usually account for less than half of the flavor profile and typically consist of leaves, roots and wood.
Flavor agents are much more expansive. Basically, any flavor you can think up. Fruits, nuts, spices, herbs and flowers can all be used to complement the bittering agent.
The seemingly endless combination of these two agents creates the final bitters product. They are steeped, filtered and stored.
There are various schools of thought on the steeping process. Some prefer to steep and filter all the ingredients together. Others prefer more control and will steep each ingredient separately and play with the ratios of flavor.
For starters, try our Aromatic Bitters recipe. It’s a simple, yet versatile bitter that complements numerous cocktails, especially manhattans.