Warming Spice Bitters

A few dashes of these bitters can be used to balance cocktails, but they are also a wonderful addition to beer, tea, coffee, sauces, baked goods, sorbets and whipped cream. When creating your own, just remember that a spoonful of sugar—or honey, molasses or maple syrup—helps the medicine go down. 

Barbery root is available from Mountain Rose Herbs. Organic hops flowers are available from Starwest Botanicals. Bitters bottles can be purchashed at Cocktail Kingdom.

By / Photography By Randazzo Blau | August 28, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried gentian
  • 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 10 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1/4 ounce mace
  • 1/4 ounce licorice root
  • 1/2 ounce barberry root
  • 1 ounce crystallized ginger
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried hop flowers
  • 2 cups Devil's Springs 151 proff vodka
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) blackstrap molasses

Instructions

Combine everything except spirits and molasses in a large wide-mouth Mason jar. Cover with the high-proof vodka. Set aside for 1–2 weeks, shaking daily. Taste frequently to determine when flavor is to your liking.

At that point, strain through doubled cheesecloth into a clean jar, seal and set liquid aside. Place the solids in a saucepan. Cover with water and simmer gently over medium heat, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. Transfer to another jar and set aside for 1 week, shaking daily.

Strain the solids from the water. Discard the solids, then add the strained water to the infused vodka. Stir to combine. Strain again through cheesecloth and repeat as necessary to clarify bitters. (It’s OK if a little sediment remains.)

Stir in the tablespoon of molasses and taste, adding more if needed to balance bitterness. Seal jar and shake to fully incorporate molasses. Set aside for 3 days. Using a small funnel, transfer the bitters to dark glass bottles with dropper caps.

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Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon dried gentian
  • 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 star anise
  • 4 cloves
  • 10 green cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1/4 ounce mace
  • 1/4 ounce licorice root
  • 1/2 ounce barberry root
  • 1 ounce crystallized ginger
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried hop flowers
  • 2 cups Devil's Springs 151 proff vodka
  • 1 tablespoon (or to taste) blackstrap molasses
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