Have you ever wondered what bitters are?
Well, I don’t know about you but I have so I set out to find out what this hard to find mixture is exactly. Why is it necessary to have bitters on hand to make a perfect cocktail and how to make my own. I found that a bitters mixture is a liquor that is “flavored with the sharp pungent taste of plant extracts and is used as an additive in cocktails or as a medicinal substance to promote appetite or digestion“ according to Google.
Wouldn’t it be nice and kind of cool to be able to come home and make your own cocktail that tastes like you are sitting at a bar in a restaurant? I always want a complex cocktail that delights my palette after a long day at work, but without the work of course. Making your own bitters is a step in the right direction if you are interested in building your own bar cart in your own home. 🙂 It is especially fantastic as well if you have guests and regularly host parties at your home. I always thought that there was something so completely sophisticated about having a fully stocked and well-appointed bar.
I love a good martini which includes a couple drops of bitters to finish it off and I also love how easy it is to make. The last thing I want to do when I get home before starting on blog work is spent half an hour making a drink to wind down for the evening. I figured that if I was having this predicament then maybe my readers were as well which is why I am sharing my findings with all of you! I went searching for an easy recipe for bitters that I could possibly adapt if needed as well. I ended up choosing a recipe from The Spruce Eats that was exactly what I was looking for! I actually had three oranges in my fridge that were ripe for the peeling which worked out perfectly. The one thing that the recipe called for was dried orange peels but after finishing the recipe I am happy to conclude that the fresh orange peels worked perfectly fine. The alcohol-soaked up the orange flavor very well and became orange as you can see in my picture below.
The one thing about baking that can get kind of annoying is that you can never just throw a cake, for example together and expect it to turn out well. Baking is a science and you have to be very precise in every ingredient that you measure because if you don’t the recipe will not turn out as it should. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can essentially throw whatever you want into the grain alcohol that is the base of the bitters and it will turn out alright. It may not taste as you expect but it won’t be a complete waste. Everything in this recipe is by taste which makes it very adaptable. Put your own spin on your own concoction of bitters and let me know how it turned out for you!
I know that this is a pastry blog but I find mixology super fun to mess around with and I don’t see many posts on food blogs discussing cocktails and DIY alcoholic beverages. I think it is always fun to have a fully stocked bar and to play around with different alcohols and liquors to make your own signature cocktail. You also get to control exactly what goes into your drink which is very nice if you are trying to not drink 500 calories in one sip if you know what I mean. Please refer to The Spruce Eats blog as the main creator of this bitters recipe. I adapted their recipe slightly to suit my own needs. I have also included a recipe so you can test out your own bitters concoctions. Ingredients and steps are listed below.
If you make your own alcoholic beverage ( or choose to use my recipe ) I would love if you would post your pictures either on Instagram with the hashtag #mydailykneadofalcohol or in the comments of this post. I was also thinking about writing a post about building the perfect bar cart. Would anyone be interested in that as well?? Let me know!
- 2 Cup Grain Alcohol
- 1/2 Cup Fresh orange peel
- 1 Tsp. Cardamom, ground
- 1 Tsp. Fennel seeds, whole
- 1 Tsp. Anise seeds, whole
- 1/2 Tsp. Ginger, ground
- 4 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
- By taste Peppercorn
Lemon and Orange Gin Martini
- 1 oz. vermouth
- 2 oz. gin
- 1 oz. lemon juice, freshly sqeezed or bottled
- 1 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- a couple drops Bitters
- Splash Coconut Liquor
- 1) Place the spices, orange peel and grain alcohol in a glass container and let it steep for two weeks. I shook my mixture about once a day to make sure everything was mixed properly as well.
- 2) Bring your sugar, water and second round of herbs to a boil and begin to reduce by at least half. I used the same amount of spices in step one as in step two to really make sure the flavors transferred to the alcohol solution. I also added peppercorn to the simple syrup step of this recipe. I kept the simple syrup mixture boiling for at least half an hour. 3) Strain contents of the bottle through a cheesecloth and begin mixing alcohol mixture into sugar mixture until fully incorporated.
- 3) Strain contents of the bottle through a cheesecloth and begin mixing alcohol mixture into sugar mixture until fully incorporated. Add all of the liquid/spices back into the original bottle to steep further.
- 4) Let the alcohol mixture sit for another two weeks to fully develop flavors. After two weeks strain the liquid through cheesecloth until completely smooth. I strained my mixture about 5 or 6 times. I would also suggest completing taste tests throughout the entire process until the bitters have the desired taste that you are looking for! Ready to use immediately.
- 1) Measure out all ingredients and throw into a cocktail shaker. I have been using bottled orange juice as well as bottled lemon juice that I splurge on at Sprouts. It makes this cocktail super fast to whip up! Add ice and shake until fully chilled. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy!