Warmly Spiced Bitters

a mortar with broken up spices and a vanilla bean

I love making cocktails. It’s like discovering a whole other kind of cooking. A friend recently asked me how to make bitters—those bitter and flavorful tinctures we add to cocktails by the drop or dash—so after confidently claiming that it’s “super easy” I thought I should do some experimenting just to make sure. Here’s one of the experimental batches I made. It’s kind of an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink of warm spices. It turned out great. And I was right: it was easy.

I also made a batch of chocolate and chile bitters, which you should check out too!


a mortar with broken up spices and a vanilla bean
Warmly Spiced Bitters
Print Recipe
An experimental batch of bitters made with a variety of warm winter spices.
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Servings
1 1/2 cups
a mortar with broken up spices and a vanilla bean
Warmly Spiced Bitters
Print Recipe
An experimental batch of bitters made with a variety of warm winter spices.
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp black cardamom pods
  • 1 Tbsp all spice seeds
  • 2 medium cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups vodka or high proof grain alcohol
Instructions
  1. In a mortar and pestle pound all the spices and your vanilla bean just enough to break them up and release their aromas. Pour them into a jar with a tight fitting lid, a canning jar is best. Pour the alcohol over the spices and seal the jar.
  2. Leave the jar for 2 to 4 weeks shaking it once each day or when you think of it.
  3. When ready to use, line a strainer with cheese cloth and place it over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the bowl through the strainer. To get every last drop of the good stuff grab the cheese cloth and squeeze all the liquid out into the bowl.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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