Bitters

Bitters

By
From
Spring
Makes
700 ml
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Bitters give atmosphere, depth and character to drinks. If a cocktail seems to be lacking something, bitters is often the missing element. Just a few drops will add the complexity that a cocktail needs. Bitters is essentially high-proof alcohol infused with various different barks, such as gentian and angostura. This recipe belongs much more to Jack Lewens, our sommelier. I set him a task last year to create the best tonic and bitter recipes – both recipes are the result of his laborious experimentations.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon
1 blood orange
4cm piece of fresh ginger
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
5 allspice berries
4 cloves
30 drops gentian extract
700ml grain alcohol

Method

  1. Finely pare the zest from the lemon and orange, using a vegetable peeler; it is essential to avoid the pith, as it will add too much bitterness to the end result. Peel and finely slice the ginger.
  2. Put the citrus zests, ginger, spices and gentian extract into a sterilised jar, pour over the alcohol and seal tightly. Leave to stand for 2 weeks at room temperature, shaking the jar every other day.
  3. Strain the alcohol, discarding all the flavouring ingredients. The bitters is now ready to use. It is best used within the first month or so of making but it can be stored for up to a year.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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