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Bitters History

Bitters is commonly used in appetizers and as digestive aid, however they are most popular for their incredible flavor in cocktails. Bitters were originally used as patent medicines to cure stomach problems. The first bitters were Aromatic Bitters.
Angostura Aromatic Bitters Fee Brothers Mint Bitters Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
Peychaud's Aromatic Bitters Regans' Orange Bitters No.6 Angostura Orange Bitters
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History of Cocktail Bitters

Bitters were originally used and created with the intention to aid in human digestion. A German physician in Venezuela in 1824, who was trying to find a cure for stomach maladies, created Angostura Bitters, the first bitters. The name, “Angostura Bitters” was named after the town Angostura, in Venezuela. They were first used as cocktail ingredients when they reached England and Trinidad.

The First Cocktail

The Sazerac is known to be the first cocktail, created by pharmacist Antoine Amedee Peychaud. He created Peychaud’s Aromatic Cocktail Bitters in Santo Domingo and brought the recipe to New Orleans. Today Peychaud’s is a cocktail bitters manufacturer that uses the same recipe as Antoine Peychaud once did in the 1830’s.
Cocktail bitters are an additive, therefore they are consumed in small amounts, by dashes or small drops. A drop of bitters creates a new taste palate. They can completely change the taste of a cocktail to make it rich, spicy or simply add a new dimension. Bitters are described as having a bittersweet or bitter flavor on their own, but when mixed into cocktails, they provide a flavoring agent that does not taste bitter. This is a common misconception. Think of it as using salt when baking; it is an essential ingredient, which, when added to a mixture, will actually bring out the sweetness more than if no salt had been added at all. Without that small ingredient the overall product lacks taste. Cocktail bitters add new flavors to make tasty, interesting, multi-dimensional cocktails.

Other Uses of Bitters

Bitters have other unique uses besides for their exceptional taste in cocktails. Bitters can cure an upset stomach by mixing water with two dashes of bitters. Also you can add bitters to soda or ginger ale to help settle your stomach. There is also belief that bitters can be used to cure hiccups. Just soak a lemon or lime slice in bitters, dip in sugar and then bite the fruit. Another unique experiment is to make an original soda. It’s simple; just add a few dashes of bitters to soda water in a glass with ice.
Even though bitters are a small addition to cocktails they play a vital role in balancing the ingredients in the drink and giving it a unique depth. There has been a recent new interest in classic cocktail bitters. Explore and make some of our cocktail bitters recipes! KegWorks has a variety of the most popular bitters flavors such as aromatic, cherry, grapefruit, lemon, mint, orange, peach and rhubarb. Bitters are a necessary ingredient in classic cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, Sazerac and Martini Cocktail. Every well stocked bar should have a variety of bitters.
Tequila Old Fashioned
3 oz ańejo tequila
˝ bar-spoon agave syrup
2-3 dashes lemon bitters
(can use orange/ grapefruit)
1 strip of lime, for garnish
First, stir syrup and bitters together in an old-fashioned glass. Then add ice, tequilla and stir again. Garnish with a strip of lime.
Cherry Cosmo Punch
Cherry punch
1 oz cherry vodka
Splash of grenadine
Splash of cranberry juice
1 maraschino cherry, for garnish
Shake all ingredients together, except for the cranberry juice. Pour into a martini glass with ice and then add cranberry juice. Garnish with a cherry.
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