Bitters are an often overlooked element of the home cocktail kit. But man do they make a mountain of difference to a drink with just one little drop...
Globally, Angostura is definitely the most well-known brand of cocktail bitters and their products are fantastic. But bitters as a category is varied, and is quite common in several cultures.
The Italians and French typically drink their version of bitters after a meal to aid digestion, in the form of Amaro and Amer respectively.
In Italy the well known drinking bitters include Fernet Branca, Amaro Montenegro, and Campari.
Amer Biere is one of the more well-known types from France, commonly drunk alongside or added to beer, and especially good with Belgian-style witbiers.
There are three different types of cocktail bitters used to make the vast majority of cocktails:
- Aromatic bitters - like Angostura, from Trinidad
- Orange bitters - such as Regan’s Orange Bitters, which is a little rounder and richer in orange flavour
- Creole bitters - a sub-genre of aromatic bitters created by Antoine Peychaud in the home of classic cocktails, New Orleans
If you have an aromatic bitters and an orange bitters in your home bar, you’re pretty set.
Here's a few of our favourite cocktail recipes that use bitters...