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Intro to Bitters

Intro to Bitters

New: check out our Bitters Bundle for a great deal on our best-selling bitters. Looking for some recipes to try without the alcohol? Check out the Sakura Sipper, the Love Potion, or the Blueberry Chill!

What are cocktail bitters?

Cocktail Bitters are concentrated flavour extracts used for “seasoning” or flavouring a drink (or food). When used in cocktails, they highlight existing flavours and introduce new ones as well.

1806 is when the world first saw the word “cocktail” published in an American publication. The basic recipe for what was described as a “cocktail” at the time called for any type of spirit, sugar, water and bitters. Simple!

How are bitters made?

Bitters are made using a solvent to extract flavours from botanicals.  At Top Shelf Distillers, only high proof neutral spirit is used to extract flavours to create bittersWe add diverse botanicals to give our bitters their complexity and personality. 

Using Bitters In The Kitchen

Bitters can be used for everything in the kitchen: cocktailing, stir fries, baking, and a whole lot more. It’s simply a matter of finding a flavour profile that compliments what you intend on making. Here's some ideas:

Whipped Cream 

Add a few dashes of your choice flavour of bitters to whipped cream to create fun flavoured whips.

Cookie dough

You can season your cookie dough with coffee or mint flavoured bitters. It can replace vanilla extract in recipes.

Meats and soups 

Aromatic bitters and spiced bitters are delicious in meat marinades as well as soups. Use bitters to add certain exotic flavours and keep things interesting in the kitchen. Making a stir fry or some pad thai? Why not try a few dashes of lemongrass bitters in your recipe.


How To Taste Test Bitters

Back of hand: put 1-2 drops on the back side of your hand. Give it a smell and analyse the aroma. And give it a taste test!

Add to sparkling water: Add a few drops of bitters to sparkling water for a delicious, light drink that gives you the profile of the bitters.



Vodka Soda
Old Fashioned
White Lady
0.75 oz Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec) 
0.75 oz Lemon Juice 

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