Being time for me to restock my bitters supply, I wanted to try something a little more than just the traditional angustora and orange bitters I had before. A sampler set of Scrappy’s (based in Seattle, WA) bitters fit the bill with Lavender, Cardamom, Chocolate, and Grapefruit.

With bitters, I pay attention to the aroma and then the taste, and the aroma hit the spot for each of these. I did do a small taste test with a couple drops each mixed with a bit of club soda, and the taste lived up to the aroma. But I enjoy testing bitters most in an actual cocktail. So you’ll find a few of these recipes below in which this bitters set fits well.

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Let’s start with a twist on the Old Fashioned.

Botanical Old Fashioned

2 oz whiskey (preferably rye)
sugar cube (1/2 tsp if you don’t have cubes)
lavender bitters
cardamom bitters
1 oz club soda

In a Old Fashioned type glass, saturate the sugar cube with the bitters (I usually use a couple dashes of each flavor). Next, put in the club soda, whiskey, and several ice cubes. It’s important to stir well. You can top off with a bit more club soda or ice, depending on preference, but it’s best not too dilute the flavor too much.

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Espresso Martini

2 shots of espresso
2 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua (coffee liqueur of choice)
chocolate bitters

In a cocktail shaker, add the espresso shots, vodka, coffee liqueur, and chocolate bitters over ice. Shake vigorously and serve in a martini glass.

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Paloma Twist

2 oz tequila blanco
grapefruit bitters
juice of 1 lime
sprig of rosemary (optional)

In a glass, stir together the tequila, bitters, and lime with ice. Top with rosemary for garnish. To make this perfect for brunch, just add 6 oz champagne and/or club soda. But before you add any bubblies, make sure to first stir together the tequila, bitters, and lime. Cheers!

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