I’ve been using bitters in lots of cocktails recently and have really been intrigued with the idea of making my own. I looked up multiple recipes for homemade bitters and after writing down some of the most common ingredients, I set out to make my own.
I looked up spice stores in San Diego and came across a really cool store in Ocean Beach that specializes in herbs, spices, teas and many natural remedies called In Harmony Herbs and Spices. The staff was really friendly and were able to locate the ingredients I needed in the specified amounts. I purchased 7 different ingredients for under $20. Pretty good for organic and locally grown herbs!
Here are the ingredients I purchased (in 1 oz increments) along with their traditional medicinal uses if any.
Cardamom – digestive aid, helps with oral infection
Whole Cloves – digestive aid, soothing smell, adds flavor
Allspice Berries – used for flavoring
Nutmeg – used for flavoring
Jamaican Sarsaparilla – helps overall health, increases libido
Gentian Root – digestive aid, soothes stomach (main herb in Angostura bitters)
Cinnamon Sticks – antiviral properties
Next I added the rest of the ingredients in 1/2 oz increments as well. Then I shook up the mixture before adding the alcohol.
For the booze it’s best to use a neutral grain spirit so the flavors of the bitters mix are what is tasted. I’m opting to use some high-quality vodka and won’t be diluting the mixture as much when finished. I put in 1 cup to cover the entire mixture and then shook vigorously. After I put it in a cool place. Each day I’ll be shaking the mixture.
In two weeks I’ll be posting again with an update. I’ll be adding in some lemon and orange peel. This is definitely an experiment but I’m excited to see how it turns out! Cheers!