Just a few dashes of Bitter Truth bitters can transform a classic cocktail into something entirely new.
With a minimalist cocktail, like a Manhattan, changing out the bitters can put a unique touch on the drink. Opting for Aromatic, Savory, or Fruity bitters can bring out different notes in the base spirit used. Not only can you better tailor your cocktail to the base spirit, but you can create a different experience to better pair with a meal or personal taste.
Before we get into the Bitter Truth range, let’s build some context. Back in 2006, two bartenders, Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck, were attending the London Bar Show. The two were both experienced in making handmade cocktail bitters for their respective bar programs and realized there was a significant gap in their market (and globally) for bitters. Along with making modern bitters, Berg had amassed a collection of historical bitters and is considered a specialist on the topic. In short, the two were perfectly suited to launch a line of cocktail bitters, and now they have a stunning range of not just bitters but liqueurs and gin.
Each flavor starts with the highest quality ingredients possible. All of the herbs and spices are extracted of their aromas and essences using careful means of maceration and percolation in either water or alcohol for periods of up to two months. Once the process is finished, a limited amount of additional water or alcohol is added to create the end strength. The final liquid is allowed time to rest to allow the flavors to marry together before being tinged, filtered, bottled, and labeled.
With such a huge portfolio of bitters, we can’t share all of them at once. Check back in next week for part two!
After more than ten years of painstaking testing and reverse engineering The Bitter Truth released their Bogart’s Bitters. This historic reproduction is based on the bitters used in Jerry Thomas’ very first cocktail book. The complex bitter has notes of chocolatey coffee, European herbs, and dark spices that work perfectly across a wide range of cocktails and is especially dynamic in a Japanese Cocktail.
- 2 oz. Brandy
- 1/2 oz. Orgeat Syrup
- 1/4 oz. The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters
- Lemon Zest
Preparation: Stir well with ice and strain into a chilled rock glass with ice. Add lemon zest.
Perhaps the most well-known style of bitters, Aromatics date back to the late 18th century and are one of the star ingredients in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned and Manhattan. The Bitter Truth’s bitters are complex with notes of spices, cinnamon, cardamom, and anise. The most prolific cocktail companion is the Manhattan but we also love an Air-mail, Old Cuban and a Rob Roy.
- 2 oz. Rye or Bourbon Whiskey
- 3/4 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters
- Orange Zest
Preparation: Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry, lemon, or orange zest.
Blending the lines between old and new world flavors, Chocolate Bitters are dark, rich, and complex. A classic assortment of European herbs support decadent notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and hints of vanilla. Try a few dashes in a Negroni or a Tequila Old Fashioned.
Right Hand Cocktail
- 1 1/2 oz. Tiki Lovers Dark Rum
- 1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
- 1 oz. Italian Red Bitter Liqueur
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Chocolate Bitters
- Orange Zest
Preparation: Add all ingredients to a rock glass with ice and stir. Squeeze orange zest over the drink.
Spicy, sweet, and bitter–Creole Bitters are inspired by busy kitchens in the French Quarter. Bold flavors of cayenne and pink peppercorn open on the palate followed by anise, big red cinnamon, fennel, and caraway. Despite its bold flavor palate the Creole Bitters work with a wide range of cocktails, we particularly like a Sazerac, French 75, or a Bloody Mary.
- 1 1/2 oz. Cognac or Whiskey
- 1/3 oz. Sugar Syrup (2:1 Sugar:Water)
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Creole Bitters
- 2 dashes Absinthe
- Lemon Zest
Preparation: Stir in mixing glass with ice and strain into a chilled rock or cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon zest.
Jerry Thomas Bitters
Created as an homage to the 19th centuries most important bartender, the Jerry Thomas Bitters are based on an original recipe by the famed bartender. The recipe has been updated to fit modern tastes (and legal requirements) but is as close as you can get to what Thomas was using when he crafted his cocktails in the mid 1800’s. The fruity and very bitter expression has notes of crystallized ginger, almond, and a hint of angostura bark. Pull up a copy of Jerry Thomas’ original cocktail book and try a few dashes in just about every classic cocktail.
- 1 1/2 oz. Old Tom Gin
- 1 oz. Sweet Red Vermouth
- 2-3 dashes Maraschino Liqueur
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas Bitters
- Lemon Zest
Preparation: Stir in mixing glass with ice & strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon zest.
The long lost secret weapon for a Bloody Mary (along with a host of other cocktails), Celery Bitters were a favorite bartending ingredient in the 19th century and were almost lost to the ages. The complex and exotic savory notes open with a rich bouquet of white grapes, sencha tea, celery leaf, and ginger root with hints of coriander and chicory. Of course, these are perfect for any riff on a Bloody Mary, but they also add oomph to Corpse-Revivers, Dry Martinis, and classic Gin & Tonics.
- 1 1/2 oz. Vodka or Gin
- 1/3 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3-4 dashes The Bitter Truth Celery Bitters
- 3 oz. Tomato Juice
- Tabasco, Worcestershire Sauce,
- Salt & Pepper
Preparation: Shake with ice and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a celery stalk.
Light, fresh, savory, and grassy–the peppery notes of marinated cucumber shine through with herbal notes of thyme, fleur de sel, lingering loral, and fresh rosemary. Cucumber bitters are the ideal pairing for Gin & Tonics, Martinis, and even as a pair to many agave spirits.
- 1 1/2 oz. Pimm’s Cup No 1 or similar
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Cucumber Bitters
- 4 oz. sparkling Lemonade or Ginger Ale
- Seasonal Fruits
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a highball glass with ice and stir.
This award-winning bitters flavor was developed as a way to uplift the look and texture of a Dirty Martini, but the savory, salty profile works well in a wide range of cocktails. Not only is it an ideal pairing to herbaceous gins, but the notes of brine, mustard, sage, and thyme work with vodkas and mineral-rich tequilas as well. Try a few dashes in a negroni or any Mediterranean inspired cocktail.
- 2 oz. Vodka
- 1/3 oz. Dry Vermouth
- 2 dashes The Bitter Truth Olive Bitters
Preparation: Stir ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.