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Bitters is a flavoring agent, generally containing alcohol and featuring a bitter or bittersweet taste, that is an ingredient in many cocktails or which are used as digestifs. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, bitters were marketed as herbal medicines. Some are rumored to be good hangover cures.

The most commonly used bitters in cocktails is Angostura Bitters, with Peychaud's Bitters and orange bitters also being types which no well-stocked bar should be without.


Types and Brands of Bitters

Cocktail bitters

These are usually added to cocktails by the dash.

Aperitif and digestif bitters

These are usually drunk straight or used in larger quantities in mixed drinks.

Historical References

"Materia medica and therapeutics", By Thomas D. (Thomas Duché) Mitchell, 1857

"It has been kept for centuries in grog-shops and regular taverns under the name of bitters, to be dealt out before breakfast, and at all times."

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