Have you ever had an Old Fashioned at a cocktail bar and wondered what that aromatic bitter and almost floral flavor was at the back of your throat? It was probably a dash of Angostura bitters, a non-alcoholic cocktail bitters that tastes like fruits, spices, and herbs. Bitters, such as orange bitters or chocolate bitters, add a herbaceous note to cocktail recipes.
What Exactly Are Bitters?
Originally developed as over-the-counter medicine (that may or may not have helped customers), bitters are now sold as cocktail flavorings and digestifs. Mixologists use bitters in classic cocktails to add depth of flavor to sweet or sour drinks. A bar without bitters is like a kitchen without salt and pepper. It just doesn't work.
The most popular bitters are Angostura and Peychaud's Bitters, however, there are a number of flavored bitters on the market including chocolate bitters, orange bitters, and even Habanero bitters from Bittermens.
How To Use Chocolate Bitters
Chocolate bitters, such as Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters, is a beautiful blend of sweet chocolate and a hint of heat and spice. Use it with dark spirits such as aged rum, bourbon, or gold tequila and your home bar will be your new favorite date night spot.
Where to Buy Chocolate Bitters
The best place to purchase bitters is online! Take a look at some of these chocolate bitters to add to your liquor cabinet.
Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Cocktail Bitters, 5 Fl. Oz
Mixing a dessert cocktail is easy with these bitters. One reviewer noted that is was delicious in a vodka cranberry!
Woodford Reserve Chocolate Bitters, 2 Ounces
These bitters have been bourbon barrel-aged, adding a hint of smokiness that some say tastes like hazelnuts. Made with gentian root and chocolate, this is the secret to dark chocolate martinis.
Scrappy's Bitters - Chocolate, 5 ounces
Made with organic cacao nibs, these bitters bring a hint of spice and oak to any cocktail. Try it in a Manhattan for a taste you won't forget.
Angostura Cocoa Bitters
Crafted to inspire creativity, these bitters are created with the world's finest Trinitario cocoa from Trinidad and Tobago. Add it to your espresso martini or to a glass of cognac.
Make Chocolate Bitters at Home
Yes, you can make bitters at home although there is a lot of sourcing needed to track down all the ingredients including cacao nibs, gentian root, wild cherry bark, and even wormwood. In the end it's much more expensive and time-consuming to make it at home, unless you plan on making a large batch to give away as gifts. You can find the recipe here from Simply Recipes.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.