Homemade Citrus Bitters

I am late to the “bitters” trend. A few months ago I was gifted with two sample-size bottles of bitters from Urban Moonshine. I quickly grew to enjoy a splash in sparkling water each evening, and ran out quickly. I love flavor experiments and my spice cabinet borders on the ridiculous, so I decided to try making my own bitters. The only herbs I had to purchase were the bitter herbs: gentian, orris root, and angelica.

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Tangerine-Cardamom

8 oz jar
generous pinch of gentian
generous pinch of angelica
peel of 4 tangerines
1 black cardamom
4 green cardamoms
4 allspice berries
Fill with vodka
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Four-Citrus

12 oz jar
peel of one sour orange, one lemon, one pink grapefruit, and two small tangerines
1 black cardamom
1 green cardamom
5 allspice berries
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1/8 tsp grains of paradise
pinch of ground cubeb
2 generous pinches of gentian
1 generous pinch orris root
2 generous pinches of angelica
Fill with vodka

I read a bunch of bitters recipes on the internet and especially on Punk Domestics, and reading about the ratios was really helpful, but I used what I had instead of following anyone else’s recipe. It seems like there are two “camps” when making bitters- those who mix the ingredients and infuse them together, and those who infuse their ingredients separately and then mix them. The second approach is infinitely more cautious, but the end product is still somewhat mysterious. I love experiments and I’m pretty good at mixing flavors, so I chose the first approach.

As I was mixing up the herbs, I was wondering about the bitter herbs… between the herbs I’m cultivating and the native herbs growing in my yard, is there anything already growing here that I could have used? Next time!

I can’t wait to try my concoctions.