Bitters are cocktail flavorings made from aromatic herbs and fruits, added to drinks in "dashes." It's possible to make your own bitters, though it's quite a long process and requires offbeat ingredients like cinchona bark and gentian root. If you're pressed for time (or resources), we recommend buying bitters and using them to craft your own delicious cocktails. A dash of orange bitters does wonders for a simple blueberry margarita, and celery bitters add a surprising twist to this whiskey cocktail. Whether you're a seasoned bartender or an aspiring mixologist, check out F&W's guide to bitters for tried and tested recipes.

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Aromatic Bitters
It's fun to make your own bitters, and it takes relatively little effort—just some time to allow the flavorful aromatics to infuse the alcohol. This citrus-spice batch will go nicely with all of your favorite cocktails that call for bitters, or add a few dashes to a glass of seltzer for a refreshing thirst-quencher. If you'd like, you can divide the mixture between a few dropper bottles and gift them to your cocktail-loving friends. 
A Sichuan Spin on the Classic Negroni
At Jing Bar in Chengdu, this spiced-up version of the classic Italian aperitivo cocktail pairs perfectly with regional cuisine.
The Best New Bitter Liqueur for Campari Fans
We took the Riserva Speciale Bitter for a test-drive in three cocktails.
Rock 'n' Rolla
Rating: Unrated
"I love this drink because it is immensely accessible and easy to make," says Bay Area bartender Chris Lane. "Really it's just a bourbon sour with a little flourish of spice and apple." Lane's inspiration for the drink: a local biodynamic apple cider.Slideshow: More Easy Cocktail RecipesThis recipe originally appeared in the Food & Wine 2016 Cocktails book.
The Doubting Duck
Rating: Unrated
Washington, DC, bartender Derek Brown calls The Doubting Duck his ideal aperitif because while it's low-proof, it's also amazingly complex. He loves the manzanilla sherry's savory edge, which makes the drink incredibly food-friendly.Slideshow: More Easy Cocktail RecipesThis recipe originally appeared in the Food & Wine 2016 Cocktails book.

More Bitters

Figgy-Orange Bitters
Rating: Unrated
The bark, roots and other more esoteric ingredients used to make bitters can be found at dandelionbotanical.comReinvented Classic Cocktails

New Spiced Bitters from Cocktail Master Dale DeGroff

Dale DeGroff's Pimento Bitters. Photo by Phil Jimcosky / Mutineer Magazine.A pioneer of modern American mixology, "King Cocktail" Dale DeGroff is best known for his turn as head bartender at New York's Rainbow Room, which recently was granted landmark status. Inspired by a Jamaican liqueur he loved that's no longer on the market, DeGroff just unveiled a new product: Dale DeGroff's Pimento Bitters. The infusion of distilled high-proof alcohol with pimento berries (a.k.a. allspice), orange peels, demerara sugar and a top secret strain of anise makes a super-aromatic cocktail component that's richly spiced and comforting, especially in cold-weather drinks. He's producing the bitters in France, and the product is now available in signed 250 ml bottles with his kitschy tuxedoed portrait on the label. Here, DeGroff talks about his path to bitters and how to use them in a delicious Thanksgiving punch. >