Bitter flavors, which give food and cocktails balance and sophistication, are gaining an edge over sweet. Here, the best of the new.

By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015
Bitter flavors for the bar

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

Bitter Flavors for the Bar

Bitter Lemon Soda

Mix Fever-Tree's tart soda with gin.

Maple Bitters

A spritz or a drop of Urban Moonshine's bitters is great in Scotch cocktails.

Chocolate Bitters

Fee Brothers' new Aztec bitters are lovely with rum drinks.

Grapefruit Bitters

Try club soda with a dash of grapefruit bitters from Bittermens or The Bitter Truth.

Ultrabitter chocolate

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

Bitter & Sweet

Ultrabitter chocolate containing over 90 percent cacao, once used only for baking, has become a new trend in chocolate candies. One of the latest successes: 91 percent–cacao Nocturne bars from Guittard. $4 for 2 oz;

Winter Greens Salad

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

Bitter Salad

Winter Greens Salad

Bitter produce like endives, radicchio and kumquats are in peak season in winter (recipe, at right).

Hoppy, extra-bitter beers

Photo © Antonis Achilleos

Bitter Brew

A new trend in American craft brewing: hoppy, extra-bitter beers. Ithaca Beer Company makes its citrusy AlpHalpHa with plenty of New York–grown Cascade hops.

Bitter & Briny

Shinkai's delicate Deep Sea Salt from Japan adds a subtly bitter depth to steamed fish or chicken. $12 for 1.2 oz;