Homemade Bitters: Chocolate and Grapefruit

The makings of a great cocktail: good booze, ice, and not much else. It’s an equation that keeps the Martini going strong.  And it's the reason why “Old Fashioned” is a good thing. The “not much else” is where bitters come into play. Bitters alter the flavor profile of a cocktail in a subtle way, without adding sugar, fruit, or other liquors. There are countless options out there, but making your own is as easy as throwing a bunch of aromatics in a jar of booze and walking away from it for a week or so.  Two staples in our bar: chocolate and grapefruit.

CHOCOLATE BITTERS
Drink of choice: vanilla bourbon, chocolate bitters, rocks.  The runner up: sub out classic bitters for chocolate in an Old Fashioned

Add to your 8 oz jar:

  • ½ cup cacao nibs (find them in the health food isle)
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon gentian root
  • fill to the top with 101 proof bourbon

Keep it in a cool, dark place. Shake it from time to time. Let it sit for at least a week before straining out the solids (a coffee filter works great here). Add ¼ simple syrup to the remaining liquids to bring out the flavor.


GRAPEFRUIT BITTERS
Use it with gin, vodka, or add a few drops to your margarita to cut the sweetness.

Add to your jar:

  • Zest of 2 grapefruits and 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup 100 proof vodka
  • 1/2 tablespoon gentian root
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Keep it in a cool, dark place. Shake it from time to time. Let it sit for at least a week before straining out the solids (a coffee filter works great here). Add ¼ simple syrup to the remaining liquids to bring out the flavor.