Vintage and retro are hot concepts when it comes to drinks. Many people love to recreate the favorite drinks of yesteryear and while most of them can be made pretty easily, not all of the ingredients are readily available. One of those ingredients that proves pretty hard to find is orange bitters for cocktails, which is unfortunate because it is used in several recipes.
While orange bitters are not usually found on store shelves, Angostura Bitters can be a bit easier to find. In a pinch they will work but anyone who has ever tried the real orange bitters will be able to notice the taste difference easily.
Orange Bitters Recipe
Fortunately it isn’t that difficult to make your own orange bitters. You’ll need:
- 1/2 pound dried (Seville) orange peel, chopped finely
- Pinch of cardamom
- Pinch of caraway
- Pinch of coriander seeds
- 2 cups grain alcohol
- 4 tablespoons burnt sugar
Once you have all of your ingredients together you will want to mix the orange peel, herb seeds and the alcohol together. Then let them stand in a sealed jar while remembering to agitate them a bit every day. After 15 days, pour the spirits through a cheese cloth or something similar and seal the jar again. Remove the strained off seeds and peel and place them in a saucepan while crushing them with a wooden spoon. Cover them with boiling water and let them simmer for 5 minutes.
Store the bitters in a covered jar for 2 days and then add to the spirits. You could also add in a bit of burnt sugar if you want to play with the color. Filter the mixture again and let it sit until it all settles perfectly clear. Store in a bottle that will allow for easy pouring and you are ready to go. The most important part is not to agitate the slight precipitation or sediment during the final operation.
Sounds too complicated? Here’s a faster and easier recipe:
Orange Bitters Cocktails
Some cocktails that include orange bitters are:
- Some Old-Fashioned variations
- Orange Martini
- Yale Cocktail
- Dafne Martini
Where to buy orange bitters:
If this still sounds like too much work, here are some companies making great orange bitters. You can buy orange bitters here: