Most cocktail bitters or any alcoholic drink started as medicine. They contain 20 to 50 percent alcohol and are generally used in small amounts to counter any sweetness or sourness from the cocktail.

Category of Bitters

  • Aromatic Bitters

This is the largest category of bitters, with Angostura being the most notable. It has a good balance of bitterness and aroma to provide a decent flavor for your cocktails.

  • Orange Bitters

Citrus bitter is the oldest type of bitters with flavors based on grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and yuzu. They're best used for spirits like gin, vodka, or white rum. The citrus taste is an excellent addition to strong-tasting alcohol.

  • Herbal Bitters

The dominant herbal taste can be tasted in these bitters. They're used for cocktails that require an herbal flavor. It is a well-known digestive aid to prevent or treat nausea.

  • Fruit Bitters

These are bitters with a hint of sweetness. They come in different fruit flavors and are used for fruity drinks to maintain the taste but carefully dull the cocktail's sweetness.

  • Nut Bitters

This type of bitters provides a rustic and earthy taste which goes excellent for creme cocktails. You can add this on chocolate martinis to bring out that extra nutty flavor.

Drinks with Bitters

  • Dutchess

This drink has a heavy load of bitters, but the spiciness counters it, making the drink palatable. All you need is genever, lemon juice, pineapple juice, orgeat, and Angostura bitters.

  • Sawyer

This is another drink that goes heavy on bitters with London dry gin, lime juice, simple syrup, angostura bitters, Peychaud's bitters, and orange bitters as the ingredients. The certain tart and spice that accompanies the bitters counter the taste in an excellent manner.

  • Manhattan Island

This cocktail gives a twist on the classic brandy-based Manhattan. The ingredients to make this are Cognac VSOP, Rosso Vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, and Angostura Bitters. Garnish with a cherry and serve!