About Cocktail Bitters and Elixirs

Cocktail bitters are combinations of bitter herbs, barks, and other botanicals in a neutral alcohol base designed to be added in minute quantities to give final layers of aromatic and flavor complexity to cocktails.

The most common type of cocktail bitters, aromatic bitters have their origins in the digestive and therapeutic tonics of the late 19th Century and were perfected during the golden age of cocktails in the early 20th Century. In recent years, the craft cocktail movement has inspired myriad faithful recreations, reinterpretations, and exotic experimentation using almost every conceivable edible or botanical ingredient.

Cocktail bitters are not to be confused with bitter liqueurs such as Italian amaros or fernets which have a higher sugar content and are designed to be consumed on their own or in cocktails. Due to their pungent bitterness, one would not drink cocktails bitters on their own, unless you are a bartender of course.

Top Picks for Cocktail Bitters and Elixirs

Bark & Bitter Honestly Aromatic Bitters
92 points
A pleasing woodsy and bark like aroma and flavor that leads with cinnamon and has a nice lingering spice.
Bark & Bitter New Orleans Bywater Bitters
92 points
A beautifully savory aroma that will work well as an apéritif or use as a modifier to give cocktails a bit of a Mediterranean flare.
Bark & Bitter Overtly Orange Bitters
86 points
Orange and lemon essence with a pleasant mild bitterness; will add a nice citrus kick to an N/A Gin application.