Blood Orange Bitters

Bitters were traditionally marketed as medicines for seasickness, nausea, and other stomach maladies before being used as aromatic additives in mixed drinks. Our preparation is based on blood oranges with fragrant cardamom and other spices. We’re not claiming it’s medicine, but it can cure an under-the-weather cocktail!

Blood Orange Bitters

  • Zest of 3 blood oranges (about 1 cup, loosely packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla corn syrup
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 3 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon  fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 8 ounces high-proof vodka (we used 100 proof)
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Infusing vessel of choice (make sure it has a tight-fitting lid)
  • Fine mesh strainer

Preheat oven to 200°F.

Wash and dry the blood oranges. Peel the zest off  with a vegetable peeler or paring knife, making sure to get the top layer only, not the bitter white pith. Place the zest strips onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and put it into the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Lightly crush spices (cloves through coriander seeds) in a mortar and pestle and drop them into your infusing vessel. Add dried zest and corn syrup. Pour vodka over top and seal tightly. Let the bitters steep for 2 weeks, shaking every 2 days to distribute flavors evenly.

Place strainer over a bowl. Pour the blood orange bitters over the strainer to remove the solid pieces and stop the steeping process. Pour the bitters back into your infusing vessel and seal to store. Use an eyedropper to measure out small quantities for mixing.


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