Ballantine Beer Leaderboard
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are

Step-by-Step DIY Guide: Make Your Own Bitters

Step-by-Step DIY Guide: Make Your Own Bitters

Every well-stocked bar has a variety of bitters, and in these days of resurgent cocktail culture, you can find many places that make them in house. Bitters are essentially high proof alcohol concoctions infused with herbs, fruits, spices or roots. As longtime mixologist Phoebe Esmon knows, there is vast room for experimentation with bitters’ flavor, ranging from an intense herb variations to the classic spiced aromatic.

“The classic of all classic cocktails — The Old Fashioned — stems from a basic aromatic bitters,” says Esmon. “But you can easily get creative and adjust the recipe for countless other drinks.”

You can easily create your own classic cocktails by stocking your bar with bitters from the store. But, if you’re like us and are curious about how to make them yourself, Esmon reveals the basic recipe isn’t all that hard to execute. Tea, a handful of spices and some high-proof bourbon are really all you need.

We sat with Esmon recently at her current bar home, Emmanuelle, in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties neighborhood. Click through our guide to try your hand at it.

All photos by Grace Dickinson

Recent Articles
Johnnie Walker Unveils Collaborations with Iconic Harris Tweed Hebrides and Oliver Sweeney
Beer Review: Breckenridge Brewery's Christmas Ale
Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols
spacer
2 Gingers Below Features
From Around The Web

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols

Laphroaig Turns Reviews Into Christmas Carols

Watch as the Laphroaig Christmas choir turns product reviews into carols. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 22, 2014
PicoBrew's Zymatic Brews Craft Beer at the Touch of a Button

PicoBrew's Zymatic Brews Craft Beer at the Touch of a Button

Craft beer is only a button push away with this table-top brewing machine. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 19, 2014
Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

Stephen Colbert Sells Naming Rights to his Show to Dewar's Scotch

The final episode of The Colbert Report, or should we say The Colbdewar's Repewars, airs tonight on Comedy Central. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 18, 2014
SPONSORED
Find happy hours and drink specials anywhere you are
Drink DC's Guide to New Year's Eve in the District

Drink DC's Guide to New Year's Eve in the District

If you're searching for a big, blowout party, a more intimate date spot or a no frills New Year, we can help. ...read more ›

by Lanna Nguyen Dec 16, 2014
Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club

The Carry On Cocktail Kit allows you to mix up some better than average in-flight drinks....read more ›

by Nasira B. Latif Dec 15, 2014
The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

Sometimes it's not as easy as picking up a random six pack and jamming it in your friend's stocking. That's wh...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Dec 15, 2014
Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 15, 2014
Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Hibernation is a hearty English Style Old Ale that would rouse the most snoozy bear from slumber....read more ›

by Nathan Solheim Dec 12, 2014
Best Washington, D.C. Brunch Drink Specials

Best Washington, D.C. Brunch Drink Specials

Whether you're trying to get the best of a hangover or simply celebrating the weekend with a bout of day drinking, these bars with breakfast sipping s...read more ›

by Drink DC Feb 10, 2014
A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

Japan isn't usually the first thing you think of when you think about whisky, but that could change very soon. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 12, 2014
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close