Orange Bitters


Updated 2022-11-01

April 2022 batch

  • 12 Cara Cara oranges
    • 6 regular peels, zest only
    • 6 dried peels, zest only
  • 4 cloves
  • Seeds from 8 cardamom pods (shells discarded) – from Regan
  • 1/8 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon gentian root
  • 1/4 teaspoon wild cherry bark
  • 1/4 teaspoon cassia
  • 1/4 teaspoon quassia
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinchona bark
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 3 cups Graves 190 proof grain alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup

Technique: See Brad Parsons Bitters book.

I let it sit a bit longer than Brad Parsons recommends, but it turned out great. I ran it through coffee filters to filter out the sediment, then bottled it in my Cocktail Kingdom dasher for home use and in some 1oz eye dropper bottles to give to friends.

  • It turned out good! Closest to Regan’s, but has a bit more spice. Nice in Manhattans and Boulevardiers.
  • I used 6 oranges last time and 12 oranges this time. Next time it needs to be 18 or 24 to get the intense orange flavor I’m looking for.
    • I don’t know how some of the brands of orange bitters out there get the flavor and color. I think they use orange extract and caramel coloring.

Things to try in future batches

  • Use fresh orange juice instead of water for the boil
  • Infuse in the sous vide instead of waiting two weeks. Try 130F for two hours.
  • Make tinctures of each individual ingredient so we can mix the ingredients individually into a batch to control the flavor. Each ingredient has a different ideal extraction temperature.


Gaz Regan’s orange bitters no 5

Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 5 | Post Prohibition

Brad Parsons’s Bitters book. Contains an orange bitters recipe

Bitters | Brad Thomas Parsons
Books. Booze. Food. Bitters.