Cooking With Bitters

Bitters make a great addition to the kitchen and are extremely versatile in their applications in cooking.

Here are some recipes to get you started.



Smokey and Spicy Popcorn

Serves 4


2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt, fine

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1 tsp granulated sugar

3 tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)

1/2 tsp Apothecary Bitters Mystic Caravan smokey pear bitters

2-3 cups popped gourmet popcorn


- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except the popcorn; mix together thoroughly.

- Drizzle mixture over popcorn and toss to coat



Embittered BBQ Sauce

Yields roughly 3 cups


2 cups ketchup

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 cup Apothecary Bitters General Ambrose’s aromatic bitters

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Spirit Fire cherry cedar bitters


- Combine all of the ingredients except bitters in a nonreactive saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until dark, thick, and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes.

- Add bitters and stir thoroughly. Transfer the sauce to a clean jar and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months.



Jalapeño, Miso and Citrus Bitters Vinaigrette

Yields roughly 2 cups


2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup lime juice, fresh

2 tsp sugar

1.5 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Heliotropic floral citrus bitters or Tlalocan Latin lime bitters

1 tsp miso paste

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup olive oil


- Place everything except the oils in a blender and process until smooth.

- With the blender running, slowly add the oils and blend to emulsify.



Bittered Ice Cream

Yields 4 cups


6 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Mason Dixon Southern pecan bitters


1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Tlalocan Latin lime bitters

and 1 tbsp corn syrup

and 1 lime, juiced


- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar and bitters (and corn syrup and lime juice for lime version) until sugar has dissolved.

- Add cream and milk and stir to incorporate. Cool mixture completely.

- Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

*Use corn syrup and lime juice only with lime bitters



Darkness Brownies

Yields 16 large brownies


140 grams of unsalted butter (1.25 sticks)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters The Darkness cacao coffee bitters

2 large eggs, straight from the fridge

½ cup all purpose flour

½ tsp cayenne pepper


- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.

- Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

- Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and warmed through. Remove the bowl from the pan.

- Stir the bitters into the warm butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each one. Once the batter is well blended and shiny, add the flour and cayenne and stir until incorporated. After the flour has been incorporated, beat vigorously for 15 seconds.

- Spread evenly into the lined pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. The brownies are done when a toothpick emerges slightly moist with batter. Let cool completely on a rack.

- Lift the brownies out of the pan via the parchment paper and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.



Grilling Marinade with Bitters

Yields roughly 1/2 cup


2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp spicy mustard

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters General Ambrose’s aromatic bitters

and 1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Mystic Caravan smokey pear bitters
OR 2 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Barbary Coast North African bitters

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt


- Combine ingredients and mix thoroughly.

- Add to a non-reactive container with your choice of meat and or veggies. Marinate for several hours.



Prawn and Scallop Ceviche with Lime Bitters

Serves 2


* 1 cup bitter lime marinade

** 6 poached spot prawns, chopped

1 large scallop (or 3 small ones), chopped

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 green onions, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 Ataulfo mango, sliced


- Marinate the prawns and scallops in the bitter lime marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.

- Pour into a large serving bowl, add the other ingredients and stir to combine.


* Bitter lime marinade

Yields 1 cup

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 habanero pepper, seeded, deveined and finely minced.

3 tbsp orange juice, fresh

2 tbsp lime juice, fresh

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Tlalocan Latin lime bitters

2 tsp honey

1/4 cup olive oil

Sea salt, to taste


- Whisk all ingredients together until emulsified.

- Season with salt.


** Poached spot prawns

Yields 6 spot prawns

1 lemon, quartered

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup of kosher salt

8 cups of water

6 spot prawns, peeled and deveined


- Bring all ingredients except the prawns to a boil in a large pot.

- Add the prawns to the water and turn off the heat.

- After 2 minutes, remove the prawns from the water and place in an ice bath.



Chile Chicory Guacamole

Serves 4


1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

2 to 3 ripe avocados, diced

1/2 Spanish onion, finely diced

1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ cup lime juice, fresh

1 tbsp Apothecary Bitters Nightshade chile chicory bitters

Kosher salt, to taste


- Place ingredients in a bowl and mix until just combined. Season to taste with salt.



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