Ryan and I always make at least one type of handmade gift to give our family and friends every year. This year, we thought it would be fun to gift bitters. Wonderful as a digestive aid or to round out a fancy cocktail that the mixologist in you can get creative with. We’ve chosen to create a malty rich blend that will really serve as the perfect holiday bitter.
I chose to use the easiest method to create these bitters, though the proper variation would be to infuse each herb and botanical separately as they infuse at different rates. However, this worked just wonderfully as we are creating such a large batch. But when you’re really getting into the specifics of flavor, I suggest infusing each ingredient separately. I was also very loose with my measurements. So your part can equal tablespoons, cups, what have you!
1 part cacao nibs
1 part cloves
1 part vanilla bean
1 part star anise
1 part poppy seed
1 part lemon verbena
1 part orange peel
1 bottle of 100 proof vodka
PROCESS | place all ingredients in a large ball jar and pour whole bottle of vodka directly over them. Seal with lid. Set in a shaded spot on your counter. Shake once daily.
I chose to let mine infuse for one week. I thought that would be a happy balance between all the ingredients. However, if you were infusing each ingredient separately and then slowly mixing each together to reach the exact flavor you want (usually for mixology purposes), then you’d infuse each ingredient for their specific infusion time.
Once your infusion(s) is finished, simply strain bitters into a measuring cup. Then funnel each individually into their 1 oz dropper bottles. Label as desired and you have yourself one of the easiest handmade gifts this year!