How To Make Orange Bitters

Published On February 25, 2013 | By Marcello Arena | Cocktails

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Orange bitters have been used in cocktails long before the days of Prohibition. The books on pre-Prohibition cocktails mention the use of orange bitters in about a quarter of all of the recipes made during that time. In addition, bartenders often used a large variety of other bitters to offer different tastes.

Orange bitters were certainly a key ingredient of the original martini cocktails. In the first edition of The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Cradock, published in 1930, the recipe for a dry martini called for equal amounts of gin and vermouth, with a hint of orange bitters.

As soon as you taste orange bitters, you’re invaded by the soft aroma of oranges. You’re flooded with a rich, fresh, and sweet orange flavor with spicy notes of cardamom and coriander, followed by a more complex level of spices. Orange bitters serve as the basis for many cocktails. Once you gather all of the ingredients you need at home, this easy recipe just takes a bit of time to produce bitters as they should be. With this recipe, you can give life to your best cocktails but with a homemade touch.

Marcello Arena is a contributor at The Boys Club and blogger at Mela e Cannella.

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About The Author

Marcello Arena
hails all the way from Italy and reminds us just how beautiful a four hour lunch is. Marcello is blogger at Mela e Cannela Follow Marcello on twitter @marcelloarena.

7 Responses to How To Make Orange Bitters

  1. sara says:

    Just to clarify, do you mean drain the liquid or strain the liquid?

  2. Wow! Looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. MaryB says:

    I am a novice but I would like to try making these orange bitters. I am not sure what to purchase for the grain alcohol. Everclear? High end vodka? What/where do I find grain alcohol? Thanks for any help you can give me.

  4. Gwyn M says:

    Where did you get those bottles??

  5. Art says:

    I thought this recipe looked extremely familiar, and then I realized that it’s completely stolen from ( – both the ingredients and the instructions. That’s pretty weak, boys.

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