Bitters For Old Fashioned Cocktails


An Old Fashioned is a straightforward cocktail to craft, requiring only base spirit, sugar, and bitters for maximum effect. However, an experienced bartender’s choice of bitters can take it one step further and elevate this drink.

The Bitter Truth’s chocolate bitters are ideal for adding depth and complexity to an Old Fashioned. Packed full of warming baking spices and dried fruit flavors that enhance whiskey, these chocolate bitters add a unique element that enhances any whiskey drinker’s experience.


At many bars, having an ample bitters selection can be the key to creating the perfect cocktail. These alcohol infusions bring out and preserve flavor and add complexity and depth to drinks. Perhaps the most renowned aromatic bitters from Angostura come in dark brown bottles with yellow caps and an irritatingly large white label – this classic aromatic bitters debut every year at BarCamp USA in Las Vegas.

An Old Fashioned is best prepared using crystalized sugar and aromatic bitters combined with water or club soda as directed in some recipes. While adding water or club soda may make things simpler for home bartenders, doing so dilutes bitters which should be added before adding spirits.

Aromatic bitters are an adaptable ingredient used in various cocktails. Aromatic bitters make an essential component for creating unforgettable cocktails, available in an abundance of flavors – from exotic spices and exotic fruits to citrusy notes and winter botanicals. Jack Rudy even offers a barrel-aged variety that tastes like their classic versions but with added depth.

Peychaud’s bitters will give your drinks a rich, complex flavor. First created in New Orleans during the 1700s, Peychaud’s bitters are currently considered the go-to product for creating Sazerac cocktails and pairing perfectly with gin, vermouth, and whiskey in Old Fashioned cocktails.

Cinnamon Bitters

Create a festive cocktail by infusing bourbon with cinnamon and apple flavors for an Old Fashioned drink that can be shared among family and friends during crisp fall evenings.

An old-fashioned requires three essential ingredients: bourbon or whiskey, simple syrup, and bitters. We suggest selecting a bourbon aged in Sherry casks (Sherry, Port, or Rum), though any scotch with caramel, dark fruit, or toffee notes would work just as well in this recipe.

Bitters are high-proof alcohols infused with botanical ingredients like bark, roots, flowers, and spices for their unique flavors and potential health benefits. While historically bitters were used as digestive aids, now more people enjoy them for their tastes and potential health advantages.

If you don’t have bitters handy, citrus peels may provide similar flavors in your beverage; however, you won’t get the same depth of flavor offered by bitters.

Pimento Bitters

Sazerac Bitters offers an aromatic citrus taste and aroma, making them the ideal complement to any spirit. Suitable for cocktails utilizing rum, tequila, and mezcal.

These aromatic bitters, produced in collaboration by the Godfather of modern cocktailing and absinthe distiller T.A. Breaux, are made without commercial flavors or dyes and instead feature whole botanicals with pimento allspice (the berries found inside olives) as a central flavor component alongside complementary tropical and Mediterranean herbs. Perfect for classic and modern drinks such as rum cocktails, Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Painkillers and Sazeracs, marinades, stews, gumbo, and sauces!

Fee Brothers stand out from this list with their infusion method that adds complexity to their products. Aztec Chocolate Bitters is an ideal example, offering a delectable combination of cacao sweetness and spicy notes – ideal for adding flavorful flair to various drinks like whiskey or cognac cocktails.

Roasted Nut Bitters

Bitters are essential ingredients when creating classic cocktails and modern drinks alike. Their complex and deep flavors can’t be replicated by other components alone while also serving to balance out other elements such as tartness or sweetness.

Bitters come in many flavors, from herbal, fruity, spicy, earthy, and even sweet! There are two major categories of bitters: digestive and cocktail. Digestive bitters aid digestion, while cocktail bitters add distinct flavor profiles to mixed drinks.

Roasted Nut Bitters are an easy and delicious way to add an unexpected flair to any cocktail you drink, such as apple cider, bourbon, whiskey, and dark chocolate-based cocktails. They pair particularly well when mixed with rich, nutty ingredients like hazelnuts.

Combine bitters, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon until well-mixed. Pour this mixture over the nuts and stir them to coat evenly. Spread in an even layer on baking sheets and bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown – allow to cool before breaking apart and storing in an airtight container for storage.

Orange Bitters

Orange bitters offer an extra bright, less baking spice flavor to whiskey cocktails like the Old Fashioned, making for an irresistibly aromatic finish. Crafted using citrus zest and peel, these high-proof alcohols add an instant flavor and aroma!

They’re also great companions for many whiskey cocktails, particularly those featuring bourbon or rye whiskeys. Add them to classic drinks such as the Manhattan, Sazerac, or Negroni to add an unexpected edge.

Once in your bar or restaurant, however, your selection of bitters may be more limited than expected. But with home bartending, you have more variety – beyond Angostura and Peychaud’s. Bitters come in all forms – each type adds something different to cocktails! Check your local liquor store or distilleries to discover unique tastes.

Citrus, aromatic, savory, and herbal bitters should all be included in your arsenal; don’t be intimidated to experiment! Even just adding one dash can transform any dish. Whether you are an experienced cocktail drinker or just starting to explore cocktails further, now is the perfect time to embrace bitters as an essential ingredient.

Chicory Bitters

El Guapo aromatic bitters offer the quintessential New Orleans experience, featuring locally roasted chicory coffee, pecans, and cinnamon. Perfectly complementing bourbon, dark rums, and tequila, even try mixing up your signature cocktails using these aromatic bitters!

Rogue Distillery’s exciting collaboration, Dark and Bitter Cocktails, is about dark and bitter flavors! Starting with Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey as its base spirit, bitters are then combined with ingredients such as toasted chicory leaves, cocoa nibs, roasted dandelion root extract, allspice, wild cherry bark extract, and gentian for an indulgent addition to whiskey-based cocktails that taste just like chocolate Manhattans!

Mix Tattersall Bourbon, chicory tea, bitters, and 0.25 ounce of Truvia Original Sweetener in an ice-filled shaker until well chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with an orange peel for garnishing.

Jerry Thomas Bitters

Based on the recipe of the legendary bartender and professor Jerry Thomas, Jerry Thomas bitters provide a fruity yet bitter flavor profile. Citrus aromas blend beautifully with spicy clove, angostura bark, and cinnamon notes for an outstanding cocktail pairing experience. A must-have addition for aged spirits such as Whiskey, Bourbon, or Rum cocktails!

The Bitter Truth’s mission since 2006 has been to expose the power of bitters, with their range covering traditional varieties dating back 250 years and innovative newcomers like Cucumber Bitters or Smoky Peppercorn Bitters.

The Bitter Truth employs the classic method for crafting their bitters by macerating roots, seeds, barks, fruits, herbs, and plants in alcohol before mixing the ingredients with a small amount of caramel to achieve vivid hues and high-quality standards. This ensures their bitters remain stable without losing flavor while producing large volumes for cocktail bars – each bottle of Jerry Thomas Bitters contains 40ml.