Fun Ways To Use Cocktail Bitters

Cocktail bitters are a fun and tasty way to add amazing flavor to your cocktails. But with so many cocktail bitters on the market today, which ones should you choose for your cocktails?

My recommendation is to just JUMP IN! Visit your local wine and gourmet store to find a wide selection of bitters and choose two bitter flavors that appeal to you. I chose orange because I enjoy citrus cocktails and lavender because one of my favorite cocktails is a Lavender Lemon Drop Martini.

Think of bitters as the salt and pepper of cocktails. Sprinkle them on your cocktail as you would sprinkle salt and pepper to season your food.

I also recommend the book “Bitters – A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-all with Cocktails, Recipes and Formulas” by Brad Thomas Parsons. With over 200 pages of information about bitters, it will help you discover the wide world of bitters to use as a reference as you expand your bitters repertoire.

What’s a good way to find out what bitters taste like? You know how diet soft drinks often have a bit of a metallic taste? Add a few drops of orange bitters to diet ginger ale, stir and add ice. Now sip the diet ginger ale. The metallic taste will be gone and the ginger ale will have a pleasant hint of citrus.

I like to make my Lavender Lemon Drop Martini with Crescent Simples Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup and Strong Water Lavender Bitters. Both are available at local wine and gourmet stores and on-line.

Lavender Lemon Drop Martini

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 1 small cocktail shaker


  • 3/4 ounce Crescent Simples Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ice
  • 3 dashes lavender bitters
  • splash sprite
  • fine sugar and lemon wedge for glass rim
  • lavender sprig for garnish


  • Chill martini glass in freezer (about 15 minutes).
  • Run lemon wedge around edge of martini glass. Place fine sugar on a plate and roll the martini glass rim around in the sugar so sugar adheres to the rim. (If you cannot find fine sugar in the grocery store, make it by placing granulated sugar in a blender for a few seconds to pulverize it).
  • Place Crescent Simples Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup, lemon juice and vodka in a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Cover and shake vigorously.
  • Strain cocktail into chilled martini glass. Add lavender bitters. Stir gently.
  • Top cocktail with a splash of Sprite and garnish with a sprig of lavender.

I like to garnish my Old Fashioned Cocktail with orange bitters and brûléed orange slices. Here’s how to make them:

Dip orange slices into turbinado to coat both sides of the orange slices. Heat a small cast iron pan on the stove top. Place orange slices in the hot pan. Sprinkle orange slices with turbinado sugar. Continue to heat the orange slices over medium-high heat (watching carefully so the slices will not burn). After about 1 minute, turn the orange slices and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Heat for approximately 1 more minute or until the sugar on the orange slices begins to brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place brûléed orange slice on top of the ice in your Old Fashioned Cocktail.

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